How to Format a Screenplay or Script:

Posted: April 3, 2017 in English 12 AP, Shakespeare and Drama

g1381821409686993772Part of your Shakespeare project will require writing a script for your video.  So how do you do that?

Probably the easiest thing to do in order to collaborate on your Hamlet scripts would be to use a Google doc.  You can get a screenplay template to help with formatting and add each member of your group as a collaborator so you can each work on the project in different locations, on various devices, at the same time, or at different times.

Additionally, scriptologist has a great overview of how to format a screenplay.

Writers Store has a great annotated visual you can use to see how it all plays out.  And both BBC and have nice instructional examples.  More on how to format a script after the page break:

In short, you need the following:59823836

  • slugline for each scene: this is a description of the setting, INT or EXT for interior or exterior, location, and time.  Sluglines should be in all caps and have 1.5″ margins.
  •  Action: a detailed description of what we see as the scene opens.  This is where staging and the first lines of stage direction are found.  Details and imagery are important.  When you return to the same setting later, you may not need as much description since you’ve already esablished what the location looks like, but you should be sure to include blocking (where people are standing, where objects are if they’ve moved, etc.) who is in the scene, and so forth.  Action also has 1.5″ margins.
  • Character: who is speaking should be on a fresh line and in all caps.  On the next line you may choose to put stage direction on how a line is said in parentheses.  Characters look centered, but they really just have a 3.7″ left margin.  Parentheticals have 3.1″ margins
  • Dialogue: On the next line, write what the character is saying, left jutified, but with 2.5″ margins.
  • You may also intersperse action or stage direction between lines of dialogue, just make sure to go back to the 1.5″ margins so it doesn’t get confused with the dialogue.

Microsoft Office does have a template that you can use, hit more if you need to know how to find it.

template search

In Word, go to File, then New, and type “script” or “screenplay” into the searchbox.

template search screenplayClick on the screenplay template (naturally) and voila, you have a Word document already formatted with the proper margins and so forth.  Just be sure to replace all the dummy text.


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