Example of a screenplay

This is the screenplay for a 60-second film called Privacy on the Line, which is about the impact of piracy on the film industry. A young couple go out on a date, but – because piracy has shut down cinemas – they have to stay at home, with awkward consequences.

SCENE 1. DAYTIME. HIGH-SCHOOL LIBRARY.

Dave, a high-school student, taps his pencil nervously on his desk. He stares at Sue who is sitting not far from him. He picks up his mobile and calls Sue.

DAVE

How about a movie?

SUE

Sounds awesome. When?

DAVE Saturday night. 8pm.

 

They both react excitedly.

SCENE 2. NIGHT TIME. SUE’S HOME.

Dave knocks on a front door. Sue answers the door.

SCENE 3. NIGHT TIME. CAR INTERIOR.

Dave and Sue drive around. They drive through a street and an undercover car park. They exit the car.

SCENE 4. NIGHT TIME. MALL/CINEMA.

They walk through the mall. They enter a movie theatre. They sit down and Dave puts his arm around Sue. The room darkens and the screen lights up.

Suddenly a torch shines in their faces and a woman is standing behind them.

SCENE 5. NIGHT TIME. INTERIOR. SUE’S LOUNGEROOM.

DAVE

Is that your mum?

SUE

MUM!

The woman leans down between them from behind the couch and holds out a box of chocolates. The lounge room lights are on.

MUM

Chocolate, anyone?

TITLE CARD

Online Piracy Puts Your Privacy on the Line

Sue’s mum sits down between them on the couch to watch a movie with them. They are not happy about it.

End Credits.

The script includes what characters say and do, identifies the location, and specifies if a scene is indoors or outdoors and if it is daytime or night-time. It is not important to go into too much detail. The important thing is that the story makes sense and holds our attention. The detail will come in determining how the film will be shot.