Part 2 in the Microlearning Video on a Shoestring series, an examination of how to format a video script, the four key elements you will likely need, and the importance of format (especially for dialogue, anything read aloud by actors or voice over talent) to know how your video will progress when created.
I advocate using the standard screenplay format. Written properly, one page of screenplay represents approximately one minute of finished video.
Begin by setting margins to 1.5″ on the left and 1″ on the right. FONT is always COURIER 12pt.
The four key elements of the screenplay that should be part of microlearning video scripts:
- Scene heading
INT. for interior, EXT. for exterior; followed by a unique identifier of the location; followed by time of day (DAY or NIGHT; others such as DUSK or DAWN may be used);
ALL CAPS, left-aligned with 0″ indentation from left margin.
Action further describes the scene, what’s happening in the scent, introduces characters, describes their actions, etc. When a character is first introduced, his or her NAME is put in CAPS.
Action is written in the present tense as you would see the action taking place. It can span the full space between the margins and uses complete sentences. This is extremely helpful to visualize the final product.
- Character name
Names the character who is to deliver the dialogue that follows; it’s indented 2″ from the left margin and can run to the right margin.
These are the actual lines delivered by each character. There are no space between the character name line and dialogue lines.
Dialogue is indented 1″ from the left margin and 1-1/2″ from the right margin, resulting in a column 3-1/2″ wide down the middle of the page.
There are many other elements of screenplay formatting that you can use in your video scripts, but I see these as the four you absolutely need for scripting short videos. For more information, please see other information available on the Internet. This is one that I like:
- How to Write a Screenplay: Script Example & Screenwriting Tips, from the Writer’s Store
This work by Tom Spiglanin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at tom.spiglanin.com.