Home Writing How to Format Your Screenplay Title Page [5 Easy Steps]

How to Format Your Screenplay Title Page [5 Easy Steps]

by Neil Chase

Picture this: after months of tireless effort, your screenplay is finally complete. Every character arc, plot twist, and line of dialogue has been meticulously crafted.

But there’s one element that often gets overlooked, and it’s the first thing anyone will see – your screenplay’s title page.

A well-formatted screenplay title page is like a clean front door – it’s the first impression that invites the reader inside your story world. Neglecting it can mean the difference between a script that gets read and one that gets tossed aside.

So, let’s dive into the specifics of making your script title page shine. Follow along as I guide you through five easy steps to ensure your title page stands out in the pile and, more importantly, gets your screenplay the attention it deserves.

Understanding the Elements of a Screenplay Title Page

Typical screenplay title page.

Title and author: Your screenplay’s title and your name need to be positioned and formatted correctly as they form the cornerstone of your screenplay title page. This will create your reader’s first impressions of the script, and sets the tone for what’s to come.

Contact details: You never know when your screenplay will strike a chord with a producer, director, or production company. Having your contact information readily available facilitates potential connections and opportunities that may come your way. I find that using an app to organize project and contact details can be incredibly helpful.

Writing partners: Sharing the limelight with your collaborators isn’t just about being fair; it’s a professional norm. Crediting your writing partners appropriately acknowledges their contribution and fosters mutual respect and trust.

Adaptation or story by credit: If you’re standing on the shoulders of other creators, acknowledging their work is not just a nice gesture – it’s a legal necessity. Paying respect to the original author’s work validates their creativity and intellectual property.

Copyright symbol and WGA Number: Inserting a copyright symbol and/or WGA registration number are optional. Some writers feel they serve as a clear reminder of your legal rights, while others feel they are unnecessary to list on the page. Your rights don’t change if they’re not shown. It’s your call.

Images and fonts: When it comes to the title page, going the minimalist route pays off. Opting for standard fonts and steering clear of images help maintain a professional and focused atmosphere. After all, your screenplay should do the talking, not the bells and whistles on your title page.

Step-by-Step Guide to Formatting a Screenplay Title Page

1. Set up the Page

To format your script title page, start with the basics. Set your margins to standard screenplay format: 1 inch on all sides. Use a 12-point Courier font, the industry standard for all screenplay; and single-line spacing for each element on your title page.

Consistent use of margins, font, and spacing helps maintain a clean and professional appearance. Most title pages are formatted within a specialized software program such as Celtx or Final Draft.

2. Ensure Correct Placement of Each Element

Each element of your title page has a specific place.

Start by positioning your actual title in the center of the page, both vertically and horizontally and adhere to the industry standard of 12-point Courier font to maintain a professional look.

Just below your title, still centered, insert “by” or “Written by” followed by your name on a new line below it. If the screenplay is a collaborative work, an ampersand (&) should connect the authors’ names.

Next, include your contact details. An email address and phone number are sufficient, but if you have an agent or manager, it’s usually best to include their contact info (name, company, email, phone) instead.

These details should be aligned to the left margin and positioned in the bottom margin of the script cover page. Remember that your contact information is a direct line to you, so ensure it’s correct. Double-check everything – a simple typo can mean the difference between a call from a potential producer and a missed opportunity.

3. Choose an Appropriate Font and Size

Courier 12-point font is the industry standard for screenplays, including the title page. It’s important to maintain this standard to be seen as a professional screenwriter. While it may be tempting to use a more unique font to stand out, it could instead give an impression of amateurishness.

Including images or a different font can be unprofessional and distract from your script’s content. Remember, your title page should be clean, minimal, and professional.

4. How to Handle Writing Partners and other Credits

If your screenplay is a collaborative effort, you must attribute credit to all involved parties of the writing team. And always ensure you have permission from other writers before including their names.

When two or more writers write the screenplay, you might see an ampersand (&), the word “and”, or sometimes both. They’re not interchangeable.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) on screen credits.

