View Full Version : Act I - tv script

08-22-2004, 04:49 PM
Which is the proper way to do the following? I’ve seen it done both ways.

Scene A
Scene B
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp
Scene A
Scene B


Scene A
Scene B

Scene C
Scene D

“Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship." -- Sharon Stone

TwoBrad Bradley
08-22-2004, 05:21 PM
I have not seen it either way.

It's not necessary to label (number, sequence) acts or scenes in a screenplay..

08-22-2004, 05:33 PM

It appears you may be attempting to label "sequences"

A common structure narrative might be

Act One 2 sequences
Act Two 4 sequences
Act Three 2 sequences

Sequences do not need be numbered as said, but are a common method of grouping inter-related scenes that have a beginning, middle, and end.

Or maybe that' s not what you are talking about at all

08-22-2004, 06:36 PM
Yes, I am referencing to sequences. I’ve never numbered anything before but in looking at the ‘Bravo contest sample script’, it prints the sequence letters. So I was trying to get as closely to their example as possible (beat) or not?

“Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship." -- Sharon Stone

08-22-2004, 09:39 PM

Go to Oscars.org, click on Nicholl Fellowship, go to screenplay sample.

Numbering scenes isn't recommended. It explains in the script what to do and not to do. It's quite amusing. Give it a try.


or whatever is sufficient enough to show change.


08-22-2004, 10:10 PM
Lisa - it sounds like you're talking about structure for a 1/2 hour tv show, which is what I believe the Bravo contest is for.

Some three camera sitcom shooting scripts will label their A plots and B plots throughout the script. Single camera shows read like feature scripts.

It's just a tool.. Whatever works for you is right.
Edited to include: I just looked at the sample pages. Above them it says "If you've never written in script format before..." so I wouldn't worry about following what they did exactly. It's just a guide.

08-22-2004, 10:42 PM
Good question, Lisa.

I've wondered the same thing myself.

Reckon we need to do a little more research, eh?


08-22-2004, 10:57 PM
I believe, because we're writing a "pilot," we have some lee-way with the

Act 1
Scene A

format. What's posted on Bravo, as was stated earlier, is posted merely as a guideline. (Read the rules to see that what they've actually posted as an example is NOTHING more than that.) We have free rein within reason. :)

Because we're "giving birth" to these sitcoms, I don't think there's really a standard, so long as we are consistent with what we do. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me.

Let's see what the pros that hang here have to say.


08-23-2004, 12:00 AM
I think of my stories in sects of three ten page sequences per 30 pages.

Thinking of each sect as a smaller BEG, MIDDLE, or END of the grander BEG, MIDDLE, and END.

It guarantees a forward movement to the story which is essential to any executed story.

08-23-2004, 09:16 AM
Here's what I remember from my sitcom-writing days.

Keep going up through the alphabet with your scene lettering. Don't repeat the same letters in Act II. To reduce confusion, sitcoms skip the letter O and the letter I.

08-23-2004, 10:01 AM
Just chiming in ... The original post is obviously referring to half-hour TV format like on a sitcom.

The scenes are lettered A, B, C, etc., and do not start over with the second act.

It's interesting what Joan said about not using 'I' and 'O'. I had never heard that, but it makes some sense (for avoiding confusion of 'I' with scene 'One', and 'O' with scene 'Zero'!) But it still bothers the heck out of me that they would not be used. :b

There are some other formatting differences for this half-hour format, like double-spacing the dialogue. Check out the various formatting guides.

08-23-2004, 05:28 PM
The BBC in the UK has some produced sitcom scripts online. They're here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/script_archive.shtml).

They also talk (http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/insight_bbcexperts_tracey.shtml) to producers, writers, etc. about their experience and advice. Even 'our' Bill Martell is on there (of course, he's listed as William Martell :) - this is the BBC).


08-23-2004, 07:56 PM
There’s so much to read in the Bravo guidelines that I can’t accurately quote them, but I remember reading that script format will be graded. Why they would post a bad sample is beyond me, but I’m glad I know the right people on DD to get me the answers.

Of course now when my husband brings up the dreaded question, “Lisa why didn’t you win this contest?” I won’t be able to tell him, “It must have been my format.”

“Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship." -- Sharon Stone