Script vs. Screenplay?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnE, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    I'm just sitting here thinking to myself, I really don't know what the difference between the two of them are! So if someone not quite so ignorant[​IMG] would be good enough to tell me I'd be grateful. Thanks.
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Many use these two terms interchangeably.

    One distinction that some have made is that a ‘script’ mostly contains dialogue, while a screenplay contains a lot of information about camera shots.

    For example a screenplay will utilize the term ‘cut to’ and ‘fade to black’, and contain fairly elaborate descriptions of scenery and character descriptions. Scripts (think of a play) will have stage directions, but they are much more limited than a screenplay. And the descriptions are along the lines of ‘exterior of a castle’. A screenplay might describe the castle in some detail, and might read, ‘long shot of castle, which is silhouetted against a dark sky. Cut to medium shot of lowered drawbridge and raised porticullis. Dolly in, across drawbridge to castle interior that contains …’
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Also, John, the rule of thumb for a screenplay is about 1 page per minute of finished film time. So if think about the amount of dialogue in a typical action picture, you can see that there have to be a lot of descriptions of physical items (such as movement of actors, car chases, explosions, etc.).

    If you are interested in this, you might like to read William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade, which contains the full screenplay (or script) of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  5. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Lew. Just so I'm clear though, someone like Quentin Tarantino would be considered a script writer? And another question, does a movie need have both a screenplay and a script? Again thanks. I'm not sure why I never really questioned this before.
     
  6. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    A script is a general term; it can be for a stage play, a motion picture, or a television show. A screenplay is specifically a script for a film. And a teleplay, for example, is specfically a script for a television production.

    DJ
     
  7. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    I may be way off, but I always figured a script becomes a screenplay after the movie's been released. [​IMG]
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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