Listen very carefully, Bang2writers. Here is when you use CAPS – aka capital letters – in your spec screenplay:

When we are introduced to a character for the first time only.

Like this:character-name-capsThat’s it. Seriously. You do not *need* caps in any other place in your spec.

You *can* however use caps for these things:

  • An object that’s going to be important in the story (ie. a plot point)
  • An animal that’s not named, but IS a character (ie. not for a random animal)
  • A sudden noise – ie. BOOM! SNAP! KA-BLAM!
  • To indicate a character is reading a screen (ie. PHONE, COMPUTER, TEXT MESSAGE, etc)
  • To indicate the frame or a POV without actually saying it (ie. THROUGH THE WINDOW, DOWN THE HOLE, UP THE TREE, etc – though these often work ‘best’ as mini slugs, IMHO).

I get questions on the above all the time. As with most things writing-related, as long as it’s sparing, it’ll be okay.

DO NOT however ever use caps in dialogue for emphasis* (you’re telling the actors *how* to say the lines) or for SOUNDS GENERALLY (that’s shooting scripts only). *Yes, yes I know.

More on Format on B2W:

Top 5 Screenplay Format Mistakes

The B2W Format 1 Stop Shop 

All About Scene Headings/Headers

The 5 Biggest Format Mistakes Screenplays Make

Download a 1 page Format Ref Guide (PDF)

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