Crafting Your Draft Script: Tips on Writing and Formatting Your Script for the Scripted Edition Application

profile image for Shaun CathcartShaun CathcartProgram Manager, TELUS STORYHIVE
From Script to Screen

Hello! I’m Shaun Cathcart, a Program Manager on the TELUS STORYHIVE Editions team. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an aspiring filmmaker interested in applying to our latest program: The STORYHIVE Scripted Edition.   

This is a great opportunity for your latest scripted film idea, and we want to help you put your best application forward. What’s different for the Scripted Edition from any other of our programs is that you will need to submit a full draft script as part of your application. Here are a few tips and suggestions on writing a script that would be a good fit for this Edition. 


Your script does not need to be a final draft. A rough draft is fine. You will have the opportunity to further develop and refine your script with the help of your mentor who is an experienced filmmaker. Please note your script will not be made public. 

Please keep the following in mind when writing your draft script:

Story & Setting 

The Scripted Edition is open to all scripted genres, including (but not limited to) Comedy, Drama, Action, Romance, Suspense, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, Western and Musical. 

All projects must be locally reflective. This means the story must be set in the applicant’s community of residence (Note - It does not have to be set in the present day. It could be set in the past or even the future.) and it must be about characters, topics or events that are relevant to and reflective of that community.


The program that you deliver to TELUS must be rated G or PG and have no coarse language. However, you are free to create alternate cuts of your program for other uses such as festivals if you wish.


We certainly don’t want to limit anyone’s ambition or vision, but it’s important to keep in mind your budget ($20,000) and production timeline (approximately 1 year) when writing your script. If your story calls for a cast of thousands, elaborate sets, bigtime stunts, many complicated visual effects and the music rights to songs by Taylor Swift and the Beatles, it might be better to save that story for when the studios come calling. A simple story well told is better than a complicated one poorly told.

Script Length 

One page of script in standard format translates on average to one minute of screen time so, for example, if you wish to make a 20 minute film, you should write an approximately 20 page script.

Script Format 

  • Use a 12-point Courier font, single-spaced.

  • Set margins to Left: 1.5 inches, Right: 1 inch, Top: 1 inch, Bottom: 1 inch.

  • Use ALL CAPS for scene headings (optional: may be in BOLD), and for character names when first introduced.

  • Dialogue format: Character names in ALL CAPS, positioned starting 3.7 inches from the left side of the page. Dialogue block starts 2.5 inches from the left.

  • Page numbers in the top right corner with a 0.5 inch margin from the top, except for the title page.

Feel free to explore script templates online or utilize tools like Microsoft Word's screenplay template.

Script Sample:

That's it!

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to unlock $20,000 in production funding, training, professional mentorship (in partnership with the National Screen Institute) and distribution on TELUS Optik TV, Stream+ and STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel. No experience is required. 

​Your Story, Your Narrative. Let’s bring your vision to life!

We're excited to see your submissions for the STORYHIVE Scripted Edition! Send in your application to by May 21. 

From the team
Posted onMay 08, 2024
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