Screenplay Structure

If you are working with a film production team for, say, a cinematic trailer, then you need a robust format understood by all. This is the screenplay, a structured format that has been around since the manual typewriter. The format conveys all the information necessary for the reader to understand what the film experience will be like, but it does so within fairly rigid rules.

There are many websites and books that go into great detail on how to format a submission screenplay. Some are noted in the resources section below. While a screenplay can be written with a word processor such as Microsoft Word®, most writers use a tool such as the industry standard Final Draft® ( or Celtx (

I asked Sherry Coman to transpose the trailer into a screenplay with proper formatting. Sherry is a Sessional Professor of Film and New Media at Humber College and teaches advanced screenwriting. Here is part of the screenplay she created.

Complete Microsoft Word screenplay for The Bleeding Land: Download

External Resources:

As part of the Screenwriting for Dummies, the publisher has several cheat sheets online. These two are useful when writing a book trailer.