One thing that many aspiring and new screenwriters may get hung up on is the different screenplay formats. A screenplay format is a standardized way of presenting your story visually on the page. Yes, there are different formats and it’s good to know them, but the little intrinsic details that may be different between the different screenplay formatting types won’t make or break you.

Different Screenplay Formats

In the video above, Michael Jamin briefly references several different script formats for the different types of shows – such as dramas, multi-camera comedies, and single-camera comedies.

According to Michael Jamin, sometimes the difference between two different types of screenplay formats may just be how big the margins are. And, as he reminds us, nobody ever got a job because of how great their margins were. Other differences may be how things are centered, capitalized, indented, and spaced. It can affect how the camera directions are written out and how the main description is written out too.

Remember, though, don’t get too hung up on the margins or the different script formatting. As Michael Jamin continues to remind us (and as you may recall from his other videos), the most important thing is to understand story structure and to present your story in a clear and engaging way. After all, your ability to put together a well-crafted story that keeps people interested will be what makes or breaks you, not whether or not your margins were exact or if a particular word was capitalized.

screenplay written out

Let’s Learn Story Structure!

While different screenplay formats do exist for the different types of shows out there, the most important thing to focus on is your overall story structure. Don’t completely ignore screenplay formatting, but definitely concentrate on your storytelling skills and keep improving in that regard.

Michael Jamin offers a great online screenwriting course that is perfect for anyone wanting to learn proper story structure – whether you’re wanting to be a TV screenwriter, novelist, or just become a better writer and storyteller. Check out his course today and take your writing to the next level!

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Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Phil Hudson

Phil Hudson is the Co-Host of Screenwriters Need To Hear This with Micahel Jamin. He's worked on TV & Film projects like Rhett and Link's Buddy System, Quasi, and Tacoma FD, where he is an Associate Producer. Phil has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Film - Story Development from Santa Fe University of Art & Design, where he was a Robert Redford Scholar.

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