Screenplay conventions

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  1. Conventions of screenplays 2. Title Page Every screenplay features a title page. The title page is vital as it has the key information about the script such as,…
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  • 1. Conventions of screenplays
  • 2. Title Page Every screenplay features a title page. The title page is vital as it has the key information about the script such as, obviously, the title, and the name of the screenwriter and/or co-writers. This title page tells us the script was jointly written by Joel & Ethan Coen, who always co-write and co-direct. In some cases, such as a adaptation to a screenplay, the title page will say something like “based on the book by...”, as shown below.
  • 3. Sluglines Screenplays notify the reader of a new scene by having what is called a 'slugline'. A slugline tells us whether the scene is an exterior or interior scene, where the scene takes place (location), and what point in time/time of day it takes place.
  • 4. Action/Text Conventionally, the action is described by text directly underneath the slugline, and between dialog. Action generally is self explanatory as it describes the actions of characters, but it also covers things in the mise en scene, such as what the characters are wearing, vehicles, weapons, other props, etc. Furthermore, if it is a shooting script, the text can include info for the editing process, sound, etc.
  • 5. Characters Before dialog, the character speaking has to be identified, and this is done by a character line. A character line simply has the character's name in block capitals. This line can also provide information about whether the character speaks off screen (O.S.) or not, or via a voice-over (V.O.).
  • 6. Dialogue Dialogue is a key part of a screenplay. Dialogue can be shown as either single dialogue, spoken by one person at a time, or dual dialogue when two people speak at the same time. Dialogue is placed directly underneath the character's name, in the centre of the page.
  • 7. Parentheticals Parentheticals are used to give extra information to the reader about the dialogue. The type of information given in these are things such as whether a character begins talking to another character.
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