Shots are formatted like Scene Headings, flush left margin, all uppercase. Blank line before and after.
A SHOT tells the reader the focal point within a scene has changed. Here are some examples of shots:
- ANGLE ON --
- EXTREME CLOSE UP --
- PAN TO --
- FRANKIE'S POV --
- REVERSE ANGLE --
As the writer, for reasons already mentioned you should be very judicious using a SHOT to redirect the reader's focus. Your "directing" runs the risk of interrupting the flow of your storytelling. If what you really want to do is direct films, do yourself a favor and DON'T do it in a script you're trying to sell... wait until it sells and try to negotiate a package deal with you on board as the director. This most often is a possibility after you've already had one of your screenplays filmed.
Once in a while, calling a shot is necessary. You want the reader to see something not obvious in the scene or you want to achieve a particular emotion or build to a climax. This device allows you to achieve this goal.
If you are describing a prison riot, with a prisoner holding a guard at knifepoint, and you want the audience to see a sharpshooter aiming at the prisoner, you might use a shot like this:
A PRISONER shoves a homemade shiv against the throat of a PRISON GUARD. PRISONER (trembling) I'll kill him! I mean it. PRISON GUARD Take him out! Now! Do it! ANGLE ON - A PRISON GUARD SHARP-SHOOTER as he lines up the shot, finger poised on the trigger. PRISONER I want to talk to the Warden. NOW!
Another shot used from time to time is INSERT. INSERT is used solely as a direction - to focus on something integral to the scene, often something that the audience needs to read or what would otherwise be too small to be clearly seen in a full, wide scene.
INSERT - RANSOM NOTE
A well-constructed action paragraph or a single line might achieve the same goal without distracting the reader. Be vigilant of the flow of the story, and try not to interrupt it.