Script 101: How to Add Music to Your Script - The Script Lab (2023)

Von:Christoph Osterdorf

put together100 million dollarsat the box office worldwide, one can say that with certaintybaby driverit became something that none of Edgar Wright's other films really was: a legitimate success.

From an excellent cast to stunning action sequences to a great marketing campaign, there are many reasons Baby Driver won over audiences. It manages to be Wright's most accessible film yet without losing the visual flair and sense of humor that have earned it such a cult following. But if there's one element in Baby Driver that fundamentally sets it apart from your average action film, it's the music. Many films have great soundtracks, but few filmmakers are able to tailor the music to their will as adroitly as Wright.

Ifdanny boyleWhen told that his films were too much like music videos, he said, "I took that as a compliment. MTV was something new and different, and that's what I wanted to do. Cinema has a certain rhythm and I try to capture that in the songs.” But unlike filmmakers like Boyle andMartin Scorsese, who are primarily directors and may consider music in post-production, screenwriters need to be careful when scoring a screenplay.

baby driveris a master class for aspiring writers on how to use music properly in a screenplay. Of course, directing your own film helps, but Wright made it clear that the music was offbaby driverit was instrumentalof the writing process. You can get that.

(Video) The Dark Knight | Why So Serious? HD - "Script to Screen" to The Script Lab

Write music only when absolutely necessary.

When Wright sent the script tobaby driverto the actorsThe scope of delivery includes a USB stick with connected music. He also talked about how he would include links to the song in the actual script so you can listen to an MP3 of the song on the page as you read.

Script 101: How to Add Music to Your Script - The Script Lab (1)That kind of attention to detail would be overkill for the average writer, but it shows how Wright made the music an integral part of each scenebaby driver, virtually inseparable from everything else on the page. It's different than writing a songhelps set the tone, but not mandatoryIsmusic that belongs there. In other words, if there are several songs that could work in place of the one you've chosen, back off completely.

have morepractical reasonsalso be insightful about how you use music in your writing. On the one hand, if you're writing a screenplay that you think might someday be made, you as the writer probably won't have the final say over the music that goes into the film (again, if you're a world-famous Writer). Writer/director like Edgar Wright, you can ignore this tip, but for everyone else it's worth considering.) Also, putting a famous song in your screenplay makes it easier for an artist to collect royalties, and almost guaranteed , that the film exceeds its musical budget.

However, while a writer who randomly throws a song (or, God forbid, several songs) into his script without considering these facts comes across as amateurish, a writer who discovers that a perfect song is discovered is more likely to impress . After all, Edgar Wright wasn't always Edgar Wright. As always with screenwriting (or any type of writing), it's important that you know the rules before you try to break them.

Consider how the music complements the storyline.

(Video) UCCE Scripting Lab 1 Introduction to Script Editor

wright tienetalked aboutHow important is Jon Spencer's blues blast?"flare pants"was forbaby driveryears ago and how the concept of the film grew out of the idea

"Maybe some getaway driver listens to this song and actually tries to time their escapes and literally have the perfect score for the perfect score." With the invention of the iPod, Wright realized that it was entirely possible to make a movie complete with diegetic music to accentuate. But since none of the songs in this film were going to be background noise, each song had to add something to the scene in a specific way.

"When I wrote this script, I basically put the beats of the music in the direction of the stage along with the story," says Wright. "We storyboarded it and then storyboarded the songs so we could try to time it and make sure it worked the movie."

Director John Woo has often comparedAction movies to musicals(Say your favorite movie issing in the rain.) With that in mind, when we talk about action, it's worth thinking about not just in the context of bullets and chases, but in any scene where a character is active. Consider the scenes inbaby driverwhere Baby drinks coffee, meets Debora, or the moment she cheerfully cheers on The Commodores' "Easy" (a song that wasn't originally written). All of these scenes are as important to the film as any other. from more traditional action movie scenes, and they all share the same soundtrack.

Common ground is the notion Wright challenges how each song complements the scene in which it belongs. That doesn't always mean that a song has to fit perfectly with what's going on or what the characters are feeling. Sometimes it's just as effective to use music that's at odds with what's happening on screen. remember theuseAs a matter of factGen Kellyclassic oneClockwork Orange? or theEar clipping sceneSet to "Stuck in the middle with you."Reserve dogs?

