Preparing a Cover Page for Your Screenplay
A Special Language
Screenwriting is a special language in and of itself. To prepare a proper screenplay you have to write within a certain format so that every professional that approaches the material will be able to interpret it correctly and that it will adhere to the professional requirements. The first page that any producer, financer, director, or studio head will see of your script is the cover page. Even down to this smallest detail it is important that the specific structure that is clearly recognized by the Writer’s Guild of America and the rest of the industry. Here is a quick guide for putting together your script’s cover page.
When a script is brand new and is not represented by anybody, such as an agent or manager, then there is a special way that is done. In this case it must be very simple. You are going to start out with the title of the film spelled in all upper case letters and enclosed in quotation marks. The next line will just say “by” and the following one will contain the name of the author written in standard English text. This block of text will be double spaced and will start two or three lines about the center of the page. If there are two authors of the script then use an ampersand instead of “and,” which will connote that the first person wrote the script and the second one re-wrote it. If you have more than three then simply use commas to separate those until the last pairing where an ampersand will be used. If the film is not sold or represented by an agency then this copy is essentially going out looking for support. Since this is the case contact information is going to be an essential part of this cover page. In the lower left hand corner you should put your name, address, and contact information. Once you have found an agent this is where the contact information for your professional agent will go.
Once you have actually sold your script and had it registered with the Writer’s Guild of America you can put the WGA registration number on this cover. You can put this at the bottom center or bottom right of the page. It should look like “Registered WGAw No. XXXX.”