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Thread: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question


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Permlink Replies: 14 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jul 11, 2012 9:49 AM Last Post By: brianj6
katy280

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Registered: 06/13/12
Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 12, 2012 5:53 PM
 
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Hi,

I uploaded my Screenplay to Amazon. It's available for free for Amazon prime members, 99c otherwise for purchase.

[b]Seal Team Six: The Snow Walker Chronicles at Gateway Arch[/b]

[i]A cop, a Secret Service agent and a mysterious homeless man - all with a shadowy shared past at Afghanistan- must join forces when terrorists take over the Gateway Arch in the middle of a raging blizzard.[/i]

When I download and read on my iPhone through Kindle, the formatting seems off. When I check the Word file, it seems fine to me.
Some CAPS have become mixed CAPS and stuff like that.

Please advise how I can fix the formatting issues.

Is there a company which fixes formatting if I provide the Word file?
Is there a simulator for Kindle?

Regards,
Katy

Message was edited by: katy280

mrlasers

Posts: 1,633
Registered: 07/06/11
Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 12, 2012 7:17 PM   in response to: katy280 in response to: katy280
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Kindle Previewer is a simulator for many Kindle devices and apps. You can find it for both Windows and Mac PCs here: http://www.amazon.com/kindlepublishing.

Save your Word document as HTML and then open that HTML file (via menu or drag-and-drop) in Kindle Previewer. It will convert the book to Kindle's native "mobi" format and then display a preview, more or less exactly how it will appear on a Kindle device or reader app.

If I had to guess I'd say that your mixed case issue is from styling in Word that makes use of the all caps font property with the underlying text entered in mixed case. Depending on the Kindle reader all caps may or may not be supported, but as far as I am aware you can't make use of it directly from Word anyway.

I'd recommend ensuring that this property is [i]not[/i] applied to any of your text (or styles applied to that text) and then go through and retype any problem areas by hand, directly in capital letters. This should fix that particular problem.

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
gmh616

Posts: 34
Registered: 05/21/12
Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 12:50 AM   in response to: katy280 in response to: katy280
 
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Very interesting issue here that I'm interested in as well. I took a sneak peek at the beginning of the screenplay on the Amazon Kindle site and saw that it was all justified to the left. Is that the accepted convention for screenplays on Kindle?

For those who might not be familiar with standard screenplay format, here's an example:

http://eyesondeck.typepad.com/.a/6a0105358b73d4970c0134886bcac4970c-pi

Is there any way that standard format could be adapted to Kindle, or would one just have to resort to a convention like justifying the text to the left?
divorcedoctor

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Registered: 07/11/10
Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 1:08 AM   in response to: gmh616 in response to: gmh616
 
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I think blockquote style is what you are after
punchygonzales

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 9:15 AM   in response to: gmh616 in response to: gmh616
 
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Like Doc said, a blockquote is the best you can do. It won't indent on the right with most devices, but if you either change the font to monospace (courier) or make the text size smaller, it will still be recognizable as a blockquote.

Also, I don't know if it was yours or not, but the sample you gave didn't have the scenes numbered. Where it says: INT. CLASSROOM - DAY, that really should have a number beside it. It's a lot easier for a director to tell his cast to simply go to scene number...(whatever) since screenplays don't have chapters.
mrlasers

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 9:43 AM   in response to: gmh616 in response to: gmh616
 
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You can definitely do something close to that on Kindle, though the reflowable nature of eBooks would require some compromises to ensure maximum readability. You best option would be to format it in HTML with CSS specifically targeting both Mobi7 and KF8, the latter of which would be able to get much closer to a traditional screenplay layout.

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
gmh616

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 10:12 AM   in response to: katy280 in response to: katy280
 
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[i]Also, I don't know if it was yours or not, but the sample you gave didn't have the scenes numbered. Where it says: INT. CLASSROOM - DAY, that really should have a number beside it. It's a lot easier for a director to tell his cast to simply go to scene number...(whatever) since screenplays don't have chapters.[/i]

The example was randomly pulled from an image search on screenplay format.
gmh616

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 10:22 AM   in response to: katy280 in response to: katy280
 
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[i]You can definitely do something close to that on Kindle, though the reflowable nature of eBooks would require some compromises to ensure maximum readability. You best option would be to format it in HTML with CSS specifically targeting both Mobi7 and KF8, the latter of which would be able to get much closer to a traditional screenplay layout.[/i]

So presumably a pro such as yourself would be able to take a digital file of a screenplay in standard format and tweak it so that its incarnation on Kindle would be as close to standard format as would be possible with that platform?
fredthehorse

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Registered: 03/17/12
Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 1:08 PM   in response to: gmh616 in response to: gmh616
 
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Numbered scenes appear on shooting scripts.
Julie.
mrlasers

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 1:14 PM   in response to: gmh616 in response to: gmh616
 
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So presumably a pro such as yourself would be able to
take a digital file of a screenplay in standard
format and tweak it so that its incarnation on Kindle
would be as close to standard format as would be
possible with that platform?

That'd be the plan. I haven't actually done a screenplay before, so I couldn't tell you exactly how I'd go about it, but I'd probably start something like the attached mobi file.

For the KF8 version you can preserve the original layout and positioning pretty well. Mobi7 would of course require larger compromises, but there would be a number of ways to go about it that would yield satisfactory results.

For example, in the attached mobi file I have centered the speaker's name, which largely retains the original presentation while being very simple to format. A fixed margin from the left would also be possible, though that requires more complicated formatting. I'd generally provide a few samples, featuring a couple of different formatting strategies, and then see which direction the publisher/author wanted to take with the final version.

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
davidnwelton

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 2:17 PM   in response to: gmh616 in response to: gmh616
 
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Here's some advice from Dave Trottier, who worked with us to get some screenplays done up as best as possible on the Kindle:

http://blog.liberwriter.com/2011/08/18/formatting-a-screenplay-for-kindle/

Some of it's fairly LiberWriter specific, but since LW works with HTML, it's applicable anywhere.

David N. Welton
http://www.liberwriter.com
mikef10

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Registered: 06/13/12
Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 2:56 PM   in response to: punchygonzales in response to: punchygonzales
 
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You as writer don't need to put in scene numbers. That's done later by other people. In fact, since scene order will change and scenes will be deleted or be added, it's kind of pointless.
punchygonzales

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 3:43 PM   in response to: mikef10 in response to: mikef10
 
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I've never read a screenplay where the scenes weren't numbered. But I suppose that most published screenplays are the finished product too.
mrlasers

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Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 5:06 PM   in response to: davidnwelton in response to: davidnwelton
 
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Adjusting the formatting in that way would definitely be an option, though a more traditional treatment is certainly quite possible on Kindle. Even for Mobi7. I find it [i]extremely[/i] odd that he would claim right-aligned text causes issues on Kindle. Does your platform lack a way to handle this properly?

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
brianj6

Posts: 138
Registered: 09/16/11
Re: Screenplay Formatting from MS Word Question
Posted: Jul 11, 2012 9:49 AM   in response to: katy280 in response to: katy280
 
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Spec scripts are never numbered. Numbered scripts are much later versions, after the script has been bought and put into production.
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