Writing character names always in ALL-CAPS

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Writing character names always in ALL-CAPS

    i just read A Quiet Place. A very good script, with an unconventional style. Every single character is *always* in ALL-CAPS. Not just when they are introduced.

    What do you think about that? Is it acceptable?

    It didn't bother me at all when reading the script, but did it annoy others?

    The script is also extremely heavy with ellipsis. Surely it will raise a flag with some people. I felt it was overdone at times.

  • #2
    Well, Paramount bought the script so . . .

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tuukka View Post
      i just read A Quiet Place. A very good script, with an unconventional style. Every single character is *always* in ALL-CAPS. Not just when they are introduced.

      What do you think about that? Is it acceptable?

      It didn't bother me at all when reading the script, but did it annoy others?

      The script is also extremely heavy with ellipsis. Surely it will raise a flag with some people. I felt it was overdone at times.
      The spec that Beck and Woods wrote, the characters are definitely not always in all caps. Source: looking at it right now.

      Are you looking at a production draft? Anyway, you are fine just capping them the first time.

      Their use of ellipses are a stylistic choice. It works because they are good writers.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Satriales View Post
        Their use of ellipses are a stylistic choice. It works because they are good writers.
        Don't know how they used ellipses in that script, but I'm all for it. For my purposes, an ellipsis beats a (beat), a device which is beaten to death. In Action lines, an ellipsis is better, IMO. In any case, it's a personal choice of style for the story the writer wants to tell.
        Clint Hill
        Member
        Last edited by Clint Hill; 10-09-2021, 05:40 AM.
        “Nothing is what rocks dream about” ― Aristotle

        Comment


        • #5
          I looked again, the version I read on imSdb has capped names, I never noticed, it didn't bother me.
          Just One Scene contest
          Results posted!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
            I looked again, the version I read on imSdb has capped names, I never noticed, it didn't bother me.
            That's John Krasinski's draft after he took over from the writers as writer/director/star. It also has scene numbers, so it's a production draft of some sort -- not sure what stage though.

            The only Beck & Woods draft I've ever seen capitalizes the names only the first time the character is introduced, which I generally feel is the better way to go. (Though, they did integrate images in various places in the script. A whole different discussion.)

            Looking through Krasinski's draft, I see spots where the names blend in a bit too much with some of the capitalized descriptions. For me, doing that many caps on all the names diminishes the impact of the CAPS used for key moments, shots, etc. It's like the people who type in all caps on social media for every post. Using caps is more effective for "indicating" shots, sounds, etc. and making them really stand out. Don't wear them out, I'd suggest, but up to you.

            And as Satriales notes, they get away with stuff because they are good writers. Makes a big difference.
            Will
            Done Deal Pro
            www.donedealpro.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I only use all-caps when a character is first introduced and never for key action or sounds or props or wherever else how-to books dictate. It's personal preference.

              There is someone I work with who always sends long-winded emails and bolds parts they think are important. I find it annoying. They are assuming recipients don't have basic reading comprehension skills.

              I have the same response to over-use of all caps; I can read.

              Comment


              • #8
                My first spec or two, I did all the characters in ALL CAPS all the time because I was using Kevin Smith's CLERKS as a guide and he did that. Then I learned that's not how it's done. It doesn't really matter, but it's a one of the "rules" that makes sense and easy to follow. It literally easier for me to type Kevin than KEVIN 100 times in a script. Also I think it looks better to have less CAPS in a spec.



                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by zetiago View Post
                  I only use all-caps when a character is first introduced and never for key action or sounds or props or wherever else how-to books dictate. It's personal preference.

                  There is someone I work with who always sends long-winded emails and bolds parts they think are important. I find it annoying. They are assuming recipients don't have basic reading comprehension skills.

                  I have the same response to over-use of all caps; I can read.
                  The problem is that many execs can read but are often too lazy to do so.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Satriales View Post

                    The problem is that many execs can read but are often too lazy to do so.
                    The solution is to write a story that is so interesting and so well written they become absorbed in it and hang on your words..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tony Gilroy writes character names in all caps throughout his entire script.

                      It hasn't been my experience that execs have a problem with writer format choices. I image they are used to a lot of differences and as long as it's a good read and doesn't interfere with the story, and better if it makes the story clearer, they are fine with differences.

