ScriptBully Magazine

Screenwriting Format Demystified - 10 Most Common Script Format Questions Answered

Former Hollywood screenplay reader answers the 10 most confusing aspects of screenwriting format.


San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/08/2015 -- Spend any time working on a screenplay and you'll quickly realize there is a strange and foreign language you must learn: that of screenplay format.

And while many script format issues are self-explanatory - an INT. is where the camera is placed indoors - many, such as how to format a phone call or deal with a flashback, require more specialized, and arcane, knowledge.

That's why Michael Rogan, editor of ScriptBully magazine, recently published his Screenwriting Format FAQ - The 10 Most Common Screenwriting Format Questions Answered. Because according to Rogan, many would-be screenwriters let the mechanics of the writing style stop them from finishing their story.

"Script format is just plain weird, and strange if you've never worked with it before," said Rogan. "Things like DISSOLVES and FLASHBACKS and MONTAGES don't work like any other style of writing."

"They are designed for heavy cameras. And it's not a skill set that most newbie screenwriters know much about."

And the stakes are high, as Rogan points out, because screenwriting format is one of the quickest ways for film business professionals to disregard novice screenwriters. "It's so easy for producers and agents to filter out scripts based on their poor execution of screenwriting format."

But Rogan is eager to make clear that script format is not difficult, or impossible to master. "If the guys who wrote the Transformers movies can master this, so can you. It just requires some patience and a bit of a learning curve."

"But once you got it the world, and the film business, is your oyster."

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