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Tips to keep in mind while writing your script to help you make the best first impression possible. Proper screenplay format is important. Learn it, love it, use it:
Always spell check. Twice.
Dont print on colored paper,
add pictures or deviate from standard screenplay format in any way. Show
your creativity in the characters, story and dialogue, not the packaging.
Doing this will only label you an amateur and usually land your script
in the trash.
Always bind with brass brads. No clips, fancy binding, or staples (unless your script is a short).
Dont follow trends. Whats hot today wont be tomorrow. A good screenplay is always hot.
Dont send your script out
before its ready. Production companies, agents, managers and studios
will read your script only once (if you are persistent and lucky). They
will never read a second draft on spec.
Be specific. General descriptions
are not your friend. And, whenever possible, use vivid visual descriptions.
Do your research. If you have
a scene with a lawyer in it and youre not a lawyer, ask a lawyer
what they would say and do in that situation. Details like these will
either strengthen the reality of the world you have created, or take away
Dont tell the reader what
characters are thinking or feeling. If it doesnt come across in
your descriptions and dialogue, it wont come across on screen.
If you cannot see it or hear
it, it does not belong in your screenplay.
Avoid using descriptors like
typical and average. What you might describe as typical or average does
not give a clear visual and is different for everyone depending upon their
Never send your first draft to
industry professionals. Always have it reviewed first, preferably by both
friends/family and a professional script reader.
Remember, you are not writing a shooting script. That means no scene numbers, FADE OUTS, DISSOLVES, POVs, or camera directions of any kind unless absolutely necessary.
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