A screenplay, in its most basic form, is a 90–120 page document printed in Courier 12pt type on 8 1/2" × 11" brilliant white three-hole punched paper. One script page formatted in Courier type equals around one minute of screen time. Each subsequent page is also formatted as a single screen shot.
There are two main types of screenplays: a "writer's draft" and a "final draft". A writer's draft does not require any further editing after it has been written; it is considered finished. A final draft requires additional writing before it can be considered complete.
The first screenwriting software was released in 1984 by filmmaker Michael Wadleigh; it was called "Screenplay". Since then, many other programs have emerged, some free and some requiring a fee. The majority of software tools used by screenwriters produce a final draft that can be submitted to producers or studios.
The typical screenplay contains these elements:
Title Page - includes title of movie, name of writer, production companies, etc.
Contents - list of chapters with page numbers
Introduction - describes the story's setting and context for the reader
Characters - list of names and descriptions of characters
As a result, the typical page count of a screenplay should be between 90 and 120 pages. These days, with computer technology advancing at such a rapid rate, it's possible to write a screenplay using word processing software instead of using a standard typewriter. However, this comes at a cost: many screenwriters complain that writing a screenplay by hand allows them to think about their story more thoroughly.
The first thing you need to know about how scripts are written is that there is no single right way to do it. Any method will work as long as you keep writing and refining your script until it's done.
Because movies are made up of scenes that have different lengths, it's important to understand that scripts must be drafted in sections. A script section is simply a portion that can be read in one sitting. A typical script section might be a scene containing around six to eight paragraphs. Writing scripts in sections makes it easier to edit because you don't have to worry about breaking down large blocks of text into smaller pieces before you can review or revise them.
There are two main types of script sections: beginning story points and ending story points. Beginning story points are used to introduce all the characters and settings quickly without getting bogged down in detail.
Courier 12-point typeface is used to write screenplays. This is primarily due to time. In Courier 12, one script page equals around one minute of screen time. Style your script components. Script pages should be clear and easy to follow.
A screenplay is a series of scenes that tell a story from start to finish. The scene is the basic writing unit in playwriting and film writing. It is the smallest component of any work of fiction, including comics. A scene may have a beginning, middle, and end. It may consist of a single sentence or paragraph, or it may be a full chapter. As with many other forms of creative writing, there are no limits to how long a scene can be or what it can contain. However, most scripts are not published in their entirety; instead, they are divided into sections called acts.
The first act opens up the script world and gives the reader a sense of where it will go. It should include a plot summary as well as some scenes that reveal aspects of the main characters' personalities. The second act builds on the story told in the first act. It includes more scenes and/or chapters that move the story forward. The third act concludes the script by bringing everything together in a big way. It can include any remaining scenes or not.