(Video) Script Tip: Your First 10 Pages - Five Essential Elements

Script 101: How to Add Music to Your Script - The Script Lab (2)baby driverHe gets the best of both worlds using Barry White's "Never Gonna Give You Up" when Baby meets Jon Hamm's friend at the diner. The romantic nature of the song is ironic given the scene's violent ending. However, the lyrics also reflect how far Baby and Buddy are willing to go for the women they love.

Then there's the way the characters come into itbaby drivertalk about music without ever overlooking the effect it has on them. Music is the subtextual and literal language used by the characters in the film to communicate, to relate.

The average writer doesn't necessarily have to be that intense when writing music for their film, but again, it's important to think about what a scene would actually look like if the film were made. This goes back to the idea that music to capture the sound is a thing that is usually managed by the composer, conductor or music supervisor. But music, which not only captures the tone but is also inherent in the narrative and action of the film, can be considered when writing the screenplay. Not everyone can be Stanley Kubrick and fundamentally change the way we think about music.because it was used in the movies. But every writer's goal should be to make a certain impression with their work, and if you strive to put music into your script, it should be music that fundamentally enhances the nature of a particular scene. . As Quentin TarantinoNuts, "If you do it right and you do it right, the effect is that you can never listen to that song again without thinking about that frame from the movie."

Think carefully about the music you write.

This one is a little more abstract, but bear with me. To quote Tarantino again, hesaid oncethat: "When I start to get an idea I go to my record room where I have a big vinyl collection... and I go through my records and what I'm looking for is the rhythm of the film, the sound of the film. It could be other tracks, oldies, rock and roll...all sorts of things, but I'm trying to find the rhythm and beat [of the film].He continues: "That was before I even officially started [on a screenplay]. , but I'm really starting to think about this idea seriously... Even as I'm writing something, if I need a little encouragement, I just go back and come back to it." put some of that music on and I'll be back."

(Video) How to write a VIDEO SCRIPT for your online course (sound more natural)

Tarantino isn't the only filmmaker whowrite with musicEdgar Wright is the same. Afterbaby driverHe debuted at SXSW for the first timesaid it, “When I write, I have to write music that sounds like this outside of this film, and it has to be the right kind of music. Every time I write a script, I qualify by playing the right kind of music."

What can aspiring writers take away from this information? Well, basically it's important to have good taste. If certain music helps get you in the mood, maybe that's the song that belongs in your script. After all, the music you would listen to while writing a western isn't necessarily the same music you would listen to while writing a comedy. If something inspires you enough to write words on the page, it probably fits the scene you're writing about.

After all, almost no film can be based solely on music. I'm sure there are those who havecriticized baby driverBy the way, the music trumps the script. But whether you're writing a film with lots of music or not, the point is that you should put as much time and thought into the songs you include in your script as Wright put into creating driver. (And if you can't fully justify a particular song's existence, maybe just cut it out of your script.)

Download the BABY DRIVER script for free hereScript 101: How to Add Music to Your Script - The Script Lab (3)

For the latest news from The Script Lab, follow us atblood,Facebook, OfInstagram.

(Video) Introduction to Python Scripting - Follow Along Lab


How do you add music into a script? ›

How do I insert a specific song in a screenplay? You insert a song in your script by writing: “MUSIC CUE:” followed by the “Song Title” and then the “Artist Name.” Then you can write as usual. And when you plan on ending your song write “End MUSIC CUE.”

What does OC stand for in script? ›

(O.C.) means “off camera” indicating the character is part of the scene but not seen on camera at that moment.

What should not be included in a script? ›

Unfilmable things. There are some things that are simply unfilmable, and those things don't belong in your movie script.
That means DO NOT:
  • Overuse parentheticals. You're not an actor/director.
  • Be over-descriptive of your characters. ...
  • Include music cues. ...
  • Abuse the notation of camera angles.

What does MOS mean in a script? ›

MOS Literally "mit-out sound". Used to denote a picture take for which no sound was shot. M.O.S. Script abbreviation calling for a silent shot or scene accompanied by neither dialogue nor sound effects.

