Another element of the production draft is the HEADER. A header occupies the same line as the page number, which is on the right and .5" from the top. Header information is printed on every script page. Information contained in the header includes the date of the revision and the color of the page. The header of the production draft of a script might look like this:
REVISED April 30, 2001 BLUE 1.
REVISED April 30, 2001 BLUE will print at the top of every single revised page, unless you tell your scriptwriting program to omit this information on the first page. On the first page of a production draft, however, you should include your header, if you have one. The page number will, of course, change.
Don't worry about what color of paper to use for subsequent changes to the same scene. If your still writing the revisions once the script is in production, they'll tell you what to use. This is determined by the production staff.
Do's and Don'ts
- Do proofread your script. Spelling is very important. Don't trust your spell checking program, it may miss grammatical errors and won't have some terms in its built-in dictionary.
- Do get someone else to proofread your script. A fresh pair of eyes will often catch something you continue to miss.
- Do get the best photocopy you can. No one wants to read a dirty page.
- Do use good quality brass brads to bind your script. Acco #5 brads are the best, because they are long enough to fit through the entire thickness of your script. Solid brass brads (as opposed to brass-plated brads) are preferable.
- Do register your script with the Writers Guild of America but don't forget to copyright it as well. A WGA registration expires quickly, while a copyright is good for decades.
- Do send a one-page (or less) cover letter with your script when you send it out. Make the letter short, concise and to the point. There are books and articles on the subject, but basically they simply want to know what the script is about and where to reach you.
- Do follow the rules unless you KNOW a darn good reason not to.
- Don't create a fancy Title page with giant fonts, colored letters, etc. A Title page has title and screenwriter's name(s) in the middle, and your contact information (address, phone number) at the lower right hand.
- Don't put a quotation on the title page. Most likely, no one but you will care.
- Don't put a date on your script, or the draft version.
- Don't put blank pages in the script to set things apart.
- Don't put a second page with the quotation that tells the theme of your screenplay.
- Don't do a page of character descriptions and back story. That's a convention from the theater that is inapplicable in Hollywood. If your script doesn't tell that story, you're in trouble.
- Don't include any illustrations, no matter how cute you think they are.
- Don't put the script title on the first page of the script.
- Don't use more than two brads, but use three-hole paper. Brads are used in top and bottom holes only.
- Don't use colored paper or anything but 20 pound 3 hole punch paper.
- Don't expect to have your script returned to you. Send it out, let it go. If a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) is specified, include one. Then relax; a lot of people will have sent scripts to the same company.