The Worlds of R. A. Hortz
The Hollywood Standard
The Hollywood Standard
The Complete & Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style
By Christopher Riley
Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2005
Reviewed by Auggie Moore - Posted October 21, 2012
First impressions do matter, when it comes to scripts. No matter how good your script is, odds are that no one will ever read it if you do not follow standard formatting techniques, if it is poorly printed, or in any manner does not have a professional look about it. Until now, however, there has not been an authoritative guide to how to properly format and submit a script. With the publication of Christopher Riley's The Hollywood Standard -
The Complete & Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style this oversight has at long last been corrected.
In The Hollywood Standard, Riley not only presents a concise and detailed overview of how to properly format a script, but he also explains why such formatting is necessary. Most important, this book is chock full of examples of proper formatting techniques - as well as tips on common mistakes and how to avoid them. As important, he explains how to arrange the extra information that you need to include in the script, such as sound effects, fade ins, and shot headings. Riley also provides guidance on the types of information that you should include in the script, and what you should leave out.
The text is divided into thematic sections including:
In addition to the basic text, sample script pages are included, as well as samples of title, cast, and set pages. While he acknowledges the importance of following a standardized formatting style, he also acknowledges that there is some room for individuality and creativity in the formatting process. In The Hollywood Standard he points out where you might get away with using nonstandard formatting techniques, and where such deviations from the norm might doom your script.
- Single-Camera Film Format
- Shot Headings
- From First Draft to Production Draft
- Special Pages
- Multi-Camera Film Format
- Tools of the Screenwriting Trade
This is not a book on how to write a screenplay - it is assumed that you already know how to do that. What this book is, is a handy, indispensable guide on how to properly format your script in a professional manner. While properly formatting your script will not sell a bad script, not formatting your script in an acceptable manner may kill an otherwise outstanding product.
Written in a readable and cheery style, The Hollywood Standard neatly outlines how to format your script and provides insights on a range of topics from how to set up a POV shot to how to format revised pages. Riley, a script proofreader and screenwriter, has written the most authoritative book on script formatting yet written. If you ever had any questions on how to properly format a script, from how to set your margins to how to punctuate dialogue - this book is for you. The Hollywood Standard provides you with all the information that you'll need to format your script, and it is sure to become the bible of script formatting. It is undeniably a must have for both novice screenwriters and seasoned pros.
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