old keyboard

Writing a Script – The Correct Format (Making an Animated Movie)

Turning an idea into words.

So you thought of a great story, but until you write it down in script form you will never know if the story works. Transferring your thoughts into paper is one of the hardest steps in the movie making process, and people would often avoid actually writing a script as long as they can.

However, writing a script early on helps you spot issues such as:

  • Loopholes in your story.
  • Bad pacing.
  • No character development.

It also gives you a physical form of your story idea that you can share with people and get some feedback, which is priceless.

Formatting the script correctly.

I often read scripts that are poorly formatted. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it is really hard to focus on the story and understanding it. Keeping the right format is a basic thing every writer needs to know.

You can watch my script formatting tutorial, or keep reading.

Script format

A script consists of 3 main elements:

  • location
  • action
  • dialogue


At the beginning of each scene we must declare the location. We do this in the following format:

(a) interior or exterior? (b) a description of the location (c) is it day time of night time?

Writing a script: Location example



This is the place to describe the action that precedes or follows the dialogue. It is written without indention at the body of the script.

Writing a script: Action example



Indented to the center of the page, the name of the character would be written with capital letters and the lines of dialogue would be under it, indented as well.

Writing a script: Dialogue example



Dialogue direction should be in parentheses and placed before the desired line.

Writing a script: Direction example



I hope this cleared some things for some of you newer writers out there, is you liked this tutorial please subscribe, and if you have something you want me to cover please write it in the comments section below.

Previous step: Coming up with the story
Next step: Storyboarding

Get our Ultimate Resource Guide



  • Teretina

    hi there, my name is Teretina Kairua and I want to produce an animated film. I have an idea on what I want to do it on, like the ideas; the characters, location, the storyline, background music. However, I have not yet written a dialogue yet. I am struggling a little on that part. Is it possible if you could give me some tips? I have followed through on your tutorials, but I am still struggling a bit.

    I would greatly appreciate it.

    Kind Regards
    Teretina Kairua

    • jay

      i hope so your dialoges be minimum lines with shorter words and should express the feelings of character fou want to realise the viewers

  • samuel

    This is best coolest tutorial I have seen on this issue

  • Ave

    Try Alice for a cool Animation format!

  • Zaka

    Hell Everyone…My name is Zaka and I am very fond of Animated Movies and I love to write creative and Innovative things also and I want to say that I have a very Nice Animated movie Script with me so I f anyone is Intrested in it …I can share it and Thankyou:)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-fex3j8taQ coalminds.com

    Hi, I’m in the process of auditioning voiceover actors for my first animated series, I was wondering if you had any tips on putting extensive notes for the voice actor in the script? things for inflection etc. or is that best discussed directly with the actor outside of the script?

  • http://www.alyssia24x7.com Alyssia Alexandria

    Thank you for this tutorial – I found it very helpful.

    Question – how to write a short script for a non human character with no dialogue?

  • http://rajshweta.blogspot.in SHWETA RAJ

    this really helps me in writting script. as i am an animator i am having 3d short movie making project so i was serching about script writting. this is short and easy to understand too.
    thank you!!

  • Amit narayan

    its really helps me and useful thank you for this tutorial.