Listen very carefully, Bang2writers. Here is when you use CAPS – aka capital letters – in your spec screenplay:
When we are introduced to a character for the first time only.
You *can* however use caps for these things:
- An object that’s going to be important in the story (ie. a plot point)
- An animal that’s not named, but IS a character (ie. not for a random animal)
- A sudden noise – ie. BOOM! SNAP! KA-BLAM!
- To indicate a character is reading a screen (ie. PHONE, COMPUTER, TEXT MESSAGE, etc)
- To indicate the frame or a POV without actually saying it (ie. THROUGH THE WINDOW, DOWN THE HOLE, UP THE TREE, etc – though these often work ‘best’ as mini slugs, IMHO).
I get questions on the above all the time. As with most things writing-related, as long as it’s sparing, it’ll be okay.
DO NOT however ever use caps in dialogue for emphasis* (you’re telling the actors *how* to say the lines) or for SOUNDS GENERALLY (that’s shooting scripts only). *Yes, yes I know.