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Old 11-10-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
Bossman214
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Screenwriting format questions

Hi. I AM EXCITED TO BE HERE!

I am new here and working a number of great screenplays. I am using Final Draft but still have formatting questions. My first is - I am opening my script with a black screen with dialog (radio station) underneath. Silence abruptly starts and we open on a home exterior. Presently I have this description in all caps and am breaking out the dialog between the 3 anonymous radio personalities.

Should a description like this be in all caps. Every answer makes me a little smarter and a little closer to my Oscar. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2017, 02:40 PM   #2
stevencwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman214 View Post
Hi. I AM EXCITED TO BE HERE!

I am new here and working a number of great screenplays. I am using Final Draft but still have formatting questions. My first is - I am opening my script with a black screen with dialog (radio station) underneath. Silence abruptly starts and we open on a home exterior. Presently I have this description in all caps and am breaking out the dialog between the 3 anonymous radio personalities.

Should a description like this be in all caps. Every answer makes me a little smarter and a little closer to my Oscar. Thanks!
FADE IN:

OVER BLACK

RADIO DJ
Blah blah blah blah blah blah

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:07 PM   #3
Quality
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It would make more sense if you fade out instead so the reader knows it's a black screen and then have the DJ do his broadcast within the black screen. I think that is how he wanted it done.
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Quality View Post
It would make more sense if you fade out instead so the reader knows it's a black screen and then have the DJ do his broadcast within the black screen. I think that is how he wanted it done.
Fade out is reserved for the end of a screenplay.
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:12 PM   #5
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So the transition should be black screen?
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:06 PM   #6
jax_rox
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Fade out does not make sense at the start of the script. OVER BLACK explains perfectly.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:19 PM   #7
Bossman214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevencwood View Post
FADE IN:

OVER BLACK

RADIO DJ
Blah blah blah blah blah blah

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Ahhh... That makes sense. Google Over Black. Now I know. Being a descriptive writer with a DP eye I am always wanting to describe. There is random banter from the DJ's then they speak to an occurrence. SO, I have this. Which prefaces the individual dialog. In screenwriting rules, is this correct?


(ALL CAPS)"The sound of early morning radio hosts chattering and laughing can be heard. The normal morning subjects and banter permeates the darkness and signifies that it is a new day - a day just like any other."

Character
Dialog.........

ABRUPTLY, ALL VOICES AND SOUNDS STOP LEAVING AN EERIE SILENCE

FADE-IN
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:24 PM   #8
indietalk
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stevencwood got it right.

I also believe you can OVER BLACK before you FADE IN:

OVER BLACK

RADIO DJ
Blah blah blah blah blah blah

FADE IN:

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:04 AM   #9
stevencwood
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Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
stevencwood got it right.

I also believe you can OVER BLACK before you FADE IN:

OVER BLACK

RADIO DJ
Blah blah blah blah blah blah

FADE IN:

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
That's right huh? What are you gonna do, fade into a black screen? START with "OVER BLACK" and go from there.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:16 PM   #10
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman214 View Post
Presently I have this description in all caps and am breaking out the dialog between the 3 anonymous radio personalities.

Should a description like this be in all caps.
No. The description should not be in all caps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman214 View Post
(ALL CAPS)"The sound of early morning radio hosts chattering and laughing can be heard. The normal morning subjects and banter permeates the darkness and signifies that it is a new day - a day just like any other."
This isn't necessary. There is an old adage “Show. Don't tell.” Since
what is heard is radio hosts talking it might be best to just write out
what they they are saying. Don't “tell” the reader what their banter
signifies, allow your dialogue to show it.

I know it's traditional to start every screenplay with “FADE IN:” so
much so that even if there is no fade in writers do it. As a transition
a “fade in” signifies going from black to an image. The "fade out"
goes from an image to black.
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