Action Lines and Narrative
There is a lot to be said about narrative and action that does not fall into the realm of formatting and thus will not be mentioned here. However, the Screenwriter’s Bible recommends to write lean, to describe only what we can see and hear, to use specific words and action words, show don’t tell. All this is handled in a multitude of books on screenwriting.
Screenwriting is visual storytelling. Thus, one recurrent theme is to write only what can be seen and filmed. Look for example at the related articles on the site Mystery Man on Film to get an idea how that translates into movie scripts.
This issue is being dealt with on the page on characters. Here a short summary: A character introduction consists of a few words up to a few lines of description that suggests something about the character. Normally the character’s name appears for the first time as part of the character description. In that one case the name is capitalized. Following the introduction the character’s name is not capitalized except for the character cues, which are always in caps.
This site dedicates an area for script analysis - or better script dissection where we list character description taken from scripts of produced movies. Go there to read a few and see how it’s done in scripts of well known movies. Careful though, many scripts available on the internet are shooting scripts not spec scripts. When it comes to formatting your spec script, the Screenwriter’s Bible is a well accepted authority.
Sounds can be capitalized in the narrative, but don’t have to. Some writers only put important sounds in caps.
MOS stands for ‘Mit Out Sound’ and it means ‘without sound’. It allegedly traces back to German director Eric von Stroheim, who used to say things like “Ve’ll shoot dis mid out sound.”
Here an example from the Screenwriter’s Bible: