Sunday Pop Quiz

Sunday Pop Quiz There are at least seven ways to improve the following short script excerpt. Can you find them all? INT. PATRICIA’S HOUSE – UPSTAIRS – BEDROOM – DAY Patricia is sitting at her computer. She looks at her monitor, then angrily...
Are your slug lines naked?

Are your slug lines naked?

What’s a slug line? It’s another way of saying “shot heading” or “scene heading.” What’s a naked slug line? A naked slug line is a scene heading that has no direction below it — only dialogue. It’s considered bad...
Discontinue CONT’D

Discontinue CONT’D

The Continuing Use of CONT’D I’m still seeing a ton of people using “(CONT’D)” unnecessarily in their scripts, so it’s time for a quick rant post. In years past, it was common to use “(CONT’D)” whenever a...
Cut the CUT TO:

Cut the CUT TO:

Often times, the trickiest part of screenwriting isn’t finishing your first draft — it’s paring the dang thing down to 115 pages or so! Every line becomes critical. It’s therefore key that we don’t use any superfluous transitions....

10 Rules For Using Parentheticals

First, what are they? Parentheticals, or actor/character directions, or “wrylies,” are those little descriptions that sometimes appear after a character’s name, in dialogue blocks, to spell out tone, intent or action. In the poorly written example...
5 Key Differences Between Spec and Shooting Scripts

5 Key Differences Between Spec and Shooting Scripts

Some Definitions A spec script is a screenplay that’s written “on speculation.” That is, you, the screenwriter, write the script without any development contract or promise of payment in place, in the hopes of getting it optioned, sold, or gaining...