The Hollywood Standard, 2nd edition
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The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style, by author Christopher Riley

with a foreword by Antwone Fisher

The book that's the final word on screenplay format

"Indispensible, practical, readable, and fun to use.  Buy this book before you write another word!"

Dean Batali, writer/producer (That '70s Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

"Required reading for any screenwriter who wants to be taken seriously by Hollywood."

Elizabeth Stephen, President, Television; Executive Vice President, Motion Picture Production, Mandalay Pictures

Finally a screenplay format guide that is accurate, complete, authoritative and easy to use, written by Hollywood’s foremost authority on industry standard script formats.  Available now from Michael Wiese Productions.

Why script format matters

Stacks of screenplays by first-timers and even seasoned professionals never receive serious consideration because they fail the fan test. Overworked readers, executives, agents and producers pick up your script, flip to the last page and fan toward the front, looking at nothing but the physical layout of your script on the page. The format. What they see forms their first impression of your dream script. And sometimes their last. Whether you’re a neophyte screenwriter or an old pro, THE HOLLYWOOD STANDARD is a must-have reference that tells you exactly what you need to know about standard screenwriting format to get your script past the fan test.

Author Christopher Riley is uniquely qualified to write about standard script format and style. For 14 years he worked in Warner Bros’ acclaimed script processing department, eventually running the standard-setting operation. He wrote the studio’s screenwriting software and served as the ultimate arbiter of screenplay format for Warner Bros. and dozens of outside clients that included Amblin, Disney, Columbia, Universal and NBC Productions. And, arguably, he ended up knowing more about television and movie script formats than anyone in Hollywood.

THE HOLLYWOOD STANDARD is filled with clear, concise, complete instructions and hundreds of examples to take the guesswork out of a multitude of formatting questions that perplex screenwriters, waste their time and steal their confidence. You’ll learn how to get into and out of a POV shot, how to set up a telephone intercut, what to capitalize and why, how to control pacing with format, what belongs in parenthetical character direction and whether those automatic (cont’d)s beside dialogue should be turned on or off. Never again will you have to wonder if you’re turning in a professionally formatted script or one that brands you as an amateur.

Christopher Riley is the screenwriter, along with his wife and partner Kathleen Riley, of the multiple-award-winning courtroom thriller After the Truth. He has written for Touchstone, Paramount, Mandalay and Intermedia and is a sought-after screenwriting instructor.


"Christopher Riley just made my job tougher!  Each year experienced producers screen out hundreds of scripts because the mistakes in form and organization reveal them to be the work of amateurs.  But if those hopeful writers follow Riley's concise and knowledgeable advice, they're going to look like the best professionals in Hollywood."
Robert W. Cort, producer (Save the Last Dance, Runaway Bride, Mr. Holland's Opus, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Three Men and a Baby, Outrageous Fortune)
"Probably the most critical book any screenwriter who is serious about being taken seriously can own.  For any writer who truly understands the power of making a good first impression, this comprehensive guide to format and style is priceless."
Marie Jones, book reviewer,

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