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English 112/212 - SCREENWRITING - Schilf

Film/Cinema Screenplay Format

Just creating amazing characters in a memorable world who are struggling to obtain a goal(s) and writing the story with an original voice still isn’t enough to start a screenplay. A novel, maybe, but not a script.

The prose writer has freedom to use anything, go anywhere, use any tense, and explore any point of view. The screenwriter, however, is bound by form - not formula. 

Screenplays have a very specific form, and if you ignore that form, it will not serve you, your story, or your audience, and it will definitely not help your screenplay.

Free Format Applications

Script Page From "Chinatown"

This example page comes from director Roman Polanski's classic 1974 film Chinatown. The page highlights the climatic reversal scene between Gittes and Evelyn in the Third Act.

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