This week, Zach gets a schooling on the history of script formats and how one lead to the rise of the Studio System.


Scenario Format Example: A Trip to the Moon (1902)

  1. The Scientific Congress at the Astronomic Club.
  2. Planning the Trip. Appointing the Explorers and Servants. Farewell.
  3. The Workshops Constructing the Projectile.
  4. The Foundries. The Chimney-stack. The Casting of the Monster Gun/Cannon.
  5. The Astronomers-Scientists Enter the Shell.
  6. Loading the Gun.
  7. The Monster Gun. March Past the Gunners. Fire!!! Saluting the Flag.

Master Scene Format Example: The Great Train Robbery (1903)


Two masked robbers enter and compel the operator to get the “signal block” to stop the approaching train, and make him write a fictitious order to the engineer to take water at this station, instead of “Red Lodge,” the regular watering stop. The train comes to a standstill (seen through window of office); the conductor comes to the window, and the frightened operator delivers the order while the bandits crouch out of sight, at the same time keeping him covered with their revolvers. As soon as the conductor leaves, they fall upon the operator, bind and gag him, and hastily depart to catch the moving train.

Great Train Robbery Script

Master Scene Script Example: The Godfather (1972)


Scriptwriting Software Links

Final Draft
Movie Magic Screenwriter

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Remco van de Kant on

    Oeh… I see I’m a little behind with my Zach on Film podcasts.

    I liked this podcast a lot and truly praise putting together four people with different opinions, experiences and opinions that enrich this podcast.

    Do any of you listen to the Scriptnotes podcast from John August (screenwriter of Big Fish, Frankenweenie & Charlie’s Angels a.o.) & Craig Mazin (Indentity Thief, The Hangover II & III a.o.)? If you don’t, make sure to check it out. Don’t let some of their credits scare you….

    They share a lot of experiences, history and knowledge on screenwriting and the life of a screenwriter. They answer emails, analyse films (Raiders of the Lost Arc & The Little Mermaid) and give feedback on the first three pages of a screenplay that listeners send them in a special segment called the ‘Three Page Challenge’.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. is also a pretty cool free option for screenwriters. Cloud saving and an integrated forum community to help newcomers out.

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