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tiberiansun 12-30-2017 01:08 AM

Basic Formatting Question
Hey everyone, I'm new to screenwriting and I had a question about how you would format someone's action into a paragraph. Like for the example below:

So basically you'll just rotate between those two stands every fifteen minutes, and head up to the slide every hour.

If I wanted to show that he gestured to the slide as he said "up to the slide" how would I best format that? Just italics directly in between the words? An action on the side?

Thanks for reading/helping,

Quality 12-30-2017 02:57 AM

You would have to make a new action sequence stating Ross points/gestures at the slide. Then you would continue with a second dialogue.

So basically you'll just rotate between those two stands every fifteen minutes.

Ross points at the slide.

And head up to the slide every hour.

jax_rox 12-30-2017 03:37 AM

If gesturing to the slide isn't vital to the story, I'd remove it.

mlesemann 12-30-2017 09:55 AM

Yes, remove it unless it is essential to telling the story.

That is the type of thing (movement, facial expression, etc) that is determined by the actor and director.

Quality 12-30-2017 10:04 AM

On set, the director can be creative and say "When you say that line, point." Or you can write your own personal jottings about the script, as a reminder and recommend it to the director. Most directors work hand in hand with the crew. Especially the screenwriter and cinematographer.

directorik 12-30-2017 12:50 PM

Quality is correct. His example is the proper way to format this.

However, I'm with jax and mlesemann; there is not real need to write
every gesture in your screenplay. Unless it's something that will affect
the scene. For example Ross is being duplicitous; when he talks about
“those two stands” he gestures towards the wrong two stands.

I understand that as the writer you want to direct the actors on the page.
I suggest you do everything in your power to avoid doing that.

Welcome to indietalk Micah!

indietalk 12-30-2017 03:09 PM


And good advice above by all!

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