If you write a script and you have chosen to distribute it, you’ll need to give your script breakdown colors.

Script breakdown colors serve two purposes: they let other people know what color their lines are, and they help the director keep track of everyone’s place in the script.

Tackling the first point, most scripts will use different colored pens for different characters’ lines.

This makes it much easier for people to find their lines as they’re reading through the script.
 

script breakdown colors

What Are script breakdown colors?

The concept of script breakdown colors may seem somewhat unfamiliar to you since most scripters have been drawing breakdowns in the same way for years.

In a nutshell, script breakdown colors are a visual way to help you break down a scene into panels, showing you all the information you need to know on each page.

Here are four of the main ones:

Red – Actor speaking part.

Yellow – Extra person (with no lines).

Blue – Special Effects (SFX).

Purple – Props.
 

 
If you don’t color your script, there is a good chance that someone will end up in the wrong place or being called to read the wrong line when they’re supposed to be on a break.

The second reason for script breakdown colors is that they help the director keep track of where everyone is during rehearsals and performances.

Sometimes, when a play has multiple scenes going on at once, these need to be kept track of for the show to run smoothly.

When each person has their own color, it becomes much easier because the director can easily see who is supposed to be doing what.

Each person involved with putting on a show will have a different set of script breakdown colors assigned to them by either the production team or by each individual production’s director.

How To Divide A Script In Script Breakdown

Script breakdown is one of the many essential tasks in the production pipelineand it has to be done for every single project. 

Whether you’re working on a low-budget indie or a big-budget blockbuster, a script needs to be divided into all the elements needed for production and post-production.

Tasks Involved In Script Breakdown

Script breakdown is important and should be carried out before any other task in the filmmaking process so that the production team knows what their responsibilities are. 

It is a tedious job, but absolutely necessary if the film is going to meet its release date and budget. 

Script breakdown involves four main tasks:

Script Analysis 

This stage involves understanding the screenplay, analyzing it and putting it into context.

Script Preparation 

This stage involves breaking down the entire screenplay into all its story elements, including characters, locations, props, costumes and other details to help with production planning.

Script Presentation 

The next step involves presenting the script breakdown in a clear format so that all concerned parties can easily understand it.

Script Control 

Finally, once you’ve completed your script breakdown, you need to keep track of everything so that nothing is left out of your shooting schedule.

How To Mark Production Elements In Script Breakdown

When you are creating a breakdown sheet, the most important thing to remember is that each element is either a Character or a Prop. 

So, your list will look something like this:

CHARACTER: JOHN DOE

Character Name (1 line) (actor’s name)

CHARACTER: MARY SMITH

Character Name (1 line) (actor’s name)

CHARACTER: FRANK JONES

Character Name (1 line) (actor’s name)

And so on…

For all the Character’s that get created, you need to make sure you also create the following elements for each Character:

  •  If the character is wearing a hat, costume, wig or any other item that needs to be created, then it should be marked as an Element in your Breakdown Sheet. 
  • If the character speaks then you need to mark them with Voice Over Element.
  • If they have props that need to be created such as a brief case or some paperwork then those will be marked as elements as well. 

Easily Create Script Breakdown Sheets Online

If you’re writing a script for a film or play, then you’ll need to know how to create a breakdown sheet. 

A breakdown sheet is a list of the elements needed for your script, such as location, set design, and the cast and crew involved in the production.

Breakdown sheets can be created in many different ways, but here is how you can easily create one online with ScriptDolly.com:

   

Step 1 – Create Your Project

Create a project on ScriptDolly.com by clicking on either the “New Project” button or “New Draft” on the home page. Once your project has been created, click on “Add New Scene”. Repeat this process until all of your scenes are added to your project.

Step 2 – Set Up Your Breakdown Sheet

Once you’ve added all the scenes, click on the arrow in the top right corner of your project, select “View Breakdowns”, then click on “Edit Breakdown” next to where it says “Default Breakdown”. This will bring up an edit page where you can add information about each element.

Read The Script As If You Were A Viewer

A well-written script can be a powerful tool for engaging an audience. It’s challenging to record your own narration, but with a few tips, you can deliver an engaging, professional presentation that makes viewers want to watch your video again.

Tone it down. 

The first thing to do is tone down your emotions. When you’re recording a script, it is best to write as if you were reading it for someone else. Think of how you would read something out loud that someone else has written and make sure to keep your tone even throughout the entire record.

Prepare adequately. 

Before you begin recording your script, have a few rehearsals out loud to make sure you sound natural and have practiced breathing rhythmically. Sometimes when we speak we take extra breaths, so it’sgood to make sure that doesn’t happen during your recordings. 

Imagine yourself in front of an audience and try to practice speaking as if you were there in person.

When recording keep a copy of the script for reference so you don’t lose track of where you are in the speech or what words come next. This is especially important if there are any hard words or names in the speech that might be tricky.

Scan The Script For Formatting Errors

One of the most difficult aspects of screenwriting is the formatting. Even the most seasoned screenwriter needs to check their script for formatting errors from time to time. There are a few different ways to do this, but I prefer to scan the script for formatting errors.

