- INT. or EXT. Short for Interior and Exterior, this tells the production crew whether or not they'll be shooting on a sound stage or on location.
- Location. Where the scene takes place. Like LIVING ROOM or BASKETBALL COURT or CANTEEN.
- Time. Usually just DAY or NIGHT but can be MORNING, EVENING or as specific as 5:30 A.M., 9:00 P.M etc.
- As students go to class, the sound of the cyclotron spills out of the science center onto the grounds of Empire State University. We see PETER PARKER, a pleasant faced senior who's among the top in his class. Sincere and serious, he has yet to develop a way with women.
(frowns as he walks off)
- Remember that if you really want to finish your screenplay, make a schedule & stick to it. Only when you have completed the first draft of your screenplay does your journey begin. Up until that moment, everything is still just a fantasy, but when you print out that first draft, you have done it. It's tangible.
- You also know that today’s moviegoers expect to be visually engaged with breathtaking visuals, grand music, sound effects, visual effects and dynamic dialogues. And because you have the whole thing in your head, there's a tendency to try and stuff it all in – every single detail. Don’t write too many descriptions. You can get away with that in a novel, but not with a screenplay. A scene can be just one sentence, half a page or even four pages. Try your best to keep the dialogues crisp and descriptions brief. If you are not sure about the importance of a scene in the story, delete it. Even if you love it, even if it’s funny or witty or clever, if it doesn’t move the story forward or reveal some essential information about the character, destroy it. In a properly formatted screenplay, every page counts to one minute of screen time. If your script is 120 pages, the movie will run for approximately 120 minutes. This is certainly not accurate for all screenplays. It is just a scale for good structuring.
- Now, just because you complete a screenplay, however, doesn't necessarily mean you have executed quality writing. Your first draft will probably be quite bad, embarrassing even, but that's because it takes ten years to have overnight success and a lifetime to become a master craftsman. Writing itself is what teaches writing. Write again. Make another draft, and another, until you are confident.
- When you are finally confident about a particular draft, you have what it takes to hit the road to success. All the very best.