Screenplay Formatting - OFFICIAL DISCUSSION


You can write something like «sunrise» or «dawn». Sometimes you can use those. It all depends…you can not separate like «Okay, 9am is morning and 9:01 pm is day».


Just read about montage yesterday. I’m not sure about VO but I tried my best:


Awesome thank you very much!


Why do screenwriters sometimes mark two scenes the same number, but the second time they do it, they put the letter ‘A’ next to it?


Hey! I’m curious how people screen-write with intention? Like what steps happen before you even open up the software to write?

Free writing or just going from a blank page just kind of feels like I’m BSing, like I wrote this and it feels absolutely unintentional:


I once heard someone say anything worth doing is worth doing badly or something like that. Do I just need to write like 1000 terrible on the fly sketches and maybe 1001 will be the good one?


Personally I always make a “Moments List” beforehand, just broad story points and defining moments. But like all writing, it’s totally subjective. Some people do sticky notes for all the scenes, some people do just BS it and keep working it. Keep in mind when you write something it doesn’t stop there, that’s just the first draft.


I’ve seen the word “SUPERIMPOSE” in some movie scripts, specifically in the scene heading. What does this mean?


Sure you could probably just Google this, but I wasn’t entirely sure what the term meant either:

According to the Penn State University Film department:
Double Exposure (superimposition) - Two distinct images appearing simultaneously with one superimposed upon the other.
Google superimposition in film and you’ll find a whole list of wonderful images, including this one from Hitchcock’s Spellbound:


Thanks alot for the help!
Yea I did try to research about it but looks like you did a much better job haha :smile:


:slight_smile: Glad I could help


Hi, Matt! Sorry for the crazy late reply to this one. This is a great question and one that trips up a lot of writers (me included!) early on.

I can only speak to my own process, but for me, booting up Final Draft to start typing scenes is actually one of the LAST things that I do. With VGHS, we spent a tremendous amount of time figuring out the characters, the whole story we wanted to tell, and even did scene-by-scene breakdowns of what exactly happens at each moment, all before we started writing out action and dialogue in proper screenplay format.

Free-writing can be a fun and liberating exercise, it can get the juices going, but it’s also very very hard (at least for me) to write a script that way. It’s like trying to drive somewhere without knowing where you’re going or having a map. You might wind up somewhere interesting but you might also get crazy lost! So I like to know as much about my story as possible and what I’m trying to do before I start typing up pages.

Another benefit of working this way is that when you finally get to the pages-writing step, you can be entirely focused on writing really good action and dialogue. You’ve already figured out what needs to happen, so now you can spend all your energy on executing how it happens, if that makes sense.

Hope that helps! If you guys have any other questions, please let me know! Maybe we can do a writing process-oriented video in the near future that gets into the nitty-gritty a bit more, if that would be useful. Thanks!



I would love a writing process breakdown. Even something like where to start or an easy paint by numbers type of story that lends itself to planning out easily. A first screenplay general purpose video or something would help too.
Thx for responding!


As an aspiring screenwriter, a writing process video would be awesome. I’m currently working my way through the screenplay of when Harry Met Sally, which represents more or less the finished version of the movie, but is something like the seventh draft (according to the dates on the front page). An illumination of the writing process could be very helpful for rookies struggling with where to take an idea.


I definitely would like some help with understanding outlining, its goals, purpose, what is needed etc. I’m trying to make an outline and have no idea what I’m doing right now.


So, in The Office, when they have a talking head scene, they write it as its own slug line:


                                  yes, I am a little upset about not being chosen as the 
                                  regional manager, but andy has the job now, and i will
                                  Just deal with it.

As for your other question,
in almost all cases you will just use DAY or NIGHT, Unless you have a very specific reason for it being DAWN or DUSK.


Hi, TheOtherMatt,
A Great way to get started on outlining, is to get a stack of sticky notes, and write down how the story starts. then, after you have a clear picture of where your character is in the beginning of the story, write on another sticky note how it ends. after that, fill in the blanks with your story.


I want to start by saying thank you for putting this information out there and literally building a community around empowerment. Huge gratitude, I have really seen my skills improving on many levels. I have written stage plays in the past, but had this one nagging idea that I knew had to be written as a screenplay to make sense. I saw your video for screenplay formatting, and then re-watched it a couple of days later, and ended up putting down 25 pages before I went to sleep. So I ended up taking the ball and running with it… like Forrest Gump. I got busy writing a screenplay for a feature length film that I would absolutely love to give you guys first dibs on (I hope you don’t mind, but I even took the liberty of writing you a tie in that I think you will find ridiculously appropriate). I am currently sorting through some of the final filler bits, and doing some re-writes to help clarify some ideas. but I will say that the skeleton and meat is all ready to go, and having you folks breathing life into it would pretty much guarantee that the original concept is in the exact right hands.

best wishes!



Hey I’m making a web series for school and was wondering should i cut the screenplay into parts or write one big screenplay and then in post production cut it up into episodes :frowning: HELP


I say write each individual episode that way it breaks down into the episodes having natural transitions and each episode will have its own pacing