The Anatomy of an AST Script

As runners of a moderately successful free audio drama, people often ask us what the hell we’re doing in the garden, and threaten to call the police. But we’ve stopped garden dipping recently, and have instead spent more time on our scripts.

Scripts on the floor

You spend hours working on a script, and it ends up like this.

So, how do we do it? Well, we’d recommend Celtx – it’s free! And it does all the formatting for you. Which is good for us because we’re quite lazy. So that’s the tool, what about the constituent parts? The anatomy, if you will, of an AST script?

Let me take you through it:

Title

My favourite part of the whole thing. A great place to stick in a pun, play on words or, better still, something that is almost a pun or play on words but actually isn’t. Nothing like confusing the minds of a select group of the population. And you are a select group aren’t you? Of course you are. Look at you, sitting there. Reading this. Probably eating something sticky. Don’t let other people judge you. We don’t judge you. We think you rock. Have another one, handsome.

Authors

You cast your eye over the show details. You look for the tell-tale signs of quality. Names. Names that you’ve seen before on other things that you liked. Pinter. Shakespeare. Archer. But sometimes those names aren’t there for quality. Sometimes you want the unhealthy stuff. The burnt bits on the bottom of the meat pan. And here it is. Bond and Macken. Every time. Every episode. You read the names, and the names read you right back.

Cast

You’ve got to put people in these things. Otherwise you just get twenty minutes of silence. And nobody wants that do they? Do they? Pick people who have too much time on their hands and will do it for free.

Intro

It’s the same every time. But it has a jaunty tune. All together now; dum dum dum dum dum, dum dum dum dum, dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum. You owe Producer Dan £5 for copyright infringement. That’ll learn you.

Scenes

Got to do this bit yourself chum. We ain’t helpin’ ya. But make it good. Laid out thusly:

Scene: 1
(A large room filled with a sense of demonstrable disappointment and tins of Spam)

SOUND: A DOOR OPENING (NOTE TO PRODUCER – THE DOOR IS A 2CM THICK DOOR MADE FROM OAK AND HELD IN PLACE BY BRASS HINGES, PLEASE MAKE SURE THIS IS AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION)

STEVE
Hello.

PAUL
Hello.

STEVE
Shall we go on an adventure?

PAUL
Sure. A sciency adventure.

SOUND: AN AWARD FOR WRITING BEING HANDED TO A VERY SURPRISED CHIMP WITH A TYPEWRITER

Repeat ad infinitum

Outro

It’s that tune again! But this time with the names of the cast and a blatant plug. Consistency.

Well, that just about covers it. But you can ask questions in the comments if you REALLY must know more.

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