How to Read Movie Scripts

 Sometimes, you need to start working or conceptualizing a score already with nothing more than a script. Be aware that this is not like reading a book and without experience you’ll probably quickly get a wrong impression of what it’s going to be or feel like when the movie is actually finished.

Very extensive montage scenes with lots of music might only be mentioned briefly in a few lines while small dialogue scenes might appear very big and important if they contain a lot reactions mentioned in the script.

Sometimes, important details for scoring and its mood (e.g. description of location and time) might be very briefly mentioned, so make sure to very carefully read the so called “scene heading” which always is the first few lines in a new scene which will give information whether the scene is interior or exterior, its location and – if not continueing from the previous scene – its time.

Another good indicator to get a sense of proportion is the fact that most scripts are written in a way that one page equals one minute of screen time. If you want to dive a little deeper into the formating details of movie scripts and how to read them, here’s a little guide.

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