Sluglines: How to Write a Scene Heading and Use it Creatively

Sluglines: How to Creatively Write a Scene Heading

Scripts Which are the foundation of every movie production or media production are unique and sometimes challenging. The amazing but challenging journey that starts from a paper to the screen passes through a lot of stages.

The journey of going from the paper to the screen wouldn’t have been successful if the necessary features (Sluglines, Character, Action, Dialogue, etc) are omitted or not properly written in a well-constructed format. Scene heading is one of the most important sluglines in a movie script.

Brief Explanation on Slugline

Before going to the idea of one of the important sluglines, it is important to know the meaning of slugline. Here is a brief explanation, A slugline is a line in the script that specifically brings the attention of the reader to information. Slugline which a very important part of the scripts must be all written in uppercase. Sluglines and on their own in a script and they often break the length of a script. Sluglines are usually used in two different ways: Master Scene Heading and the Subheadings.

In this article, I will discuss scene heading as being the most important sluglines in the script. In a script project, the scene heading gives details about the location, setting, and time. When writing a script project, it is important that you know how to write scene heading. Below is an example of a Scene heading in the format.

The above is an example of a master scene heading which gives specific details about the location and time which is a very important part to start a scene in any script project. Below is the breakdown of how to write a Master scene heading in full detail.

How to Write Scene Heading

“EXT.”:- This is an acronym for the word “EXTERIOR” which simply means outside or shown on the outside. Relating this to the script, it is an important acronym that tells the reader about the location details. In script project “EXT.” tells the reader that the settings are on the outside. As a writer, “EXT.” must be added if a scene will be outside, this tells the reader the location of the scene is on the outside. For Example, “EXT. MOTOR PARK – DAY”

“INT.” – This is an acronym for the word “INTERIOR” which means inside or located on the inside. It is the opposite of “EXT” which tells the reader that the actions, dialogue, and activities of the scene will be taken inside (a house, an office a classroom, etc.) A scriptwriter must add “INT” to any scene this will be taken inside.

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“EXT/INT.” :- The combination of these two acronyms in a scene heading occurs if a scene moves from outside to inside. Writers use this if the actions or character in a scene move from outside to inside.

“INT/EXT.” :- The occurs if a scene moves from inside to outside. Scripters use this if the actions or characters in a scene move from inside to outside.

“LOCATION”:- As cited above example of a scene heading format cited above, a specific location must follow the acronym, this tells the reader the exact locations and the settings of the scene. This may be someone’s house, a restaurant, an office, a hospital, etc. This is where the scene takes place, and actions are being carried out.

Note: After specifying the location of the scene, it is important to add a dash (-) after the location. It is the basic rule of scriptwriting.

“TIME”:- The time is very important as it tells the reader the specific time of the scene. After the dash (-) the time will follow. The can be Day or Night (To be more specific, you can write either Morning, Afternoon, or Evening) This shows the time of the scene.

In Script, the scene heading should end up looking like this.

In conclusion, writers must follow the rules of how to write scene heading as explained above. This will tell the reader the Location, Setting, and Time of the scene. Many scriptwriting software and apps as preset for you to easily choose from. This will ease the stress of writing.

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