Screenplays Have: Have: Location Location Action Action Characters Characters Dialogue Dialogue Lets go find out more!
In between Fade In and Fade out: We have: Location - (Interior / Exterior) and time of day. INT or EXT Action – Describes setting, and people and what people or anything (animals, wind blowing…) are doing in the scene.
Character - These are the people or animals that will move the story forward. Dialogue - This is what the characters say to one another. Hint – There should be a fairly equal balance between action and dialogue. If your script shows huge lumps of action there had better be something very interesting happening!
First: Let your audience know where they are. Thats the location and time. If the film is cutting continuously from one spot to another as someone runs from inside a house to outside, it will say – Continuous.
For example: INT. = Interior EXT. = Outside – Mayberry Sheriff's office - – Day / Night / Continuous /
EXT- Mayberrys Sheriff's office -- Day www.bikemenu.com/ photosfamous.html
Location & Time of day Action describes the house, whats going on. Characters name goes in the middle of the page. Dialogue goes after the characters name.
Story Each story combines location, action, character, and dialogue to create a screenplay. These building blocks are used to make a movie screenplay, and each page of script using standard movie format is equal to one minute of screen time.
Building a story Decide genre / drama, comedy, western, mystery… Come up with What if… ideas. Example: What if a jogger found a puppy hiding in a dog food can?... Keep going until you get an idea you like. Dont include scenes that dont move the story forward.
Make Stakes and Conflict Make the audience care, make your characters care, keep the stakes as high as possible to create that anxiety. Example: A child escapes their care-giver and gets lost. Thats pretty darn high stakes, - the child may die. Make the main character/s resolve the conflict, if it resolves itself by magic the audience will be disappointed.
Dialogue Make each character have a clear and unique voice. Prissy people should speak in a prissy manner. Thugs should be gruff, rude…Mothers, (nice ones) concerned, and diligent. Have the dialogue move the story forward, dont go off on tangents.
Ending Make sure all loose ends are tied together. Make an ending with a surprise punch. Dont make a predictable ending, keep the audience guessing to the very end.
Good luck! Have a good time and be as crazy on paper as you want to be. Read your screenplays aloud to the class. Send the best ones off to screenplay contests for students! Write shootable scripts your school can complete! Bye-Bye!!!