I’ve gotten a lot of formatting questions lately, everything from how to do slugs and shot headings to the correct way to show different sides of a phone conversation.
I’ve emailed some of you back directly (and some of you I’ll get to shortly, I promise), but I also wanted to introduce a great formatting resource to those of you with questions.
The second edition of Christopher Riley‘s The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style came out last month, and it’s the go-to place for questions and quandries on script formatting and style, whether you’re writing a movie, a single-camera TV spec, or a sitcom.
It covers everything from margins to fonts to montages to sound effects, and while this isn’t a “creative” book– it’s a rulebook to screenplay
formatting– it’s invaluable in helping you translate the vision in
your head to something articulate and understandable on the page.
Not sure whether to use a FADE or a WIPE? This book will tell you. Need a screenplay program that will work within Microsoft Word? This book has your answer. Unsure how to deal with deletions or revisions in a production script? Search no more.
I literally keep a copy on my desk– my hand is on it right now– and I consult it CONSTANTLY.
Anyway, do yourself a favor: pick a copy (I’ll include a link below) and use it till it’s dog-eared. You won’t be sorry.