How to Set Up a Shooting Script on Final Draft

Final Draft is a program used by professional screenwriters in Hollywood to write scripts and format them in a specific way so that studios, directors, producers and their crews know how to easily break each scene down to be shot and produced. These shooting scripts should only be made once the script is actually going to be produced, so that scenes can be numbered for scheduling purposes, pages can be added without affecting the overall page length, and the script can be budgeted for production.

Open the script you have written in Final Draft. Make sure you are beginning on the first page of the script and not the title page.

Highlight the entire script. Go up to the Production tab and open it. Scene numbers will be the first selection under that tab. Select that and a window will pop up. Select the Number / Renumber option and make sure it is from page 1. Click OK. Numbers will now appear beside all of your scene headings, going up from number one to however many scenes you have total.

Go back into the Production tab and lock all of the pages of the script. This will keep scene numbers from changing if new scenes need to be added to the script. These new scenes will be numbered with the original number of the scene before it, and an "A" after the number (or B and so on for other new scenes). If you add a few scenes after numbered scene 21, for instance, then those new scenes will be numbered 21A, 21B and so on. This is done so it is easier for the director, actors, producer and the entire crew to know exactly what is being shot and how to schedule these scenes.

  • Consider adding angles and inserts with A or B scenes after locking the script pages so that production knows to pay attention to specific things like closeups or flashbacks, as these are sometimes not denoted with scene headings in the original locked draft.
Items you will need
Final Draft software
About the Author

Irving Oala began writing professionally in 2007. He writes for various websites when he is not writing screenplays and short stories. He is also a huge sports fan and automobile enthusiast and always tries to fix broken items or devices around the house on his own.