Screenplay Sloppy Sound Effects

If you get hung up on adding sound FX to your scripts, here’s a method to try.

When you write your script, include the sound effects in the **panel descriptions** a’la screenplay style–capped. Don’t worry about adding/calling out any actual sound FX in the dialogues.

For example:

Panel 7:
EXT. MT. OLYMPUS — DAY — LOW

Zeus hurls a lightning bolt through a giant bolder which EXPLODES in two.

or maybe

Panel 2:
INT. AMPHITHEATER — DAY — CRANE

Zeus channels a SIZZLING bolt of energy between his glowing hands. Ares lies bloodied on the floor, crawling away from the king of Gods.

In this method you give no other consideration regarding sound effects until the script is complete. Then you go back, spot all the capped sounds and decide which ones are worthy of actual sound effects. Those that are worthy get their own entry, those that aren’t are simply switched to lowercase and ignored.

Panel 7:
EXT. MT. OLYMPUS — DAY — LOW

Zeus hurls a lightning bolt through a giant bolder which explodes in two.

9 SFX (EXPLODING ROCK) THOOOOOOOM

I call this method sloppy, because it requires additional time to go back and revisit what you’ve written. It IS extra work. BUT not having to even think about SFX while you’re scripting does grant a certain amount of freedom.

Sometimes, the trade off works.


About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S.  Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.

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