Screenwriting: How To Write a Title Page for TV Movies

Screenwriting is one of the most competitive fields to get into. All you need is time, an imagination and a word processor. Now there are many different specializations that a screenwriter can get into. There are feature films, television shows and TV movies. Regardless of what you write, there is a universal screenwriting format that all writers must conform to if they want their work to be read and taken seriously.

The Importance of Formatting

Some people would try to tell you that it's OK not to learn this and that only a fool would reject a great script because it's not in the proper format. But the truth of the matter is that your script won't even get read. Production companies hire people to read their scripts to see if they're any good. These people are over worked and under paid. A script that looks like a mess is an easy way for them to save time by instantly rejecting it. After all formatting is basic, if a writer can't properly do that then they assume that he/she can't even manage the more complex task of telling a story.

The Title Page

The first impression a reader gets of your script is from the title page. Title pages for TV movies are very similar to their feature film counterparts. In the very center of the page you have the title of the script. Directly underneath that you could write "An Original Television Movie." There are more spec scripts for feature films than TV movies so this would help distinguish your script from the rest. Clearly labeling the script as a TV movie helps improve the chances of it getting read by people looking for TV movies. TV movies follow a structure different from feature films so a script designed to be a TV movie is a lot more attractive to a TV movie producer than a feature film script.

Example:

"The Other Man"

An Original Television Movie

At the bottom right corner of the page you are going to place your contact information. This would be your name, address, phone number, email and the date the script was completed. You should always register your script with the Writer's Guild of America to protect your intellectual property. You don't need to place the registration number on the title page though.

Example:

Jim Smith

1794 Maple Street

Buffalo, NY 11420

How TV Movies are Different from Feature Films

You might be wondering how a TV movie is different from a feature film. They're similar in many ways, except for the act structure. A feature film is usually composed of three acts while a TV movie has around six or more. The reason for this is commercial breaks. Something important in the story has to happen right before the commercial break so that they viewer sticks around to see what happens next instead of changing the channel. This is especially true with the midway point where the viewer needs to choose between continuing with the movie or watching another show. TV movies have more act breaks than feature films.