How to Write Title Cards in a Screenplay

How to Write Title Cards in a Screenplay

Learning how to write title cards in a screenplay is something that many screenwriters overlook at first. The opening credits, or title card sequence, represents a flash of information that generally then includes the display of the film creator’s names in an entertaining and interesting manner. The use of title cards was very common during the silent film era, but title cards are rarely incorporated into a script these days. Although they may be seldom used, knowing how to write title cards in a screenplay is still important.

What is a Title Card?

A title card designates the graphic element that is used in a film to denote specific information about the film. When used in a screenplay, the term TITLE CARD is used to describe and to designate the graphic element that is not superimposed over the scene.

The title card frequently comes into play before the first scene heading, and denotes the location where the title of the film is to show up on the screen. 

How to Write Title Cards in a Screenplay

Beginning titles or beginning opening titles are often incorporated into the film in a variety of ways. To incorporate a title or opening credit following a fade in, consider the following:



Action line – 



Action line – 

Break Down

In the above example, the use of BEGIN TITLES tells the production crew where the opening title of the film should come up but does not necessarily mean that the title should be superimposed over an image.

While most of today’s titles tend to be superimposed, thus it is rare to see a title card in a screenplay. Rather, you might see a more common use of the superimposition of the title details.

How to Write a Superimposed Title in a Screenplay 

Learning how to write title cards in a screenplay is largely about how you will show your title. Because most of today’s films superimpose the title over an image, a traditional title card is not used.

Instead, the title is superimposed over an image such that the text is placed atop the film footage. To show a superimposed title, or some other text over an image, your screenplay will look like:


Action line – 

SUPERIMPOSE: Myrtle Beach, Spring Break, 1975

Example Breakdown

In the above example, the words “Myrtle Beach, Spring Break, 1975” would be shown on the bottom of the screen and they would appear overtop the image that would be present on the screen.

So, in learning how to write title cards in a screenplay, it’s important to denote where the title begins, this can be achieved with the words BEGIN TITLES followed by the action items and later ending the title card with the word END TITLES. 

Using this format, or choosing to superimpose titles over your images, allows for versatile options as a screenwriter. 

The use of a title card in a screenplay is not as common as it once was. Short, one page or less title sequences are acceptable for a screenplay, but should only be incorporated into the screenplay if there’s a distinct purpose behind the title card and sequence being used. 

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