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Old 01-09-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
UneducatedFan
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Default Using BOLD in spec scripts

So I read the screenplay to "The Girl on the Train" and it extensively uses BOLD within it.

It bolds all scene headers. It also bolds multiple times intra-scene transitions as well as some action items.

Examples:

Action:
There’s a BANGING!

--She types “EVIE,” and then ENTER. A message POPS UP:
“PASSWORD INCORRECT.”

Anna tries again: “ANNA,” and presses ENTER. The same
“PASSWORD INCORRECT” message pops up.

Something occurs to Anna. She downs the remaining wine.

She takes a deep breath to calm her nerves, then...

...She types “RACHEL.” She hesitates a beat. She sighs, then
hits ENTER. This time, she’s relieved when she is met with
the “PASSWORD INCORRECT” message.


Scene headings:
INT. TOM AND ANNA’S FAMILY ROOM - LATER THAT DAY

INT. DR. KAMAL ABDIC’S OFFICE - THE NEXT DAY

MEGAN’S MEMORY: Water seeps through the ceiling of a hunting
cabin as it rains outside. The much younger Megan is asleep
in the tub.

BACK IN DR. ABDIC’S HOUSE: Megan continues her story.

MEGAN’S MEMORY: Megan stirs awake in the tub.

BACK IN DR. ABDIC’S HOUSE: Megan breaks down.

And Titles:

CUT TO:
Title: 1 MONTH AGO


Character Intros:

INSERT iPAD SCREEN: A picture of Dr. Kamal Abdic.

In the living room stands a female cop, DETECTIVE RILEY, and
her partner, DETECTIVE GASKILL, both staring back at Rachel.

Inserts:

Detective Riley shows Rachel a PHOTO OF MEGAN.

BOLD is used all over the script.

I had always been warned against using BOLD and Italics.

Is it something that comes INTO play when a script is pushed to shooting/production status?
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:30 PM   #2
ClintW3
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts.

Trend now is to use bold scene headers, as I understand it.

Craig Mazin mentioned on podcast he uses bold scene headers.

I started doing it and it seems to pull the eye down the page faster.

Not sure that it makes a lot of difference.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts.

Bold sluglines is old school - something they did when they wrote screenplays on typewriters. Making a comeback.

I do it.

- Bill
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wcmartell View Post
Bold sluglines is old school - something they did when they wrote screenplays on typewriters. Making a comeback.

I do it.

- Bill
I do, too.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:59 AM   #5
TwoBrad Bradley
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
I do, too.
Then isn't there a tendency for the eye to jump forward?
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Just to get it out of the way, I will state that I can sign on for the use of bold Scene Headings, if you have a real hankering to do it. I do not personally want to do it, but I do not hate the practice, and who cares what I think anyway?

But as for scattering bold text and BOLD CAPS throughout the script, I would say no. All of this gets out of hand, and soon you have a real mess. You may have some times when it would be helpful, but I cannot think of any.
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:14 PM   #7
TheConnorNoden
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

I don't tend to do anything gimmicky in my scripts. No CAPS dotted throughout etc. That being said I just tried the bold scene headers thing and think I can get on board with it.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wcmartell View Post
Bold sluglines is old school - something they did when they wrote screenplays on typewriters. Making a comeback.

I do it.

- Bill
It's been a long time since I used a typewriter, but I don't remember bold type on a typewriter. Maybe some of the fancier ones - like an IBM Selectric - had it, but not the cheaper ones I used.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Y moi, también
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:02 PM   #10
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

I find excessive use of bold in screenplays is rarely as interesting or useful as the writer thinks it's going to be. Ditto underline or all-caps. The occasional use can be helpful or interesting.

Too much and it feels like the writer is trying to force intensity or excitement that isn't in the words themselves.

I bold sluglines myself - I like the way they break up the page - but beyond that I'm very parsimonious with that kind of stuff. I might all-cap a dozen words in a script, and underline a few more, and I don' use bold for emphasis, myself.

But YMMV.
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