Screenplay formatting requires that screenplays are written in a particular pattern. A screenplay, unlike a book or a script, is visual. It is something that can be seen. This explains why books tend to be different after being produced as movies.


Screenplay Formatting Tips To Be Taken Note Of When Writing Screenplays Include:


–  The screenplay must be written out in Courier font and the font size must be 12.

–  The top, bottom and right hand margins should all be set at 1 inch while the left margin should be set at 1 ½ inches.

–  Page numbers should be aligned to the right side at the top of the page, with a header top margin of ½ inch.

–  There should be no page numbering on the first page, it should begin from the second page.

–  Each script must begin with the words ‘FADE IN’, typed in capital letters and at the left margin of the page.


Every scene must begin with a ‘Scene Heading’. This implies that a scene should have a heading at any point the characters move to a new location.


Screenplay Formatting For Scene Involves Five Major Factors, They Are:


– Location – where is the scene taking place?

– Time – the time the scene is taking place should be made known e.g. the date and time of the day

– Reason – what is the purpose of the scene?

– Characters – each character in the scene should be defined

– Situation – what is taking place?


The term ‘INT’ should be used to show an interior scene while the term ‘EXT’ should be used to show an exterior scene. You are also to write a brief account of the scene location and the time it is taking place.


Screenplay Formatting rules for Narration:


– Each block of narration should be about 4 to 5 lines

– Each narration is to begin on the left margin.

– Narrations must always be done in present tense

– Descriptions should not be too comprehensive.


Screenplay Formatting For the First Block of Narration:


–          Your narration should be descriptive to an extent in this first block and should be more detailed than you would do in other parts of the film.

–          If your main characters are in the opening scene, then you should briefly give a physical description of them.


Screenplay Formatting Rules for Dialogue


–          There must be a 2 inches indentation.

–          The name of the character that is to speak should be listed.

–          Move to the next line and make an indentation of 1 inch.

–          Dialogues should all not be more than 3 ½ inches in length on a single line and they should all be left aligned with an indentation of 1 inch.



The first five pages of the screenplay are known as ‘the hook’. This is the part that arouses the interest of the viewers and it makes them desire to keep watching the movie. That makes this part of the screenplay very important. Before you begin work on your screenplay, you must ensure that you get all the plot points ready, you should know who your characters are and you should know how the whole story is to end.