Formatting Your Script – The Basics

I’ve been asked by some people how to properly format a script. Note that I mean the actual formatting, page layout, etc., as opposed to how to write or structure a script. No one I know is dumb enough to think I know how to write or structure a script.

All self-deprecation aside, formatting a script is important. It’s at least as important as just knowing how to spell and knowing proper grammar. No, screw that – it’s WAY more important. If I get a script by someone who occasionally mixes up “its” and “it’s,” I hardly notice. If I get a script from someone and it’s clearly been written in Word with no formatting, I just immediately write it off. It’s a gut reaction. It means the person who wrote the script didn’t think they had the time to get to absolute zero before trying to start their project.

(The spelling comment doesn’t apply to you bastards who mix up “there” “they’re” and “their,” though.  You fuckers are on your own in your own special little section of hell).

If you’ve got an amazing story idea but no one is digging it, you might be surprised to find out that they never even read your script because they saw how it was formatted. Or more accurately, how it WASN’T formatted properly.

SOFTWARE

Okay, so the easiest possible thing to tell people is: get software. Some people immediately say “I don’t want to shell out for Final Draft – can’t you just tell me how to format it in Word? I don’t mind the extra work.”

First of all, no one in the film industry should ever say “I don’t want to shell out for – ” because you are ALWAYS asking other people to shell out to make your film. If you’re trying to sell a script, that’s what you’re doing, by default.

Read the full post at Garrett’s website.