What industry-specific standards and guidelines govern film and television production documentation?

Film and television production documentation is subject to industry-specific standards and guidelines that help ensure the efficient and organized creation of content. These standards play a vital role in maintaining consistency, quality, and safety in the filmmaking process.

Script Formatting

One fundamental aspect of film and television production documentation is script formatting. Properly formatted scripts are essential for clear communication among the cast and crew. Industry standards, such as those defined by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), provide guidelines for script layout, font choices, and character/dialogue formatting.


Storyboarding is another critical aspect of production documentation, especially in the pre-visualization stage. Storyboards help directors, cinematographers, and production designers visualize scenes and plan shots. While there may not be a single governing body for storyboarding standards, established best practices and templates exist within the industry.


Here’s an example of properly formatted script elements according to industry standards:

  <location>INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY</location>
  <action>The cafe is bustling with customers sipping coffee and chatting.</action>
  <dialogue>"Can I get a cappuccino, please?"</dialogue>

In this example, the DITA XML code represents a scene from a screenplay, adhering to industry standards for script formatting.