Elements of the Sitcom

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Elements of the Sitcom
by Mr. Cunha with help from
screenstyle.com
The Cover



Name of the show
Episode title
Writer(s)
30 Rock
“Hardball”
by…
Fade In/Fade Out
Used to open and close the script
 All caps and underlined
 FADE IN left justified
 FADE OUT right justified
FADE IN
FADE OUT

CUT TO/DISSOLVE TO




Used at end of each scene
CUT TO – small passage of time or
parallel occurring event or scene
DISSOLVE TO – longer passage of
time between scenes
Left justify in all caps and underlined
CUT TO:
DISSOLVE TO:
Scene Numbering



Numbered using capital letters
Centered
Underlined
ACT ONE
SCENE A
Slugline



A.K.A. “scene heading” or “scene
caption”
Explain where, time of day
Capitalized and underlined
INT. TRACY JORDAN’S DRESSING ROOM, DAY
Scene Action




All caps, single-spaced
List the characters
Place in parentheses
What are they doing as scene begins?
(TRACY AND HIS ENTOURAGE, GRIZZ
AND DOT.COM ARE HANGING OUT
PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.)
Character Intros/Camera
Instructions
All caps
 Underlined
 Entrances left justified, exits right justified
 Examples:
KENNETH ENTERS

CLOSE UP ON TRACY
KENNETH LEAVES
Character Names/Dialogue


Character names are in all caps and
centered
Dialogue is tabbed twice and double-spaced
TRACY
I love that cornbread so much, I want to take it
out behind the middle school and get it
pregnant.
Personal Direction



Appears within dialogue
All caps
Enclosed in parentheses
KENNETH (AMUSED)
Mr. Jordan, (HANDS TRACY THE
CORNBREAD) pregnant cornbread!
Power of Three




Cause and effect order
A causes B causes C
Builds suspense (in a drama)
Involves the complications in a sitcom
Scriptwriting Rules

Limit stage directions

Avoid parentheticals

Avoid long speeches or monologues
Now get writing!
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