                      I use a lot of all caps in my action lines and no one has ever commented on the "style" of my writing except to say that they loved the writing. Did they mean it? Who knows. I suppose they have no reason to lie or to blow smoke up my a$$, but I honestly don't know.
                      "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
                      Hollywood producer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                        Tony Gilroy writes character names in all caps throughout his entire script.

                        It hasn't been my experience that execs have a problem with writer format choices. I image they are used to a lot of differences and as long as it's a good read and doesn't interfere with the story, and better if it makes the story clearer, they are fine with differences.

                        I use a lot of all caps in my action lines and no one has ever commented on the "style" of my writing except to say that they loved the writing. Did they mean it? Who knows. I suppose they have no reason to lie or to blow smoke up my a$$, but I honestly don't know.
                        Interesting, the only person I could think of off the top of my head was Dan Gilroy.

                        As for caps NOT using it for sounds or important objects/actions is way more of distraction than using them could ever be. I find it helpful.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Satriales View Post

                          Interesting, the only person I could think of off the top of my head was Dan Gilroy.

                          As for caps NOT using it for sounds or important objects/actions is way more of distraction than using them could ever be. I find it helpful.
                          Totally agree. And it is interesting that you thought of Dan Gilroy. I don't even know why I remembered Tony did it-- probably because his style is so stark to begin with.
                          "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
                          Hollywood producer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hmm ... So many opinions. On CAPS for characters, sounds, and objects.

                            My opinion is that capitals should have a compelling reason for being used. But before I proceed with my thoughts, I want to state, as I have in the past, that legislatures do not pass laws about these things and that the police do not appear at your door if you violate some prescription for what someone believes is the correct way to format a script. And, in view of the crap that I have seen in screenplays by successful screenwriters, I can conclude that format, grammar, spelling, and style play little or no role in how a script fares in the selection process. So chill out.

                            But, still, the whole issue of capitalization deserves comment. As I said, capitalization should have a good reason for its use.
                            • First Appearance of a Character
                            It has been traditional for a long time to capitalize the first appearance of a character in a script. Actually, the official "rule" used to be that this capitalization only applied to characters with speaking roles in screenplays. However, it seems to me that few, if any, people follow this distinction anymore (speaking vs nonspeaking characters), and consequently all characters get capitalized on first appearance.

                            My understanding is that the original purpose of capitalizing the first appearance of a character was to tip off any reader or production person that this was a new character, not someone whom the reader has met before but has forgotten. (As a side note: In stage plays, the characters are usually capitalized throughout the script, not just on first appearance.)

                            CONCLUSION: I really see no reason to capitalize a character name throughout the screenplay. I think it is slightly helpful to capitalize it when the character first appears, just as an alerting factor (hey, get ready, new character here who might be important!). But it has no real purpose beyond that.
                            • Sounds, Special Effects, and Emphasis
                            We have all seen things like this in scripts: The BOMB goes BOOM! And then a BIG FIRE breaks out and BURNS the room to ASHES.

                            I think that some people feel a need to write like this. It is as if they want to grab the reader by the shoulders and shake vigorously for the BOOM and then use wild hand gestures for BIG FIRE and BURNS, etc.

                            CONCLUSION: I do not personally like all the wild capitalization (no matter how LOUD the BOOM 😀), but you have to let people write in a way that they want, because maybe it gets their creative juices flowing. It is the right way for some people. I just do not buy the claim that it is the best way because it is supposedly more visual or conveys a clearer impression than ordinary capitalization would do. Originally, back in the typewriter days, the capitalization was a production help. It identified sounds, props, and special effects for people who dealt with these. But with modern software it is possible to tag all these things and to generate a report on what each scene requires.

                            So I would just say that a writer should do it the way that he or she thinks is best. But try, please, not to go crazy with all the capitals.


                            "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Has anyone ever been taken out of a story cause character names have been in all caps? I have not. As long as they are consistent and it is always the same. Not sometimes capitalized and sometimes not.

                              Cap Heavy scripts: The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects.

                              I wanna say there were entire paragraphs written in caps in both of those scripts.

                              To me this is like a basketball player worrying about the color of the ball he's shooting with and not the actual shot mechanics.

                              There are some guidelines to caps. All slugs, speaking characters first intro into the story, sounds,

                              Now, do you see writers capitalize important phrases or entire sentences? Yep, you see it out there for sure. If you do that too will it matter? No. Either the story is good or it is not. The one reaction that you won't have is: Great story, but too many caps so I'll pass. Pretty sure that's the one opinion you won't hear.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X