First impressions are important, and the same concept is true for the title page of your screenplay! The title page is the first thing readers see, so it's crucial to format it correctly and ensure that it includes all the necessary information. What should and shouldn't be included on a title page? Keep reading because today I'm talking about formatting dos and don'ts and providing examples of screenplay title pages!
What is the Purpose of a Title Page?
The purpose of the title page is to introduce the reader to your script! This is the first part of your script that the reader is seeing, so it needs to inform them of a few key things:
Who wrote it
Is it based on preexisting material
How to contact the author
What Does a Screenplay Title Page Look Like?
A screenplay title page can be broken down to include the following:
The title is in ALL CAPS, centered, and appears ¼ down on the page (20–22-line spaces below the 1" top margin).
Your byline, "by" or "written by," followed by the author's name, dropped 1-2 lines below. If there is more than one author, write both names on a single line with "and" in between, 1-2 lines below "written by," such as "John Doe and Jane Doe."
About four spaces below the author's name go any additional credits. Additional credits acknowledge any preexisting content the script is based on or adapted. They might look like "Story by" or "Based on the novel by."
In either the bottom left or right corner goes any contact information. This can be either the writer's or their agent's information. Name, email address, or phone number are typically included. A mailing address is sometimes included but isn't necessary.
All the text on your title page should be formatted in 12-point Courier font, single-spaced, and the margins should be set as follows:
Left Margin: 1.5"
Right Margin: 1.0"
Top and Bottom Margins: 1.0"
Screenplay Title Page Example
Here are some scripts with title pages for you to check out!
"No Country for Old Men" by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
The title page of this screenplay is brief and straightforward. It also provides an example of handling an adapted screenplay based on preexisting content.
"Our Flag Means Death," created by David Jenkins
This is an example of how to format a TV pilot title page. This script also includes a date and a draft number. You'll see a lot of scripts of produced shows or movies that include dates, likely because they were required for studio deadline purposes.
Bad Script Title Page Example
Check out the following example of a bad script title page:
This title page has a lot of unnecessary information that's cluttering the page. You don't need to include the draft number, the date, copyright information, or that it's WGA registered. This title page also includes a logline, another no-no. Provide loglines or summaries in the supplemental material that accompanies your script.
Good Script Title Page Example
And now, here's an example of a good script title page:
Notice that this title page is very simple. It only includes the immediately needed title, author, and contact information.
Let these dos and don'ts help you to write the perfect title page! If formatting your title page makes you feel intimidated, fear not; most screenwriting software will appropriately format your title page. Don't disservice your script by having a messy or convoluted title page. Save the creativity and unique choices for the script itself. Be sure to play it safe by following the industry standard regarding your title page. When in doubt, keep it simple. Happy writing!