Script Writing Basics

Script writing basics

Script writing is an art form in itself but by no means does it have to be complicated. We’re going to talk about today, we’re going to talk about script writing with the mechanics of script writer, not the art form of storytelling.


Those are two different things. In a later segment we will get into the art of storytelling but right now we’re going to concentrate on the mechanics of script reading. And like I said the four things you want to concentrate on is who your characters are, what they do, where they go and what they say.

Screenwriting Basics – The Basic Screenplay Outline

Video Transcript:

Hello. Welcome to maverick movie-making and today we’re going to talk about scripts. Script writing is an art form in itself but by no means does it have to be complicated. We’re going to talk about today, we’re going to talk about script writing with the mechanics of script writer, not the art form of storytelling.

Those are two different things. In a later segment we will get into the art of storytelling but right now we’re going to concentrate on the mechanics of script reading. And like I said the four things you want to concentrate on is who your characters are, what they do, where they go and what they say.

That’s it, those are the four things. If you know a lot of people get intimidated by writing because they maybe they can’t put words on paper, or maybe they’re not very good at grammar or spelling. That’s okay. Don’t let that be a reason to stop you from making movies.

Because all script is, a script is just a blueprint to your movie, so if you’re the one shooting your movie you can do whatever you want. If you you can write down on a piece of paper ‘characters go from A to B’ – it’s it’s not a hugely complicated ordeal.

There are many different types of scripts but for the Maverick moviemaking we are only going to concentrate on two types. We’re going to concentrate on the shooting script and the spec script. The shooting script is the blueprint for your movie.

So basically if you’re a maverick movie maker, shooting script right now is where you want to live. That’s going to be your world for a while because it’s all you got to do. It’s like I said, it’s the blueprint to your movie.

A spec script on the other hand, that has to be right on because basically what you’re doing with the spec script is your writing the script to sell to somebody else or to give to somebody else so they can make your movie.

Well that’s a different animal entirely. Those have to be the Gnat’s ass. You want those to be grammatically and spelling you want all that stuff to be right on, because if you read a script and you give it to somebody and your grammar and your spelling is off, it’s going to show that you’re an experienced writer.

Basic screenplay outline tipsOn the resources page of the Maverick moviemaking website you can find a ton of resources about scriptwriting. I’ve got four or five books on there that’ll give you a good idea of what people are looking for in their script writing.

What the books aren’t going to tell you is that there are a thousand ways to write a script. There is no one way. You write the script however you want. If it’s good, and the story is good, it will sell but make sure your grammar and your spelling are correct.

No matter which way you’re going, whether you’re writing a spec script or a shooting script story is still King. Story is still the most important part. You know, in our example, characters a and B go to sea. Well, that can be the case but that a to b has to be intriguing or it doesn’t matter.

You can write a piece of, you can write a script on a yellow piece of paper like this. If it’s good it doesn’t matter. If it’s bad it doesn’t matter. Just as long as the story is good like I said. I will always go back to that – story is king no matter what we’re doing.

If you’re watching this and you’re taking part in the Maverick moviemaking program because you want to become a scriptwriter, do your homework. Buy the books, buy the script writing program and learn how to become a fluent scriptwriter.

If the ideas are just pouring out of you and you don’t want to wait, then you can always do an outline. Outline the bullet points of your story as you’re reading and as you’re doing your research on how to write the script.

I would suggest eventually you get into the habit of writing good scripts and writing a full-length script or writing all your projects, whether it be ten pages or 90 pages. Write those into your script. Excuse me, I would suggest that anybody do that if you’re writing.

Screenwriting basics guideIf you want to do shooting scripts or spec scripts i would suggest, especially for you guys doing shooting scripts, i would suggest that eventually you get used to writing scripts. Whether it’s a 10 page, five page to page 90 page. I would suggest that you get used to the mechanics of writing scripts that are good.

It helps you to kind of visualize what you want to do, but to get started, by no means let the fact that you don’t know how to write script. So that you might not be good with grammar or spelling, by no means let that get in the way of you getting out there and shooting.

That’s the most important thing. That’s the whole overall tone of the Maverick moviemaking – simplicity and getting out there and doing it no matter what your resources are. In the maverick store at you can find all kinds of information, all kinds of books on screenwriting, all kinds of software on screenwriting.

