Screenwriting : The differences in screenplays by Lisa Vandiver

Lisa Vandiver

The differences in screenplays

What are the differences in screenplays that are pitched, and a screenplay that are in production stages? I know the one that script writers pitch are not as detailed as the script in production, am I correct?

Richard Toscan

Screenplays available for downloading from the Web roughly come in two varieties: "draft" and "shooting script". Drafts are closer to what screenwriters actually wrote before directors got their fingers all over those pages. You can spot these quickly because they'll have no shot numbers running down the left margin. These draft scripts are all about telling the story through visual images with enough dialogue to fill in the cracks. Shooting scripts are directors' tools, created from draft scripts as a blueprint to shooting the film. These are the scripts that have shot numbers running down the left margin. Nobody in this business approaches producers, agents, or anyone else with a shooting script. Here's a source for free downloads of screenplays that indicates whether you'll be seeing a draft or a shooting script:

Lisa Vandiver

Thanks, Richard, George, and everyone, for your helpful information. I've been hearing that Independent Authors are having their books picked up from time to time for productions, so I decided perhaps I should learn all I can about this side of writing. And, Lisa, sorry for the slaughtering of the lingo. ;( And John, yes, I'm sure you are right on the fact that getting picked up is highly unlikely, but, I am having fun learning and reading all about the process.

Lisa Vandiver

Well stated. Thank you.

Laurie Ashbourne

When a script is picked up for the purpose of production it gets broken down on many different facets that is much more than scene numbers and capitalization. First out of the gate is for budgetary calculations. Then if it is greenlit, the director and DP will make further adjustments and then the table reads will generate even more before it can then once again be broken down into a shooting script by a line producer or script supervisor - ideally. As a writer, you should be aware of this but your script is all about the read that will sell it.

Lisa Vandiver

Thank you.

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