Screen Writing

The biggest rule of screenplay writing is that if you cannot see it do not put it in the script. A screenplay is a blueprint for the screen and if you cannot visually describe what you are writing in the script then there is no way for the director or actor to create it visually. A common mistake is to put the character's thoughts in the action lines. How can we see his or her thoughts? "Show, do not tell" is another great rule regarding what to include in a script.

Format

  • Page numbers on the top right of every page
  • ALL CAPS for the first introduction of a character in the scene description only - By putting the character name in all caps only at the first introduction, the reader will  know that when the character appears later and is not in all caps that we have already been introduced to him/her.
  • Translate any language other than English in the screenplay -  put a note in the beginning of the script that the entire script will be in Afrikaans or Zulu and then have English as the dialogue spoken for the reader.

Tips to improve screen writing

  • Read your favorite movies' screenplays - the more often you delve into the actual blueprint of a movie, the more adept you will become at being able to interrogate the structure of your own screenplays
  • Avoid reading transcripts read the original script so you can see what the film looked like on the page before getting made.

Additional Resources

  • To view our script editors database, click here
  • If you are looking for screenplays to read through, visit one of the websites listed below. 

Click on the relevant link below

Screenplay Websites

 

 




National Film and Video Foundation, Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market Competition
The National Film and Video Foundation hosts the South African pavilion at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival
CALL FOR AUDIT COMMITTEE MEMBERS
National Film and Video Foundation Call for raising and securing sponsorship for the 12th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs).
Ecrans Noir, a film festival in Cameroon