Screenplay Format

Most screenplays are submitted in a form called the master screen script. The emphasis in this version is on compelling exposition of the story’s action, development of the characters, and visual and emotional details of the scene. The shots and camera angles are not fully specified, so they will not distract from the writer’s presentation of the story concept. The samples below, excerpted from classic scripts of the 1950s, illustrate the methodology of formatting scripts, which has remained basically unchanged over the decades.

Notice that in the example which follows, a draft work version of a television screenplay, the terms most frequently used are general terms like close shot and full shot. Another useful general ...

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