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Example taken from Pen Densham’s ‘Riding the Alligator’ website

I wasn’t entirely knowledgeable in the ‘art’ of proper scriptwriting. I knew nothing about the format required, the technical lingo involved, or the programs available for use to make everything easier. When I wrote scripts for drama class they were much more simpler because of my ignorance of the formatting of scripts. My scripts usually consisted of a character’s name followed by what they were supposed to say or what action they had to perform (i.e. ‘Francis: I wonder what’s for lunch.’) They weren’t eloquently written, in fact, my scripts left out a majority of the actions required by the actors during the scene and focused mostly on their lines.

Scriptwriting is obviously much more than that. Of course, now I need to learn to write in the proper format and it’ll take some getting used to but I’m glad I’ll finally use the same format as all the other great screenplay writers. Adding all the necessary details about the setting, transitions, sound effects, etc. really allow you to visualize exactly what is happening in the scene. If there were no proper format for scripts then it’d be confusing and hard to encompass the writer’s vision for the scene and transition that to real life. It wouldn’t just be directors or actors stressed out by the lack of proper formatting; location scouts, cameramen, editors… The entire cast and crew would be saddled with extra burdens. Proper format exists so that everything goes smoothly and I wish I had learned it sooner.