Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Celebration! and also, the niceties of formatting screenplays

Yesterday was a special day – the British parliament voted to recognise Palestine as a state. It’s a long road to peace and justice, but we’re on the way.

Here, it rained. And I had a lovely day working on my screenplay. That’s all I want to do……I’ve become very boring. Even last night as relaxation I watched an episode of Last Tango in Halifax and made notes on it throughout – mainly on the settings used.



Caroline is in the bedroom putting on her make-up. John  knocks and comes in.

I’m doing this to examine how many scene changes and how much variety Sally Wainwright (the writer) uses.

I bought some new software called Final Draft that formats your screenplay automatically. You may think this is going a bit far, and why don’t I format it myself? But you should try it. You have to have five different sets of margins in a screenplay – one for the

  1. scene headings and the action description
  2. the dialogue
  3. the parentheticals
  4. the name of the character
  5. the transitions

The parentheticals  are the directions under the characters’ names about how the character is speaking e.g. (shouting)   (under her breath)  (exasperated beyond words)      I love learning new bits of specialist terminology, just like I did when I was publishing -  I still remember “sewn limp” with fondness.

Here – look at this -


Just imagine how long it would take you to format that ‘by hand.’ You’d have to do it more or less line by line.

I had some normal life on Sunday, though. One thing I did was go for a long walk in the autumn sunshine. We started in mist, and I thought there’d be no point in taking my camera, so the pics are courtesy of Liz. (Thanks, Liz.)

walk with liz 1

walk with liz 2

walk with liz 3

It was beautiful.


Anonymous said...

from Christine Ashby...
Hi Sue,
For some reason I can't leave comments on your blog.

However, I just wanted to say that I once had the awful task of typing a screenplay for someone and it was the worst job ever for the reasons you mentioned. Thank goodness there is software to help!

Good luck with the project.


Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, Christine. It's great to hear from you again.
I am really sorry about the comments situation. I have no idea why my blog eats some peoples' comments. I can't find the solution. So I would like to say I am sorry to other readers who have had the same problem.
You can always email me at
infoatdelicatelynuanceddotcom if you would like to, and I will post your comment as I have done with Christine's.

Anonymous said...

Great news on the vote to recognise Palestine as a state - but why wasn't it reported in any visible way? No BBC coverage that I can find.

Nonetheless, a token step forward.

Sue Hepworth said...

I so agree. I had to search the net on Tuesday morning to see which way the vote had gone. As for the BBC, I no longer rely on them for full and impartial news.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue

I am appalled and disgusted about the recent vote in Parliament – probably the biggest majority of any vote of international importance and the government and news media ignore it. There was brief reporting the next day and now it has completely disappeared from the news. Is there no hope for ruling politicians to become caring, human people? Such a huge majority must mean that many conservatives voted in favour of recognising Palestine so how can the government not act?

Yours, disgusted of Tunbridge Wells