Make sure you check those out. If you don’t feel like you want to shell out the money to buy the script writing program right now, go to the screenwriting block. There’s a link to it right here and you’ll see a template that I first use when i first started that i created.

Feel free to download that and use it to your heart’s content to write scripts. So until next time, thank you very much. Thanks for watching. Please subscribe and go to my every movie making at

Basic Screenplay Format – Screenplay Writing Basics

You just came up with an awesome story that you want to turn into a film. What do you do? Now it’s time we get that written on paper, that very script. Welcome to the film on. This episode is brought to you by premium beat cop, by an exclusive production music for your next film.

A script or screenplay is the backbone of your film. It is the blueprint you’ll follow when you plan to shoot and edit your movie. In the last episode we talked about story structure and character conflict and goal to craft a compelling plot. Now it’s time to put that into action and start drafting out a proper screenplay.

Basics of script writing explainedFirstly, let’s break down the elements of a screenplay using a page from our latest saw film backstage. A scene always starts with a scene heading. The scene heading is there to tell you the location, a time of day of the scene you’re about to read.

It always begins with ‘int’ or ‘ext’, signifying if the scene is inside or outside. Then a brief description of the location. For example, ‘locker room’. This is followed by the time of day. ‘Day’or ‘night’ are standard descriptions but if you plan on shooting in a certain lighting condition you can be more specific.

Such as ‘golden hour’ or ‘dawn’. Next you have action. This is why you place the narrative description of events inside the scene. This is the meat of the script, so in here you can describe characters, the events, the location and character interaction.

When a character is introduced for the first time their name should be in all caps. This is to clearly identify that this is a new character who we haven’t seen yet. After that you should use sentences with a capital letter at the beginning of their name.

Next up we have dialogue. it always starts with a character’s name at all caps in the center of the page and underneath it you have the written lines in sentence case. We won’t be getting into the nitty-gritty of margins, spacing and indents, because Final Draft, Celtx and other screenwriting programs basically do this for you, I’m not going to bore you with it.

Script writing basics tipsNext up we have parentheticals. These are seen a small descriptions placed between a character’s name and that dialogue inside parenthesis. They have multiple uses and all linked to the dialogue being performed. They can be used to indicate where a line is being outputted, such as from phone.

They can also be used if a line of dialogue needs to be performed in a specific way, such as sarcastically and they can be used when a character is addressing another specific character. In the scene such as – Bobby jazz ler you can some aims use parenthetic in replace of action, such as ‘takes off gloves’.

This should only be used if the action can be written with very few words and is delivered during that line, otherwise break from the dialogue and write it out as an action line. Parentheticals should be used sparingly and it’s common to see parentheticals unused in a script altogether.

If you don’t know whether to use them or not, I would say just leave them out. There are a few more intricate details to script writing but now we’ve got the basics down. What’s next. It’s time to start filling out the action.

If you have some brief notes from your beat sheet, such as ‘a bunch of wrestlers are getting ready for the fight’, you can now turn it into something more descriptive. Just remember to avoid anything that is unfilmable, and by this I mean anything you can’t capture on the screen.

Instead of writing the ‘locker room smells like a boys bedroom’, describe ‘dirty laundry in the corner’. Don’t describe anything which you can’t point a camera or microphone towards and don’t write anything that jumps into the role of another filmmaker.

If you start describing the character’s eye and hair color, you’re doing the job of the casting director. If you start describing all of the camera angles, you’re just taking over the cinematographer. Once you have a finished draft it doesn’t stop there.

A first draft is a good starting point but there is always room for improvement. We’ve got a bunch of videos on our channel on ways to improve your script writing. I’ve put a link to our writing playlist if you want to check them out and once you’ve written your first draft print it off.

Give it to someone to read it – you never know, they might notice something which you didn’t. If you liked this video, why not subscribe? We make film-making videos every Tuesday and every Sunday. Thanks to premium beat for providing the music we used in this episode.

We’d recommend you check them out whenever you need a great track for your film. Visit that royalty-free library to see what we mean. We’ve added the link in the description below. If you want to check out our latest film Backstage, it’s up on screen now. I’ve been Richard Scott, thank you for watching the film. Good luck and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.