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J Tennant

on 15 October 2015

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Transcript of Screenwriting

What is screenwriting?
Feature films
Video games
Reality TV
Music videos
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Headings (slug lines)

1. Camera location (INT. or EXT.)
2. Scene location
3. Time (DAY or NIGHT)
Narrative Description

1. Action
2. Setting and character
3. Sounds

1. The character cue, or name of the person speaking
2. The parenthetical (optional)
3. The speech
There are three parts of a screenplay:

1. Headings (slug lines)

2. Narrative description

3. Dialogue
One page = one minute


screenwriting software:
Industry-standard screenwriting software:
Final Draft
(use this)
Where do you start?
One to three sentences that encapsulate your story.

"My film is a (genre/subgenre) called (title) about (hero) who seeks (goal) despite (obstacle)."
"A precocious private high school student whose life revolves around his school competes with its most famous and successful alumnus for the affection of a first grade teacher."
"Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought."
"A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO."
"Screenplays are structure, and that’s all they are. The quality of writing—which is crucial in almost every other form of literature—is not what makes a screenplay work. Structure isn’t anything else but telling the story, starting as late as possible, starting each scene as late as possible."
- William Goldman
Three acts
Act one: The set up
Act two: Rising action leading to final crisis
Act three: Final crisis, climax and resolution
Act One: The set up
Introduction to the protagonist and their ordinary world
Inciting incident
Goals and stakes
Needs vs. wants
Act Two: Rising action
Escalating conflicts
Complications, obstacles
Act Three: Climax
Final crisis
Ultimate obstacle
Twist or reversal
Additional reading:

The Screenwriter's Bible - David Trottier

Save the Cat - Blake Snyder

Adventures in the Screen Trade - William Goldman
Full transcript