September 20, 2014 at 7:54PM


Technical Screenplay

I am newbie to scriptwriting.
Is it necessary to write technical information like (kind of shot, wide/close-up etc.) in scene heading. If so, should we maintain technical screen play separately. My intention is how to deliver the scene to technical crew like cinematographer.

I appreciate the responses.



This is generally avoided in screenplay writing because it seems too limiting. Even phrasing such as "shot of" or "camera sees" is usually avoided. If you're writing a story, its often not your decision what the audience does or doesn't see. What you think might visually tell the story the best isn't necessarily the best answer (which is where the glorious collaborative process shines through).

If you're writing and directing, its usually best to keep your notes seperate so a director of photography can interpret the script and then ask questions. As a cinematographer, I like to be told "what" you want to see (i.e character A realises ________) but not "how" you want to see it (i.e MCU of character A as she realises _______). My job is to convey your vision, except in a way that pushes the story the most, which usually isn't what the writer/director has in their head.

TL;DR: No. Don't place shot description in a screenplay. Just be descriptive without dictating. If you want to draw attention to a specific action, go into very specific detail about it in the writing.

September 20, 2014 at 9:20PM, Edited September 20, 9:20PM

Aidan Gray
Director of Photography Assistant Camera | Gaffer

Awesome. Thanks for the clear description.


September 21, 2014 at 4:18PM

Your Comment