What is a script with music called? ›

A libretto, or "book," for a musical provides the script and song lyrics for a show.

What does SFX mean in a script? ›

VFX (visual effects) and SFX (sound effects) should be written in your script in all caps. And that means any special sound (FOOTSTEPS, BANG, FLASH, etc.). These should be written in the Action text.

What does LS mean in a script? ›

Long shot (LS) or full shot (FS). With people, this is a shot from the top of their heads to at least their feet. (To save space we've used a vertical rather than a horizontal format for this photo.) A medium shot (MS) is normally a shot from the waist up.

What does super mean in a script? ›

Super or Superimpose

A super is a line in a script that implies text should be “superimposed” onto a shot to communicate something (usually setting). This “SUPER” example from The Disaster Artist tells us that the setting of the scene is “San Francisco, July 1998.”

How many pages is a 2 hour movie script? ›

Feature film scripts usually run between 80-120 pages for an approximately 1.5 or 2-hour movie; each script page corresponds to approximately one minute of screen time.

What are the 4 things that a script must have? ›

There are only four elements you can use to tell a screen story: images, action, sound effects, and dialogue.

How much can a screenplay sell for? ›

For this type of screenplay, the Writer's Guild of America pays anywhere from around $70,000 and upwards of $150,000, meaning the average feature film script clocks in at just over $100,000.

What does FG mean in script? ›

f.g. = foreground. f.g. is used in action the same as b.g., except the action takes place in the foreground.

What is BG in screenplay? ›

b.g. (background) Used to describe anything occuring in a rear plane of action (the background as opposed to the main action or attention is focused in the foreground). Always use this term in lower case initials or written in full ("background"). For example: two people talk as Bill and Ted fight in the b.g.

Do you write camera shots in a script? ›

Camera directions are decided by the director. The only time screenwriters should include camera direction in script is if they plan to direct the screenplay or if the camera direction is essential to understanding the plot.

How do I get my music played? ›

How to get your song on the radio
  1. Know who to approach. When it comes to approaching radio stations, you need to know who to contact. ...
  2. Know how to submit your music. ...
  3. Target the right stations. ...
  4. Consider your online presence. ...
  5. Create a buzz. ...
  6. Hire a radio plugger.
Feb 11, 2022

What are 4 types of scripts? ›

Here are eight types of scripts that you can write:
  • Original script. Original scripts include those that you create from your own ideas. ...
  • Adapted script. An adapted script re-imagines an existing story or narrative. ...
  • Screenplay. ...
  • Storyboard. ...
  • Spec script. ...
  • Standalone script. ...
  • Pitch script. ...
  • Shooting script.

What are the 5 elements of a script? ›

The 5 elements that make up a great story

For this introduction, we're going to call them character, want and need, plot, structure, and conflict and resolution.

Does SFX include music? ›

SFX Set The Scene

They're a way to establish a setting or mood without using dialogue or even music.

Should you spell out numbers in a script? ›

The first rule is to spell out all one and two digit numbers. Three or more digits may be written numerically. Rule number two is to spell out indications of time. For example, do not write 2:15, rather, write two-fifteen.

What is SFX vs VFX? ›

While there are further subcategories, special effects are often practical, meaning that they are artificially created on set (for example, a controlled explosion in an action scene). Visual effects, on the other hand, are created in post-production or the editing bay.

What does PP mean in a script? ›

5,17,123ff,204". "p" is often used as an abbreviation for "page" and "pp" for pages, with or without a period, as in "found on p.

What does over black mean in screenplay? ›

Writing text over black screenplay format

This format can be used for any text anywhere in your script and will clarify to the reader that the text will appear over a black screen.

Can you use slang in a script? ›

Like idioms, slang can help make your dialogue more colorful, distinguish one character from another, and add a sense of authenticity to your script.

What makes a strong script? ›

A great script sets up a scene and characters and leads them through a journey or over hurdles. By the closing of the video, the viewer will see a bit of him or herself in your character, and this emotional connection allows the message to take hold.

