What is the Difference Between a Screenplay and a Script?

Although some people may say that there is no difference between a screenplay and a script, there are tremendous differences.

So what are the differences between screenplays and scripts?

Scripts contain only actor dialogue and a description of what is happening. Screenplays tell the production team how to create a production made for screens as opposed to books, and include everything scripts contain. Screenplays also include camera angles, positions, locations of scenes, and dates.

Scripts contain only the actor dialogue. Scripts are the story. 

Screenplays are the “how-to” guide to turn the script into a production fit for a screen.

Screenplays contain everything that is left out of scripts and also include what the actors will say.

Screenplays include additional details relevant to conveying stories with cameras.

Screenplays include details such as:

  1. Angles and positions of cameras
  2. Dates, times and locations of scenes

A script is the written details of any kind of show.

A screenplay is an outline of a TV show or movie

Scripts are typically associated with theater, whereas screenplays are normally associated with films or TV shows. This is because theatre productions do not use cameras at all. There are no camera angles, etc. There is no need to capture a story with a camera. So many details that screenplays contain are not necessary for theater.

One easy way to remember what a screenplay is is to remember that the word screen is in screenplay. So screenplays are for shows that appear on screens. E.g. TV or film. They contain the extra details pertaining to how the production will be shot.

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