Scripts & Formats

Posted on October 25, 2020Comments Off on Scripts & Formats

When writing a script there are a few assets that need to be remembered; slug lines or scene headings, action lines, dialogue and shots. 

A slug line is put at the start of each scene to show where it is happening (ie. inside [INT] or outside [EXT]), the exact location as well as the time it’s taking place. These are important to break up each scene and make sure the setting is apparent. For me, the concept of slug lines is great as I think it would make it so much easier to keep everyone on set on the same page. As I hadn’t heard of slug lines before this lesson, I’ll definitely be adding them to my scripts for future projects.

Action lines are what set the tone of a scene by condensing visual descriptions or feelings as much as possible after the slug line. The present tense should be used as it’s being used to show what is happening on screen at that moment. 

I’ve found that action lines can also describe the characters when we first meet them which I think is very useful to see what parts of them the actors and crew should focus on (could be their appearance, stance, emotions they should make the audience experience).

I feel the dialogue is quite straightforward in the sense that it just includes the character’s name and speech. After researching more into this aspect of scriptwriting, I learned that the direction line for the actor is known as a parenthetical and should be descriptive but to the point, plus should be used very sparingly; from the context of the rest of the scene, I imagine these are not needed too often and could easily clutter the script if overused.

A simple subject can make all the difference;


Creating a Story from the Ordinary

Taking an ordinary object like a highlighter and expanding the usual description of it, an entire story can be made. To do this I learned that you have to point out specific details of the object others might not see, look closer. The story can be made more attention-grabbing by linking it to a personal experience or giving it a backstory/ history. Thinking of the five ‘w’s is an important part of this as it makes you build on the story and setting. I tried it myself and just by doing these few steps I was able to come up with an interesting beginning to a story;

A neon green covering with a navy cap and lettering, minute indents all the way down one side. The highlighter sat on the cold kitchen floor. The slightly darker ink was making a line of unsettling symbols stand out on the arm of the corpse next to it.