How do I make an audio script? ›

  1. Use smaller words and simpler sentences. ...
  2. Write in contractions. ...
  3. Get personal. ...
  4. Use the active voice. ...
  5. Don't be afraid to end your sentences with a preposition. ...
  6. Write your vocal stage directions into the script. ...
  7. Test your script readability with Microsoft Word. ...
  8. Practice reading your script out loud before recording.
Apr 29, 2021

How do I import my music into movies? ›

Add songs and other audio files on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
  1. With your project open in the iMovie timeline, tap the Add Media button .
  2. Tap Audio, tap My Music, then tap a category to browse songs.
  3. Tap a song to preview it. ...
  4. To add the song to your project, tap the Add Audio button next to a song.
Oct 12, 2021

How do you show copyright in a script? ›

Here's what you need to know about how to copyright a screenplay:
  1. File an official copyright application with the US Copyright Office.
  2. List all authors and their contributions.
  3. Include a complete description of your work.
  4. Attach one copy of your script.
  5. Get it registered with WGA.
  6. Register for an international deposit.

Why do you need music in a screenplay? ›

Music is a vital component to cinema. It can guide audiences into the intended emotion for each and every moment within a film. It can accentuate the emotions being felt by characters and the moments created within a story. It can give a sense of tone, pacing, and atmosphere.

How do you sound natural in a script? ›

How to Read a Script Effortlessly (without sounding robotic)
  1. Dictate Your Sentences.
  2. Use Shorter Sentences and Short Words.
  3. Smile While Reading to Sound More Warm.
  4. Use the Right Microphone.
  5. Use Your Hand Gestures While Speaking.
  6. Use the Power Pause Throughout Your Script.
  7. Channel Your Role Model.

Which script is best on sound? ›

Therefore, Java script is the right answer.

How can I make my audio? ›

  1. Open the Sound Recorder application in the following location: Start>All Programs>Accessories>Sound Recorder.
  2. Click Start Recording to begin recording.
  3. Click Stop Recording to stop recording.
  4. Choose a filename and destination in the window that pops up.
  5. Click Save.
May 16, 2018

How do I import music to my library? ›

You can drag and drop a file directly into your iTunes or Music window to import it. Or you can use the top menu: select File, then Add to Library or Import. You can select a folder to import all audio files inside that folder. If this doesn't work, search your Mac for the folder called "Automatically add to iTunes".

How much does it cost to put music in a movie? ›

The synchronization fees charged by music publishers for major studio films are usually between $15,000 and $60,000 (with the majority ranging from $20,000 to $45,000) but can be lower if the music budget is small or higher if the song is used several times in the motion picture, if the use is under the opening or ...

How much money do script writers get? ›

Script writers make $64,254 per year on average, or $30.89 per hour, in the United States. Script writers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $38,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $106,000.

Do screenplays get stolen? ›

Although many ideas get stolen or borrowed from, many other screenplays do get optioned, sold, and produced. If you want a chance to sell your screenplay, you just have to do what you can to protect it, keep a paper trail of conversations you've had and where you sent it.

Should I put copyright on my script? ›

Before you start shopping your new script around, it's a good idea to register your copyright through the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO). Taking this extra step allows you to officially protect your script from theft, plagiarism, or other forms of infringement.

Should you write beat in a script? ›

A beat in dialogue usually means the screenwriter wants to indicate a pause. It's a theatrical term that you shouldn't really use outright in your screenplay, because its seen as instruction to the actor and/or director.

How many beats should a screenplay have? ›

There are exceptions to this of course, but generally speaking this is why 40 beats seem to work well when translating to the standard screenplay length of 100 – 120 pages.

Why do screenplays fail? ›

Forgetting the Fundamentals of Telling a Story

Screenwriters sometimes get caught up in the dramatic idea of their script that they forget a movie needs: Interesting characters. A suspenseful plot. Believable dialogue.


1. Be The Teacher: Writing a Script... The Easy Way!
(Anthony Stirpe)
2. La La Land | Good Enough HD - "Script to Screen" to The Script Lab
(The Script Lab)
3. Screenwriting 101 - Lesson #4 - Writing a Script in Celtx
4. How Curb Your Enthusiasm Works WITHOUT A Script
5. Wwise 301 L4-01 | Posting Events from a Script
6. I Wrote A Screenplay In 48 Hours - Complete Screenwriting Masterclass Part 21
(Top Development)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 02/21/2023

Views: 5985

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.