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Create a Professional Screenplay Title Page
in 3 Steps

A Simple Guide to Script Title Page Format

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by Script Reader Pro in Screenplay Format
August 13, 2019 26 comments
screenplay title page format

Create a Professional Screenplay Title Page in 3 Steps

The first impression you give a reader about the quality of your writing is on the screenplay title page.

How you present the information on it can give away a surprising amount about the overall quality of the writing therein.

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Bad Script Title Page Example

What does the following script title page, for example, suggest about the quality of the writer’s ability?

screenplay title page template

Would you feel confident opening up this script for the first time that you’re in the hands of a master storyteller? Probably not.

Actually, it’s pretty clear just from this screenplay cover page that the writer doesn’t have much of a command of the English language or proper screenplay title page format.

Overall, you want to make sure your screenplay’s title page is as clean and professional in appearance as possible. This means (largely) restricting its information to the following three elements:

♦  The script title

♦  Your name

♦  Your contact details

There’s also the question as to whether extra information such as draft dates and copyright information should be included on a script title page.

We’ll get to each of these in turn, but first a word on screenwriting software…

Let Software Take the Work Out of Formatting a Script Title Page

Some aspiring screenwriters like to cut corners by using standard word processing software, such as MS Word or some similar program.

The problem is, it’s usually immediately apparent to the reader—on the screenplay title page itself—that the script’s been written using something other than screenwriting software.

This is usually because the formatting is all over the place—which is obviously not a great first impression.

If you want to take screenwriting seriously we recommend you purchase some professional screenwriting software.

A professional program will have industry-standard parameters built in for the screenplay cover page. This means you won’t have to worry about where each element—the title, your name and contact details—go on the page.

Here’s a list of our top 5 best screenwriting software if you don’t already own one.

1. How to Format the Title on a Script Cover Page

Some people insist the script title should always be written in caps, or always underscored and so on. In actual fact, people in the industry care a lot less about the finer details of screenwriting format than many writers think they do.

It doesn’t really matter, for example, whether you write the title in uppercase or lowercase,  or whether you underscore it, or wrap it in quotation marks.

All that matters is that it’s centered 4.0” from the top of the page and, like the rest of the screenplay, is written in Courier 12-point.

2. How to Format Your Name on a Screenplay Title Page

This should be spaced four lines below the screenplay title. (Again, a professional screenwritng software program will take care of all these dimensions for you.)

You can write “written by” or just “by” and this looks better in lowercase.

If you co-wrote the script, simply add an ampersand (&) in-between your names. (Putting “and” instead indicates one of the writers was brought in to do a rewrite on the other’s work.)

If the script is based on someone else’s original material, simply write “based on the novel by” or “based on a stage play by,” four lines underneath your own name and in the same style.

screenplay title page format

3. How to Format Your Contact Details on a Screenplay Title Page

Final Draft automatically populates the contact details in the bottom lefthand corner, while other professional writers and software add it to the bottom right. It really doesn’t matter too much so take your pick.

Keep things simple by adding just your email address in the bottom left (or right-hand) corner of the script title page.

(It’s best to avoid wacky email addresses here. Keep it short and simple.)

You can also add your address and phone number if you wish. Be aware that if you live outside of Los Angeles or the US, your location could potentially prejudice the reader in some way.

If you have an attorney, agent or manager, you can add their details here instead of your own.

Screenplay Title Page Template

And that’s it. Here’s a sample screenplay cover page to give you an idea of what to aim for:

screenplay title page template

4. How to Format Extra Info on a Script Title Page

Some writers like to include extra information like draft dates and numbers and copyright information on a script front page.

You’ll hear some people say you should “never” include these on a title page. And you’ll hear others say they “must” be included.

Again, it’s totally up to you. No one is going to consign your script to the trash just because you’ve included one or all of these elements, but here are a few things to bear in mind.

Draft Dates 

The decision to include this kind of depends when the draft was completed.

If you send a script out into the industry with a draft date of July 7, 2015, you’re telling the reader this is an old script that’s been knocking around a long time.

It immediately gives the script a tired air of “no one else has wanted this.”

On the other hand, if the draft date is from yesterday, it might give the impression it’s been rushed out for some reason.

Nothing wrong with that if the writing’s stellar, but bear in mind you will be giving the reader an initial impression by adding a draft date. Because of this, we recommend leaving them out.

Draft Numbers  

The same general rule applies as to whether or not to include a draft number on the screenplay front page.

By adding a draft number you’re choosing to give the reader an impression of the script before they’ve had the chance to open it.

If you add draft number #1 you’re unconsciously preparing them to read a script that probably needs a lot of work.

If you add draft number #41, on the other hand, you could be suggesting it’s been tinkered with for months or even years.

Copyright Information 

Some writers say adding a WGA number to a screenplay title page just looks paranoid. It should be left for when you’re writing under contract for a studio or production company.

There’s some truth to this, especially when the information goes into overdrive with copyright symbols and written statements about author rights, and so on.

