TV format - new page per act?

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  • TV format - new page per act?

    I'm reading that in TV, you start each act on a new page but is this all-but law or can you just write continuously, as per film? And why do TV screenplays need to signify the act breaks when film don't?

  • #2
    Re: TV format - new page per act?

    Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
    I'm reading that in TV, you start each act on a new page but is this all-but law or can you just write continuously, as per film? And why do TV screenplays need to signify the act breaks when film don't?
    Yes, a new page for each act. The significance of the act breaks is it’s where the dollar signs go. Advertising falls between acts. Therefore, when reading the TV pilot, a reader can ask themselves if it “feels right for a commercial break” and “just what are we coming back to?”


    “The Screenwriter’s Simple Guide to Formatting Television Scripts”


    “How To Make Sure Your TV Script Is Correctly Formatted For Network Or Cable Programming”

    “The Blacklist: Television Format & Style Standards”

    And especially for you, the BBC version: “SCREENPLAY FORMAT FOR TV SHOWS”
    "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

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    • #3
      Re: TV format - new page per act?

      This is normal network TV model or cable channels like FX selling ads... if you're writing for HBO or HULU or NETFLIX you can write a TV pilot the same way you're write a film just shorter.

      Lots of difference specifics -- overall ways to do things -- specific things for each show -- but I feel most pilot TV scripts I read these days are written like they can be won't have commercials and played straight through.

      You used do have to spec an existing TV show to show you could emulate someone else's voice and not just your own -- but that is falling out of practice.

      So get TV samples of show you like to see how they look on the page. Best way to learn.

      And know what type of show you are writing and where you want it to end up. It can always change if someone buys it of course.

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