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!