Guides & Resources
Glossary for Screenwriting Terms
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. If the audience does not empathize with the main protagonist, the audience will not hope or fear for that character, and therefore, will not care about the character’s objective.
The environment is the surroundings or conditions in which a character lives or operates in. The environment can often be a source of conflict in of itself, and sometimes the environment is the antagonist of the story.
Establishing Shot
A shot, usually from a distance, that shows us where we are. A shot that suggests location. Often used at the beginning of a film to suggest where the story takes place.

The writer must draw from within his/her own experience (especially when creating characters) and rely on his/her own sense of who people are, how they tick, what they’re about, etc.

Exposition is an explanation of necessary information to the understanding of the facts from which the story action departs.
In a script, the abbreviation EXT. (EXTERIOR) notifies the reader that the following scene will be outdoors.
Camera shot that is extremely close to a subject, used to emphasize some particular detail. Usually typed out in full in capital letters
Extremely Long Shot (XLS)
Basically self-defined. Means the camera is placed an undefined, very long distance from the subject or action. Generally, this term would be left left to the director
Smooth, gradual transition from complete blackness to a scene (fade in); gradual transition from a scene to complete blackness (fade out). Always typed out in full in capital letters.
A fade (FADE IN:, FADE OUT., FADE TO BLACK.) is a transition effect in which the film picture lightens and appears or darkens and disappears gradually.