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First of all,
WHAT IS A SCREENPLAY?
It is a movie in words specially formatted on paper.
A screenplay or script is a blueprint for producing a motion picture. It is more specifically targeted at the visual, narrative arts, such as film and television. The major components are action and dialogue. The “action” is written in the present tense. The “dialogue” are the lines the characters speak.
Screenplays usually include not only the dialogue spoken by the characters but also a shot-by-shot outline of the film’s action. The format is then structured in a way that one page usually equates to one minute of screen time.
Here are the very basics of how to read and write a screenplay using a short original screenplay.
this is where the story (Screenplay) opens. In the movies it is usually a black screen opening into the first scene of the movie.
INT. HOUSE – NIGHT
INT. Means inside, like a house or an enclosure. EXT means outside, as in a field or yard
HOUSE; means the location, as in where the scene is located, like a house, street, concert, etc.
NIGHT; means the time of day, daylight, or is the scene in artificial light, such as a light bulb.
Danny may be slow, but he is a tough little survivor.
CASE WORKER; is the character who is speaking.
Right under and centered is what that character is speaking.
The tubular pipe railing of a water soaked wooden boardwalk, stretching out north and south beyond sight.
BOARDWALK; is a close up of the scene.
Right under BOARDWALK is the action or the narrative of the scene, this is what is happening in a particular scene.
(O.S.) & (V.O.) The first is Off Screen, the character speaking is heard but not seen, possibly in another room out of view. The other is Voice Over, the voice is heard, but is not in the scene at all, like on the other end of a phone line or doing a narrative in the story.
FADE TO: this is a transition from one dramatic scene to another, it can be also, FADE TO BLACK: or DISSOLVE TO: etc.
FADE OUT: THE END.
This closes the story (screenplay).
Now you are ready to at least read a screenplay and with some more research, you could be on the road to writing one or more.
write by Alvin Lenahan