Script formats
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Script Formats. Format. There are different kinds and vary for both television, radio and film. There is the single column format:. Radio: Script “Americans at Work” 1939. Then there is. The two column format. Typically used for Television. . Proper Format.

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Script Formats

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Script formats

Script Formats



  • There are different kinds and vary for both television, radio and film.

  • There is the single column format:

Radio script americans at work 1939

Radio: Script “Americans at Work” 1939

Then there is

Then there is

  • The two column format.

  • Typically used for Television.

Proper format

Proper Format

  • Essential so you don’t look like an amateur.

    • Common mistakes are typos, punctuation errors and poor grammar

  • When writing a script – Keep it simple.

    • They should be three hole punched.

    • Card stock paper in a single color.

    • Don’t write with fancy typography. Use courier 12 or Times New Roman.

For screenplays

For Screenplays

  • Titles: Should be in all CAPS and centered, about a 1/3 of the way down the page.

  • Can be plain underlined or in quotation marks but not both.

  • Should have you name centered and double spaced below the title. Not all in caps.

  • Your contact info

  • Font should be courier 12, New York, Bookman and Times New Roman.

Ways to format a script for tv radio

Ways to format a script for TV/radio

  • The single column – the way most screenplays are written. This is also used in radio.



  • For a commercial idea the summary or outline might be a few sentences with the scenario or treatment ranging from a paragraph to a page.

  • For movies or a 1-hour drama it can be a summary of 1 to 2 pages and the treatment can be a 5th of the entire projected script.



  • For broadcast – be brief as you are constrained by time.

    • 25 to 30 words is equivalent to about 10 seconds.

  • Retain an informal tone.

  • Be specific. Do Not generalize or confuse the audience.

  • Use of Gender: Don’t assume the use of “he” or “his.” Try to generalize and include both sexes.

Radio style

Radio Style

  • Writing is more “one on one”

  • Material must be written as if the presenter is sitting in the audiences living room.

  • Personalize: Reach out to a specific audience. Try to relate.

  • Be natural.

  • Choose words that are familiar (also for TV).



  • Slang words can be used in certain circumstances.

  • Mostly use common language.

  • Spelling must be accurate – esp. for a newscast.

  • Verbs: Must be in present tense to an active voice with subjects doing the action.

The right words

The right words:

  • Know their meaning and their spelling.

    • Affect v.s. effect

    • Advice v.s. advise

    • It’s and its

    • Your and you’re

  • Punctuation – gives the narrator or actor direction about the tone. Avoid abbreviations except for terms that can’t be misunderstood like Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc.



  • Must be clear

  • If you have a word that is pronounced different than how it is spelling place pronunciation in all caps next to it.

    • Ex: We go live to Sandra Hinojos (EE-NO-HOSE).

One more thing be accurate

One more thing – Be Accurate

  • When doing your own commercial – do your own outside research.

  • If you claim that your product is the first of its kind in the history of products - then you will need the proof to back it up.

    • You don’t want to be sued for False Advertising or making False Claims.

      • Recent Examples – Kelloggs must pay $4 million for falsely advertising mini-wheats.

  • Sketcher’s Shoes case - $40 million settlement.



  • Read chapter 3 of Hillard if you haven’t done so already. (Quiz)

  • Due Thursday: Select an online or television commercial, trailer, PSA, or broadcast piece and using the two column writing style write its script.

    • Example: Pages 54 and 55 of Hillard. (commercials should be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes) NOTE: you may have to re-watch it several times.

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