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(Screenplay) Changing Characters Name in Dialogue... (1 Viewer)

Sock

Senior Member
I have a character who if known only as "Hotel Manager" in the script, but later introduces himself as Phil Carling. After he introduces himself as such, should I change his name in the script?
 

Diego

Senior Member
No you would introduce him as:

PHIL CARLING, hotel manager, late 30's, walks into the room with a fast stride.

Or whatever. You introduce him with his name.
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
Yes, it's not like he's going to walk in and say

"Phil Carling: Hello, I'm the hotel manager."
 

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
Yep. And it's in caps because if he introduces himself he has spoken lines, so his name gets capped at first appearance.
 

Sock

Senior Member
Okay, thanks guys. So would it be appropriate for his name above dialogue to read "PHIL", instead of "PHIL CARLING"?
 

Diego

Senior Member
Just Phil, and if he's not an important charecter, you don't even have to mention his last name anywhere.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
but you don't add 'hotel manager' to his name when he's introduced... we can't see that he's the hotel manager, can we?... but if you want us to know that's what he is, you either say he's wearing a name tag, or place him in the manager's office, or have a character say that's what he is... in the intro, you put only his name [in all-caps first time only] his age, if that matters, and a brief description, if that's needed... otherwise, you leave those details up to the casting director...

in your case, as you state it, his name should be used from the beginning, in the script... remember, the audience doesn't read that... they only see and hear what you write will be seen and heard... so, if he's referred to by name in any of the dialog, you have to use his name in the script, from the git-go... if he's not ever referred to by name, then he doesn't need one and you just intro him as HOTEL MANAGER and use that for his dialog headings...

hope that's clear enough... hugs, maia
 
C

CelticMemories

>>so, if he's referred to by name in any of the dialog, you have to use his name in the script, from the git-go... if he's not ever referred to by name, then he doesn't need one and you just intro him as HOTEL MANAGER and use that for his dialog headings... <<

In some scripts I've read, characters' names are not used, even when they speak, until their names are actually used by someone, thereby introducing them. In Raising Arizona, for instance, Ed, the policewoman who takes H.I.'s mug shot when he's being booked, is tagged WOMAN the first time she speaks. Then H.I. speaks to her and calls her Ed and the next time she speaks, she's tagged ED.

Just wondering why that is.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
it's not etched in stone... but as a newbie writing a spec script, you can't get away with most of the stuff established 'names' can... so, it's best to hew to the most 'standard' of the basic 'rules 'n regs'... besides which, the coen boys wrote that and they weren't exactly newbies, plus they were also directing, which makes a big difference in how some scripts are written...
 
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