However, there’s nothing wrong with adding a simple WGA number in the opposite bottom corner to your contact details if you like.

Artwork, Photos, etc. 

Some writers add artwork, photos, social media information, fancy fonts and other design quirks on a script title page.

While there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to screenplay formatting, we recommend avoiding these.

The problem is, many readers will automatically assume (rightly or wrongly) that you’re an amateur screenwriter if you add these elements.

In the end, if a different font or tasteful design of some sort is done well and helps give a flavor of the story about to be read, you get away with it.

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Conclusion

Overall, a reader might receive an unfavorable first impression from a clunky script cover page, but if they’re then blown away by the writing all is forgiven.

So, while it is a good idea to give a great first impression on a script title page and with the formatting in general, don’t get too carried away by it.

Ultimately, all a reader wants is to be captivated by a great story containing characters they care about. Not throw out a script just because it’s transgressed on a formatting detail.

Keep things clear and simple by following the screenplay title page format outlined in this post, though, and your spec script will be good to go.

The same goes for screenplay formatting in general and you can learn more about that in our book Master Screenplay Formatting.

screenplay title page format

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Let us know in the comments section below what screenplay title page format you favor. How important do you think it is to give a great first impression when sending out a spec script?

Enjoyed This Post? Read More on Screenplay Formatting…

How to Format Dialogue in a Screenplay: Top 8 Dialogue Format “Errors”

How to Format a Script If You Want to Break Into the Spec Market

Why You Should Stop Thinking of Movie Script Format in Terms of Rules

[© Photo credits: Pexels]

26 Comments
  1. David Mathias says:

    I spent many years in advertising and have worked with outstanding designers. I usually, but not always, have artwork to accompany the script which often includes the logline. Everything else is simple – definitely no crazy fonts. I don’t know if this works for you, but my title pages then have the extra message that good, I mean really good artwork can give. I’d like to know your thoughts.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      It’s not recommended or usual protocol, but if the writing is great people will still love the script whether they love the artwork or not. In the end, the writing really needs to speak to itself, so we wouldn’t recommend adding the logline to the screenplay title page.

  2. Teresa Thorngren says:

    As usual…all your information is extremely helpful and seems to comes just when I need it. Thanks for all of the up-to-date information.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks a lot, Teresa!

  3. Karen Crider says:

    Good information. Something we all need. Thanks.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Glad you found it useful, Karen!

  4. Anton Godfrey says:

    Hi,
    Should we note on the front cover whether the storey is based on true events?
    Anton

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi Anton – there’s no harm in adding that underneath your name.

  5. Dick Dona says:

    I agree. Keep it simple and clean. I once ran a play series and the amount of plays received with bad to terrible formatting. You just don’t want to open them. Think of the producer getting hundreds of scripts.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the comment, Dick – you’re right 🙂

  6. Roger Goff says:

    Excellent article. I agree with all of that.

    One note, mostly as a matter of interest, is that the WGA technically requires draft information on signatory projects.
    It’s often not included, but I did have it pointed out to me by the Guild once as that information can become important in a credit arbitration.

    1. Jest Jake says:

      That WGA “rule” which Mr Goff mentions is only required AFTER a script is purchased ny a signatory production company or other entity…

      To list the number of revisions made and by whom prior to a purchase might involve hundreds of names and dates (theoretically) and would bog a title page down with absolute useless info.

  7. Mary says:

    As a first time scriptwriter, I find the information I receive extremely helpful! This email said it would recommend the best screenwriting programs but it did not.

    It could be a great topic for a future article for newbies to read a comparative article to determine which program best suits their style and comfort level.

    Thank you Mary

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Mary! Here’s are a couple of posts on the 5 best screenwriting software and free screenwriting software.

  8. Steve Scarlett says:

    The contradictions in this piece are staggering. On the one hand, you’re saying that it MUST be formatted this way and later you’re saying that there are no hard and fast rules to formatting. sic While there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to screenplay formatting. Which is it?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      We’re saying there are some “rules” that are best adhered to – for example, using Courier 12-point. But the general theme of the post is no one’s going to stop reading your script if the writing’s out of this world, no matter what the title page looks like.

  9. William Whiteford says:

    RE: THE PEN NAME
    I use the pen name. There is no place for it in the title of screenplay, I guess?

    THANKS for clarifying another fundamental in the great style!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi William – not sure what you mean by using a pen name in the title – can you clarify?

  10. William Whiteford says:

    May I use my pen name on the TITLE PAGE of MY SCREENPLAY?
    If so, how do I include this additional detail?
    Next or beneath the genuine name?
    Thanks for your feedback.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      We would recommend just using your pen name instead of your real name if that’s how you want to be known as a writer.

  11. William Whiteford says:

    BINGO AND THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICE – APPRECIATE IT.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome, William!

  12. Mark Ikowa says:

    big ups to script reader pro__ the information you hand out helps alot.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks a lot, Mark!

  13. Patrick says:

    Thanks as always for your insightful articles.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Patrick, glad you found it useful!

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