How to Write Dates and Times in a Screenplay

Screenplay-dates-and-times

Times and dates can be confusing. 

I recently just wrote a feature where one date is essential in the screenplay.

Example:

INT. FOREST - DAY
SUPER: SEPTEMBER 17th

This subheading can also use this way for times in a script.

Example:

INT. FOREST - DAY
SUPER: 4:14 PM

Just understand that supers are placed onto a film in words like an opening a star wars film.

A super gives the reader and the audience the date right in their faces. You see this done on a lot of time travel movies, movies that skip time or location. It keeps everyone understanding the context of the situation. 

How to write different times in a screenplay? You write different times in a script by writing at the end of the heading with the time you want to indicate. 

This way is more for times of the day.

Examples:

INT. FOREST - DAY
INT. FOREST - MORNING
INT. FOREST - EVENING
INT. FOREST - LATER
INT. FOREST - NOON
INT. FOREST - AFTERNOON
INT. FOREST - NIGHT

Example:

Before Sunrise (1995) The film takes place over one day. Therefore it’s necessary to tell the time of day. To show that the film doesn’t happen over an hour but thought the day. 

When you Should Write Dates and Times in a Script

Dates and times shouldn’t be overused, but sometimes, the reader will get lost without them. Then and only then are they a must-have. 

For example, in my script called Powerless, one of the characters can see the future, so when the vision ends, I had to indicate where we were in the timeline. 

I used the super subheading to indicate the exact date we zoom back for. 

It was needed even my script reader indicated it was. 

Ask yourself:

Without out indicating a time or date, will the reader get confused?

If yes, use them.

The biggest thing you should take away from this is to have a reason for telling the reader. 

Now its time to hear from you:

Which way are you going to use?

Do you have a good reason for using it?

Whatever your answer is, let’s hear it in the comments below.

Happy writing

How to Write Dates and Times in a Screenplay
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