Screenwriting : Names by Roberto Dragonne

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Roberto Dragonne


I've seen scripts in which the names of the characters are always in capital letters (I don't mean on the dialogue part, but on the description of the scenes); others use the capital letters only when the character appears for the first time. Is there a rule for this?

Sadie Dean

The standards is you only use all caps when introducing a character in a screenplay. Some writers take creative liberties and change things up. Did you read this in a produced screenplay?

Dan Guardino

Always ALL CAP a character's name when they first appear on FILM. Don’t all cap their name You don’t ALL CAP their name if it appears before the character is seen on screen. Don’t ALL CAP extras in your screenplay.

Roberto Dragonne

I think I read this on a sample online, but I'm not sure if it was produced. Thanks for your answer.

Regina Lee

There are different standards in different countries. :-)

Danny Manus

ive seen it both ways. personally, i think it gets distracting to cap every character everytime. Usually just when introduced. But you should also cap any extras or background roles in the scene. For instance, RUNNERS in the park pass by.

Dan Guardino

Danny. What you are saying about all capping extras is true but only if they must hire someone to play the role. Since all capping is done for production purposes you would not have to all cap any characters that you do not have to cast.

Roberto Dragonne

Thank you Sadie, Regina, Danny and Dan, very interesting points and advises.

Danny Manus

Dan, i like to cap any character even if not casted just bc they still are there in the scene. Yes, most capping is for production or voice but even if random people are passing in the street, i usually cap that bc theyre in the scene.

William Martell

Once they are introduced it's only polite for them to take off their caps...

Dan Guardino

Danny. I was taught you don't but I don't remember where I learned that so maybe the person that told me was full of it. As you know 90 percent of the people in this business are full of it and the other 10 percent are half full of it. lol.

John Serafinko

I think I learned the same modality as William. Once the "limited use" character is introduced with CAPS, for the rest of the work caps is usually not used.

Tivoli Silas

Thank you for asking this, Roberto. I was wondering the same thing since I've seen it both ways.

Roberto Dragonne

Yes Tivoli, this can be confusing. Thanks to all for your answers.

Shawn Speake

Instead of studying random scripts online, pick up a SCREENWRITERS BIBLE.

Dan Guardino

I agree with Shawn. Even if you what to read scripts you need to know what you do and don't do when writing spec screenplays because they are different than a production script.

Roberto Dragonne

You're right Shawn, thank you!

Patricia Hickman

I was scrolling down to share Screenwriters Bible, but Shawn is faster at the draw. It's my go-go. Robert McKee's Story addresses structure, style, etc. I have used both books in storying for my novels too!

Roberto Dragonne

Great Patricia, thank you!

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