Screenplay
Overview
 
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 or television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated. A play for television is known as a teleplay
Teleplay
A teleplay is a television play, a comedy or drama written or adapted for television. The term surfaced during the 1950s with wide usage to distinguish a television plays from stage plays for the theater and screenplays written for films...

.
The format is structured in a way that one page usually equates to one minute of screen time.
Encyclopedia
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 or television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated. A play for television is known as a teleplay
Teleplay
A teleplay is a television play, a comedy or drama written or adapted for television. The term surfaced during the 1950s with wide usage to distinguish a television plays from stage plays for the theater and screenplays written for films...

.

Format and style

The format is structured in a way that one page usually equates to one minute of screen time. In a "shooting script
Shooting script
A shooting script is the version of a screenplay used during the production of a motion picture. Shooting scripts are distinct from spec scripts in that they make use of scene numbers , and they follow a well defined set of procedures specifying how script revisions should be implemented and...

", each scene is numbered, and technical direction may be given. In a "spec
Spec script
A spec script, also known as a speculative screenplay, is a non-commissioned unsolicited screenplay. It is usually written by a screenwriter who hopes to have the script optioned and eventually purchased by a producer, production company, or studio....

" or a "draft" in various stages of development, the scenes are not numbered, and technical direction is at a minimum. The standard font for a screenplay is 12 point, 10 pitch Courier
Courier (typeface)
Courier is a monospaced slab serif typeface designed to resemble the output from a strike-on typewriter. The typeface was designed by Howard "Bud" Kettler in 1955...

.

The major components are action and dialogue. The "action" is written in the present tense
Present tense
The present tense is a grammatical tense that locates a situation or event in present time. This linguistic definition refers to a concept that indicates a feature of the meaning of a verb...

. The "dialogue" are the lines the characters speak. Unique to the screenplay (as opposed to a stage play) is the use of slug lines
Screenplay slug line
A slug line is unique to the screenplay and states numerous things about a scene. Often called a Master Scene Heading, it occurs at the start of every scene, and is usually made up of three parts.-Part one:...

.

The format consists of two aspects:
  1. The interplay between typeface/font, line spacing and type area, from which the standard of one page of text per one minute of screen time is derived. Unlike in the United States where letter size
    Letter (paper size)
    Letter or US Letter is the most common paper size for office use in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, the Philippines, and Chile. It measures 8.5 by 11 inches ....

     and Courier 12
    Courier (typeface)
    Courier is a monospaced slab serif typeface designed to resemble the output from a strike-on typewriter. The typeface was designed by Howard "Bud" Kettler in 1955...

     point are mandatory, Europe uniformly uses A4 as the standard paper size format (but without a uniform font requirement).
  2. The tab settings of the scene elements (dialogue, scenes headings, transitions, parentheticals, etc.), which constitute the screenplay's layout.


The style consists of a grammar that is specific to screenplays. This grammar also consists of two aspects:
  1. A prose that is manifestation-oriented, i.e. focuses largely on what is audible and what is visible on screen. This prose may only supply interpretations and explanation (deviate from the manifestation-oriented prose) if clarity would otherwise be adversely affected.
  2. Codified notation of certain technical or dramatic elements, such as scene transitions, changes in narrative perspective, sound effects, emphasis of dramatically relevant objects and characters speaking from outside a scene.

Types of screenplays

Screenplays can generally be divided into two kinds; a 'spec'
Spec script
A spec script, also known as a speculative screenplay, is a non-commissioned unsolicited screenplay. It is usually written by a screenwriter who hopes to have the script optioned and eventually purchased by a producer, production company, or studio....

 screenplay, and a commissioned screenplay.

A speculative screenplay is a script written with no upfront payment, or a promise of payment. The content is usually invented solely by the screenwriter, though spec screenplays can also be based on established works, or real people and events.

A commissioned screenplay is written by a hired writer. The concept is usually developed long before the screenwriter is brought on, and usually has many writers work on it before the script is given a green-light.

Screenwriting software

Detailed computer programs are designed specifically to format screenplays, teleplays and stage plays. Celtx
Celtx
Celtx is free media pre-production software designed for creating and organizing media projects like screenplays, films, videos, stageplays, audio plays, documentaries, machinima, comics, games and podcasts....

, DreamaScript, Movie Magic Screenwriter
Movie Magic Screenwriter
Movie Magic Screenwriter is a word processing program sold by Write Brothers, Inc. to format screenplays, teleplays and novels .- History :Write Brothers' first software program, Scriptor , was the world's first screenplay formatter....

, Final Draft, Movie Outline
Movie Outline
Movie Outline is a word processing program to step outline a cinematic story and format a screenplay. It was created by Dan Bronzite, a produced UK screenwriter...

 3.0, FiveSprockets, and Montage
Montage (software)
Montage is screenwriting software developed for Mac OS X. Montage allows the creation, editing, and management of screenplays on Macintosh computers. Montage can import Final Draft documents...

 are several such programs. Software is also available as web applications, accessible from any computer, and on mobile devices.

See also

  • Writing section from the MovieMakingManual (MMM) Wikibook, especially on formatting.
  • Act structure
    Act structure
    Act structure explains how a plot of a film story is composed. Just like plays have 'Acts', critics and screenwriters tend to divide films into acts; though films don't require to be physically broken down as such in reality....

  • Closet screenplay
    Closet screenplay
    Related to closet drama, a closet screenplay is a screenplay intended not to be produced/performed but instead to be read by a solitary reader or, sometimes, out loud in a small group....

  • Filmmaking
    Filmmaking
    Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

  • Scriptment
    Scriptment
    A scriptment is a written work by a movie or television screenwriter that combines elements of a script and treatment, especially the dialogue elements, which are formatted the same as in a screenplay. It is a more elaborate document than a standard draft treatment...

  • Screenplay slug line
    Screenplay slug line
    A slug line is unique to the screenplay and states numerous things about a scene. Often called a Master Scene Heading, it occurs at the start of every scene, and is usually made up of three parts.-Part one:...

  • Screenwriter's salary
  • Screenwriting
    Screenwriting
    Screenwriting is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games. It is a freelance profession....

  • Screenwriting software
    Screenwriting software
    Screenwriting software are word processors specialized to the task of writing screenplays. The need for such programs arises from the presence of certain peculiarities in standard screenplay format which are not handled well by generic word processors. A good example would be the formatting and...

  • Storyboard
    Storyboard
    Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence....

  • List of film-related topics
  • List of screenwriting software
  • Dreams on Spec
    Dreams on Spec
    Dreams on Spec is a 2007 American documentary film that profiles the struggles and triumphs of emerging Hollywood screenwriters. It was written and directed by Daniel J...

  • Guide to Literary Agents
    Guide to Literary Agents
    Guide to Literary Agents is a book that compiles hundreds of listings for literary agents and writers' conferences in the USA. The book is an annual resource for writers who wish to find an agent and sell their work to publishing houses...

  • Writer's Digest
    Writer's Digest
    Writer's Digest is an American magazine devoted to both beginning and established writers, offering interviews, market listings, calls for manuscripts, and how-to articles....

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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