How to Write a TV Script

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When writing a TV script, keep in mind the time frame and commercial breaks, describe the action concisely, write the dialog and follow a standard format. Create a television script that is similar to a screenplay with help from a writer, director and editor in this free video on script writing.

Part of the Video Series: Script Writing & Filmmaking
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Video Transcript

Okay, folks, in this clip we're going to talk about how to write a TV script. I recommend treating a television script like any other script, whether it be a feature film or a short film... whatever... they're all screenplays, and so to change anything about your format or style just because you know it's going to be for television is, a lot of times, a mistake. One thing that people often notice is the quality seems to be substantially lower than that of films. This is largely because they shoot on a faster schedule. This is expected, but that's no reason why you shouldn't at least aim for high quality when you start out. So when you're writing a television script, keep in mind that it's got to fit within certain parameters, so this is going to affect your writing style. You're going to want to divide it up by acts, really, because you know that at some point there's going to be a commercial break, so start by listing the episode name, saying this is going to be Act I, but write it just as any other script. Describe where we are, describe the action as concisely as possible, and go right into the dialogue, and follow that format from there. The only real thing you need to keep in mind as you're writing a television script that's of high quality is you got to kind of keep in mind exactly that it has to fit within a certain time frame, and that it has to have different breaks for the commercials. But other than that, it's just another screenplay, honestly, and that's exactly how you should treat it. It should be just the same quality as a feature film that you might be trying to write. That is how to write a successful television script.

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