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Format your script elements. There are several different parts of the script that require specific formatting so that they conform to industry standards:[10]

  • Scene Heading: This is also called a “slug line.” It sets the stage for the reader by describing the location. The scene heading is written in all caps. First, denote whether it is an interior or exterior scene by writing “INT.” or “EXT.” Then, follow that with the location, then the time of day. Never end a page with a scene heading, push it down to the next page.

  • Action: This is the descriptive text of the screenplay. Write in the present tense and an active voice. Keep the paragraphs short to hold the reader’s attention. A good paragraph size is 3-5 lines.

  • Character Name: Before dialogue starts, the character speaking is typed out in all caps and indented 3.5” from the left margin. The name can either be the character’s actual name, a description if the character is not named in the movie, or by occupation. If the character is speaking off screen, then “(O.S.)” is written next to the character name. If the character is narrating, “(V.O.)” for voice-over is written next to the name.

  • Dialogue: When a character is speaking, the dialogue is indented 2.5” from the left margin, and between 2-2.5” from the right. The dialogue goes directly beneath the character’s name.

How do you add information about the music, sounds, camera actions in a trailer script? Do you add it inside the Action section? And how do you format each parts to distinguish them from the rest of the section and from each of the other elements mentioned? Any other information we can add aside these?

Could you give an example?

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    Cite the quote, please. – Nai54 Mar 13 at 4:18
  • Can you please add context information: what type of film and what is it about? If it is about a musical subject, like a biopic of musician, then it could make sense to add musical references in the script. These would go into the "action" element. – Matt Mar 15 at 8:55
  • Also the list is incomplete. Camera work is specified by including the "shot" element which is missing in your list. However, this writing stage comes later, when you discuss that with the director and the DP, focus on the story first. – Matt Mar 15 at 8:58

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