When you see the ampersand symbol between writer names, it means they wrote the script together as a team. For example: “John Smith & Fred Jones”.

When the word “and” is found between the names of two or more writers, it means they worked on it at different times. For example: “John Smith and Sally Doe”.

A maximum of four names are typically accepted based on the above structure, with a team of two writers for the initial writing and a team of two writers for the later rewrite. For example: “John Smith & Fred Jones and Sally Doe & Mary Brown”.

If your screenplay is an adaptation of an existing work or is based on a story by another author, it’s essential to give proper credit on your title page. This acknowledgment should be placed directly beneath your title and your name, again centrally aligned.

Typically, you would use the format “Based on the [novel/play/article/etc.] by [Author’s Name]” or “Story by [Author’s Name].” Remember that this isn’t optional or a mere formality – it’s a legal and ethical requirement. Always obtain the necessary permissions and rights before adapting someone else’s work.

5. Should You Include a Copywrite Symbol?

Including the copyright symbol on your script title page is an optional step that can emphasize your legal rights. Situated in the bottom left corner, it reads as “© [Year] [Your Name]”.

While it doesn’t replace official copyright registration, it’s a visible deterrent to potential infringers. Just remember, thorough protection of your intellectual property requires official registration in addition to this symbolic gesture. As noted in this article, it’s an additional detail that displays your professionalism and respect for your work.

Tips and Best Practices for Screenplay Title Page Formatting

Avoid unnecessary information

Keep your cover page concise by omitting unnecessary information like the draft number, draft dates, loglines, or rewrite information. Some established pros include these elements at a studio level, but for spec scripts, it should be avoided.

Maintain a clean and uncluttered design

A clean, uncluttered title page design gives a great first impression and ensures that the focus stays on your work’s essential elements.

Use industry-standard formatting tools and software

Using industry-standard screenwriting software tools ensures your screenplay will conform to the accepted norms of the film industry. Celtx offers a fantastic software option for screenwriters.

Review and proofread for accuracy

Double-checking your title page for typographical errors or inaccurate information is crucial, as mistakes can detract from your screenplay’s quality and professionalism.

Examples and Visual References

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for how to format a title page, it’s time to turn our attention to some real-world examples.

Seeing these elements in action can offer a practical understanding of how these elements weave together to form a coherent title page. First, some good examples with relevant information and proper formatting:

The Town (2010) title page.

Next, let’s look at a famous bad title page:

Inglorious Basterds (2009) title page.

Here’s what’s wrong with this one:

  • The title and the author’s name are haphazardly placed.
  • The font is handwritten and tough to read.
  • The title page is a photocopy of a handwritten page.
  • It’s distracting and can turn off potential readers before they even get to the actual script.

Let’s face it, if this was written by anyone other than Quentin Tarantino, it would be a flashing neon sign saying, “Stop Here!”

But as you can see, there are exceptions to every rule, and they’re mostly by established or famous writers. Bottom line – once you’re famous, you can break the rules too – but until then, you need to play by the rules like everyone else.

Final Thoughts

All in all, having a properly formatted title page is vital for a script. It should be as professional as possible and contain all the necessary information in the correct places. Make sure to use proper screenwriting software, as it will help you get the key elements of your written script formatted properly.

So get out there, write your screenplay, and make sure your screenplay title page format is on point!

You’ll feel so much better knowing that your movie ideas are packaged up in a professional-looking screenplay. Good luck!


  • Neil Chase

    Neil Chase is a story and writing coach, award-winning screenwriter, actor, and author of the horror-western novel, Iron Dogs.  Neil has won over 100 international awards for his writing and filmmaking, including the prestigious FilmMaker’s International Screenwriting Grand Prize Award & the ScreamFest Best Screenplay Award. His directorial-debut feature film, Spin The Wheel, is currently in post-production. Neil believes that all writers have the potential to create great work. His passion is helping writers find their voice and develop their skills so that they can create stories that are both entertaining and meaningful. If you’re ready to take your writing to the next level, check out his website for tips and inspiration!

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