Thursday, May 2, 2019

Screenplay vs Script : What is the difference?

Is there really any difference exist in between a movie screenplay and a movie script??

Logically there is no difference. If you research on internet then you would found there is no difference. Industry use these terms interchangeably to refer to the same document. However, it is purely dependent upon the film industry, how they are treating the documents for movie making.

In simple language, whether its a screenplay or script, they are documents to produce a movie. Quite similar to blueprint for building construction. As I have mentioned, there is difference and it is dependent upon film industry.

In India, and through out in the history of movie making, screenplay and script are purely two different documents. Today, still this logic is followed but not at large extent.

Screenplay VS Script

Earlier days, there used to be no audio in movies. Therefore what ever document is used to make movie was scene by scene narration of actions only. Such document was used to call Screenplay. But later on, when audio recording technique came into existence and industry was not habitual of using a draft which had action and audio details, they started to using a separate sheet for audio such as dialogues.

Thats why, in Indian movies, we could see in the credit list, a separate credit for dialogue writers where as in other film industries, there is no separate credit for dialogue writers.

Even today also, a dialogue writer is hired separately to write dialogues only.

Therefore the document which contain scenes with actions only (strictly no dialogues), then such document is called screenplay. However, later on and most probably before the production of the movie, the movie director along with screenplay writer, and dialogue writer develops another document based upon the locked screenplay document. Such document is called script.

Note: Script contains dialogues, camera movement details, vfx and sfx details.

Today, screenplay and script are same too

Most of the film makers are trained from film schools and we are learning the crafts whatever west country is following. So this is also true, todays film makers use the term screenplay and script to the document which contains action and dialogues together. Such document contains, scene by scene action details along with dialogues and camera movements if necessary.

So if you download recent decades released movies, then you would found most the screenplays/ scripts are the international standard movie script.

What is international standard movie script / Screenplay?

Each scene should contain a heading which is also called slug line. It should tell the reader whether the action is taking place in the interior or exterior. It should also tell location and time of the day or night. Actions should be short and meaningful. Each scene should contain dialogues and respective character cue according to the need of the scene. There must be transition keyword if other than cut to is required. And camera movements if necessary.

Therefore such document can be referred as screenplay or script interchangeably.

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