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I'm writing a script that shows a speaker interacting with their audience. The speaker finishes speaking and the audience reacts. I wrote it like this.

Loud CHEERS from the audience.

I'm wondering if I have to capitalized the word "cheers" for a sound effect.

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In a script, yes, capitalize anything the Foley artists (makers of common sound effects) would be interested in. Cheering is one of those things; the slamming or closing of doors or lids, thunder, rain, etc.

Do not expect these to be picked up on a microphone; or to "sound right" to the audience without the enhancement (or outright insertion) of the sounds; things like horse hooves on a sidewalk or thunder or engine sounds or rain are always inserted. We humans can hear them, but in movie making we prefer a separate sound channel with a tight focus for every actor and thing that makes noise, so the sound editors and foley team can merge those together, controlling for volume and quality on each track.

Sound effects important to the story line, told in the narrative section, are always IN CAPS.

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I read somewhere that sounds do not need to always be in caps, but rather only sounds which will add to the experience of reading the script, as if you were watching the film. In other words, it's a stylistic choice.

However, I did previously read that all sounds should be in caps, so possibly that is outdated?

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