The BBC Writer’s Room  contains scripts & examples of Production scripts. A great site to wander and lots of things to download. Don’t worry if certain things are different in format approaches, every studio & production house will have a slightly different version of the ‘how to” – the more we read, the more we discover what matches our own approach & communicates to the reader what we intend.


Here’s another dandy site:...…Diane House  has a  useful overview of the Television Script Format:

More Stuff Works !

Everything stems from our understanding of what a scene is. For now, let's use a slugline whenever we have a new scene.

A SCENE is a Continuous Unit of Time & Space. So, if we change location - it's a new scene & will need its own Slug-line or Slug-line-Equivalent.

If we jump Time into the past, we'll be in a new scene. If we jump ahead in time, we'll be in a new scene.

Therefore, every time, in a script that we see a Slug-line approaching - it means there's a new scene approaching. 

We no longer need to say "Start of Scene" or "End of Scene" Sluglines tell us that from a mile away.

Here's an example of our first Slug-line.



Easy to spot - they're usually in ALL-CAPS, and present the introduction to each scene.

Here's the main things about the slugline/scene heading:

It tells us that we're entering a new scene. And then it tells us if we're indoors or outdoors; where we are & if it's day or night. Here are the components that make up a SLUGLINE:

1: INTERIOR or EXTERIOR. Are we outside or are we indoors? The abbreviations used in scripts are:

INT. or EXT.

2: The specific location. Where we are.

Simple - again in ALL-CAPS, as is the whole SLUGLINE. It tells us where we are.

Rather than using a general description, scripts need us to be precise; we tend not to use INT. HOUSE, as it's far too general - doesn't tell a reader where to imagine; doesn't tell a director where to place her camera.

So, we'll use: INT. HALLWAY, 



 INT. BEDROOM & so on to tell the reader where we are.

And, finally in the SLUGLINE we have a simple division of DAY and NIGHT.

Some formats will be very specific and use AFTERNOON, MORNING, TWILIGHT & so on. However, I like to start with the basic division of DAY or NIGHT. 

You can always, in the ACTION DESCRIPTION, tell the reader what time it is in of DAY or NIGHT, and that gives you something vital to describe right away. Here's the pattern of the SLUGLINE:



notice that it's fine to use just HOUSE in a slugline when we're outside. Same is true of STREET & PARK & DOWNTOWN, and so on. We can get more specific - but only when required.

As I write this I'm in an apartment, the Living Room area... so, rather than...


I'd go to the more precise:


If I go out on the Balcony, I'd be writing in:


& so on.

Once you're in a big location, such as an Apartment, you can also use sub-sets of this area. When you go to a new location in the APT 

you use a brief form of the sluglines.


Let's have a walk around the apartment...


As we walk through this, we realize there's a hallway leading to a dark set of stairs...


Leading downward...


Well, you can imagine what may be seen in the Basement!

The Slugline rapidly becomes your friend when setting the idea of your film into the mind of the reader. 

As well, the SLUGLINE is the Key to production.

Here I'll shift into a pragmatist's view of the script.

I notice in many transcribed or beginner's scripts an attempt to hide SLUGLINES; to make a film script start to resemble a book, or a poem. This, of course, is a by-product of so many screenwriters being shunted into and through an academic system.  

A script is NOT a literary document . Rather, film and video will access a process of group writing - we are a part of that.  What is most useful in this art-form is to use the format, embrace it, and work as if we're actually writing with objects and action.

Our age is an age of cinematic literacy...we do not need to go to gatekeepers or experts...we seek knowledgeable production. 

We live inside a dream, & in that dream we create.

 So, our scripts need to do a very simple thing - to capture our visions in such a way that our video is communicated to our co-creators.