TIP: The following is a simple three-step process that you can use to scan your script for common formatting errors: 

Steps 1 

Double space your script so any formatting errors are easily visible. 

Step 2 

Print your script on a black and white printer so any mistakes stand out against the white background. 

Step 3 

Highlight all instances of white space and double spacing on your printed manuscript.

You should now be able to easily spot mistakes in your scripts.  Mistakes that can cause readers to lose interest in your work before they even finish reading it.

 Mark The Script Using Color Highlighters And Pens

A lot of the times when I read scripts, I use a yellow highlighter and blue pen. I do this because it helps me “color code” the script so that I know what to cut and what to keep in the movie. This is a very useful tip for any screenwriter or filmmaker.

There are different ways you can use highlighters and pens to your advantage. 

For example, use yellow to highlight something that you can cut out of your movie. Use blue if it’s an element you have to keep.

This method works really well for me because it allows me to see the overall picture of how my movie will look once it is finished. It also gives me an idea of how long my movie will be.

Upload The Script

Don’t just write the script, upload it. 

Uploading it gives you something to show people. It gives you a finished product to hold on to.

Treat it like any other document, something you would upload in a Google Drive or Dropbox folder. The difference is that this document provides an insight into your skills as a writer.

Uploading your screenplay has another advantage: it gives you an easy way to get feedback from people within the industry who may not have time for more in-depth critique. 

There are sites where content is exchanged for money (like InkTip) but there are also others that just want to help aspiring screenwriters improve their craft. One example of this is London Screenwriters’ Festival (LSF).

Read And Reread The Script

If you are planning to do a voiceover for your online video, then you should be well-versed with the script of the video. 

There are many ways in which you can rehearse and read the script aloud. You could read it softly in front of a mirror, you could record your voice while reading out loud and play it later, or just learn by heart. The point is that you need to be familiar with the script in order to deliver it effectively.

The Importance Of Knowing The Script By Heart

Memorising a script is not as difficult as you might imagine.

Once you have a thorough understanding of what your video will convey, it becomes second nature to repeat the words back to yourself over and over again until they become part of your memory.

Some people can even recite scripts backwards. This is because they are so familiar with the words that they no longer need to concentrate on what they’re saying.

Divide Script Into 1/8ths

Now I’m going to show you how to divide up a script into 8ths. This will make your life as a voice actor much easier when it comes to recording and scheduling.

If you break down the script into 1/8ths, each part is roughly 1 page long. That way you can read it in a couple of minutes and easily know what the next section is.

1/8th = Roughly 1 page long.

This way, when you’re done with one section, you can tell how much time you have left until the next 1/8th ends. It will be easy to figure out if you have enough time in between sections to take a quick break or not.

This also makes scheduling easier because, if you know exactly how long each section is, then it’s easy to make sure that all your sections are recorded in the same day and don’t overlap with other bookings. 

If you’re working with an agency, this makes scheduling auditions and booking jobs easier for them too.

When scheduling pieces of the script, try to break the script down into 8ths that are approximately equal in length (i.e. 5min, 7min). 

Don’t schedule two pieces that overlap.

Create Breakdown Reports

Breakdown reports are a great way to view your metrics for specific time periods.

Breakdown reports are basically lists and graphs that show data in aggregate form. Sorting the data by different categories allows you to visualize trends within each metric over time. 

You can then use these insights to make better decisions about how to optimize your marketing strategy.

Creating a breakdown report is straightforward: 

Select the rows and columns you want to include on the report, then go to the Report tab in Excel and select “Breakdown”.

Then choose which metrics you want to analyze and sort by, and voila! 

You can create a breakdown report from the report’s page, or from your account’s dashboard.

Totals 

The totals section of the breakdown report shows the total number of conversions and revenue generated per parameter.

Parameter Values 

The parameter values section of the breakdown report shows you which individual variations had the highest conversion rate. You can also see which value had the highest revenue.

How To Make A Shooting Schedule

The key to making a shooting schedule is to know your cast and crew. 

The first step is to get everyone on the same page. Everyone needs to know what time they are required to be there and what time they will be picked up.

Taping a shooting schedule does not need to be complicated. You can have each day or each week on a separate sheet of paper. 

I like to use Excel for this. I can use the color coding function to make it easier  to see which days were used where. ”

The next step is deciding how many days you will shoot and how many scenes you want in each episode. 

If you don’t have enough scenes, then you will have too much dead space between them.

If you have too many scenes, you might run out of time (or money) in post-production. A rough idea is all you need, but it should include all the scenes that need to be shot, including any special shots or angles.

Who Marks The Script?

As you may know, getting a good script is the first step in creating a successful film.

The script is marked by a number of people, including management at the production company, producers and development executives at studios and networks. So there are many opinions to consider when putting together a script.

If you’re putting together a spec script (writing on speculation, without an  agent or manager), the most critical thing to remember is that if your script gets into the hands of decision makers at astudio, it’s because your script has been chosen from among hundreds (or even thousands) of others.

The decision makershave many scripts to read each week. They’re not looking for reasons to trash your work, they’re looking for reasons to keep reading. That means having a strong first act that compels them to turn the page.

If they make it all the way through your first act without being engaged, they will most likely stop reading and move on to the next script on their list.