ANOTHER scriptwriting-related question – it’s been quite the week for them – but this time, just a kwikkie on format from Wade Glenn, which I realised is not part of The One Stop Shop yet:
I’ve seen a lot of films end their opening credits sequences with famous quotations that are thematically relevant to the film. I want to do this but I’m wondering:
How do you format this in a script?
If I decide to use it, do I have to mention a credits sequence, or do I just put it somewhere after “FADE IN”?
There’s no real “rule” for quotations, though I would not recommend putting them on the title page. Can’t say I’m particularly keen on them; a lot of quotes are often rather obscure and/or don’t seem to really inform the story, making me wonder why the writer bothers. If the “theme” is not obvious from the telling of the story, will it be obvious from a quote or vice versa? Also seems to me to be more of a director’s thing, really. Of the quotes I see, song lyrics win by a country mile, then probably Bible quotes. Both make me groan a bit ‘cos they *feel* a bit over-used. Like most things screenwriting-related however, every now and again I see a quote that fit PERFECTLY though and then it really works.
But if you really want to include a quote, there’s no reason why you can’t. On this basis then I’d recommend putting it on p2, on an otherwise blank page; that’s where I see them the most. If using Final Draft, go to Title Page > then scroll down to p2 of the title page, rather than go onto p1 of your *actual* screenplay, if that makes sense.
WHILE I’M HERE: Don’t forget, The Format One Stop Shop covers teasers, title pages, copyright symbols, Intercut, VO, flashbacks, scene description and more… Check out this extensive list of the issues I see most frequently on the page and make an informed decision on what (if anything) you want to do about there.
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