What are colored revision screenplay drafts

Ever wondered what the color coded jargon is on some drafts of screenplays? What are colored revision screenplay drafts?

There is always some or other form of a measuring system to track any kind of progress. Stock analysts use data and indicators to track the movement of stocks. Singer use scales to measure their vocal range. Bodybuilders use reps, calorie calculators, diet macros etc to track their gains. The tracking plays a vital role so that the execution of the final goal remains seamless.

Film productions have their own way of keeping track, mainly to save them time and production cost from untidy and de-cluttered execution. They are called revision colors. Colored pages are used in film and television to keep track of revisions to a script as it goes into production.

Every time a change is made to the script / schedule, production prints the changes on different colored paper. This is especially helpful for the script supervisor, because they know which pages have been revised and which version they’re reading, just based on the color of the paper.

The WGA west standard script revision color sets-

Sr.no Revision Order
1 White Draft (original)
2 Blue Revision
3 Pink Revision
4 Yellow Revision
5 Green Revision
6 Goldenrod Revision
7 Buff Revision
8 Salmon Revision
9 Cherry Revision
10 Second Blue Revision
11 Second Pink Revision
12 Second Yellow Revision
13 Second Green Revision
14 Second Goldenrod Revision
15 Second Buff Revision
16 Second Salmon Revision
17 Second Cherry Revision

NOTESpec screenplays and screenplays in development won’t have colored pages. It’s generally only once the script is locked for scheduling and budgeting that colored pages are used.

The “Green Draft” seen here would likely be mostly white paper, but will also have green, yellow, pink and blue pages, which were altered from their white counterparts on the date indicated. (And in the case of a PDF, the only thing letting you know it’s a “green page” is a header for GREEN REVISIONS at the top of the page.

The revision methods differ in different country. Where I am from, the production team would prefer a last minute improv than a rewrite.

They say everything gets hazy after the goldenrod. You would get it if you are a writer. The curse of the evil 6th draft. The draft where you have lost touch with the idea itself.

Many productions don’t go beyond goldenrod. Most copy shops don’t even have ‘cherry’ or ‘salmon’ paper in stock. The important thing is that everyone knows what color is next. The title page would list all the revision dates and colors in order. Each revised page would note the color and date next to the page number at the top. For example: YELLOW- 11/19/2019 – p.56

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