Have you ever considered using a screenplay template? They’re simple to work with, and if you play your cards right, they’re free too. There’s a wide range of choice for sale online, but be careful what format you elect to go for.
Writing a screenplay is hard enough as it is. The last thing that you want to be bothered about is whether or not you have formatted the document correctly. It is far better to devote 100% of your effort into the actual writing, and that’s exactly what a screenplay template is designed to do for you; take away the worry and management of the formatting, leaving you free to get those creative juices flowing freely.
There are alls sort of different templates out there that you can buy and all vary as to what they include in their packages. I guess it all comes down to individual taste in what you expect your screenplay template to do for you. As a screenwriter you will be aware that there are certain protocols that have to be observed in your final presentation. But the basic protocols are pretty simple to remember; things like the formatting of the pages: left hand page margin, right hand margin, font style, print height; if you can’t absorb these simple basics, and work within their constraints, you haven’t got much hope of making the grade.
But some templates are actually quite sophisticated tools, and I’m all in for a little sophistication. One of the key attractions of a good screenplay template is how much time it can save you, especially when it comes to amending things as we all have to from time to time. Things like keeping a check on your characters and which pages they feature on, indexing the screenplay to make finding things easier to find and therefore quicker to modify. All this can make our screenplay writing work that much easier, so why shouldn’t you take advantage of it if it’s there?
But be careful not to go too far; it can work against you. Good screenwriters must understand camera protocol and know how to impart camera direction. But for screenplays that you are offering up for first reading, (the spec script), you mustn’t encroach on the future director’s territory. That is exactly how it will be viewed if you were load your spec script with camera direction. It won’t do you any favors – just the opposite.
As far as a screenplay template for helping to format your spec scripts, you need to limit your content, (presented in acknowledged screenplay protocols of course), to scene headings, narrative descriptions and dialogue blocks, all in what is commonly referred to as master scene format. Remember that your spec script is a selling script. It just needs to get the story across and inspire the reader with how it will look on screen.
Now is a great time to get into screenplay writing. The pendulum has started to swing away from the big Hollywood productions, and with more and more independents coming onto the scene, the demand for exciting and diverse new screenplays has never been greater. So now is the time to be writing like the clappers, and if a screenplay template will help to speed that process up for you, then don’t hesitate; hurry up and choose the right one for the job in hand.