What Does a Movie Script Look Like?

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Movie scripts are a lot different than other printed literature. The script is usually only written for movie professionals, but interest has expanded to the general movie-loving audience and now printed scripts are available for free online and sold in stores. There are many differences in a movie script that readers should recognize.

Font

  • The standard screenwriting font is Courier New and this is the only way a script is presented professionally. The font duplicates the former font found on most typewriters and has stuck as the standard for years. The spacing allows for plenty of notes and an easy read.

Tense

  • Movie scripts are always written in present tense. For example, a "Jurassic Park" script would read, "The Raptor chases the boy" instead of "The raptor chased the boy". Passive voice is not used. For example, "Timmy is running" would be written as "Timmy runs" in a movie script.

Packaged

  • When a movie script is sold from a store, it may be bound and feature the movie art, but a script submission to a professional company looks much different. The script is three-hold punched and features two brass reeds in the top and bottom holes. A title page features basic contact information, and card stock pages are placed on the front and back.

Shooting Scripts

  • Many of the published scripts available for consumers are known as "Shooting Scripts." They feature a lot more detail and description than a "Spec Script," which is written with less detail, and action paragraphs are no longer than four lines.

Abbreviations

  • A movie script may contain several abbreviations that stand for other things. "INT." stands for interior. "EXT." stands for exterior. "MOS" means the characters are talking but no one can hear them. "O.S" stands for off-screen and "V.O" stands for voice-over.

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