Screenwriting: Activity 2

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Formatting the Script

The rules for screenwriting extend to the format in which the script is prepared. The script section on the activity sheet provides a good example for your students to follow (parts of it have been abridged for space). For a more detailed discussion of proper script format, you might want to review the discussion on screenplay format thatis included in the Nicholl Fellowships section.

Be sure to note that "shooting scripts" (the scripts you are most likely to find at the library) are not the same as the scripts that screenwriters prepare. These scripts—known as submission scripts, sales scripts, or first-draft scripts—do not include scene numbers and designate few, if any, camera shots.

Before your students begin to work on their scripts, you might want to give them some practice in writing visually. Give your students a situation-for example, two members of the homecoming court show up for the game in the same dress, or the star forward on the basketball team does laundry for the first time and ends up with a pink jersey. Ask each student to "script" the situation. Then, have your students take turns explaining the approaches they took.

Note: If your students have access to computers, encourage them to set up their scripts according to the model provided. If computers are not available, students can approximate the format as they write by hand.

Supplementary Activity:

Have students complete their scripts and hold a "screenwriter's showcase" where each young writer has a chance to discuss his or her script with classmates.


Screenwriting: The Language of Film

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Complete Screenwriting Activities Guide (PDF)

Activity 1: Structuring a Screenplay

Activity 2: Formatting the Script

Activity 3: Developing a Screenplay from a Book

Activity 4: Learning from the Winners

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