Scripts for film, TV or radio

A woman speaking into a radio microphone and a man presenting a piece to camera
A woman speaking into a radio microphone and a man presenting a piece to camera

As well as writing for the stage you could write a script for radio, TV or film/video.

Much of what has been said will also apply if you are writing a script for a medium other than the stage. However there are important differences.

Plot

In media other than stage drama you do not need to worry about whether or not you can stage the plot. In radio you can write about almost anything you can imagine. In TV and film you need to think about the visual impact of what you're writing.

There are also techniques specific to the different media, which will replace or add to the stage directions.

TV or film script

On stage the audience's viewpoint is fairly static. In film or TV we see things through the eye of the camera. You need to write down what you want the camera to be looking at while the dialogue is spoken. Do you want it to look at one character in close up? Do you want it to move around the room? You need to specify this in your directions.

Radio script

A palm tree in a gale
A palm tree in a gale

The main things you need to consider are sound effects. The listener cannot see anything so you need to suggest what is happening by sound. These could be sounds like:

  • breaking glass
  • a door opening
  • wind howling through trees
  • music to create atmosphere

Sound effects should be in brackets like stage directions.

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