Joshua writes in with a question:
I bold my slugs, it's something I've been doing since I went pro about a two years ago ... I got turned onto by another writer and really like it ...
The thing is, when I bold my slugs, then I only use one space before the slug, not two ... the idea is that two spaces is generally there to let the reader know the following is a slug ... if the slug is bolded, there's no need for a double space, the bold lets the eye know it's a change in scene.
I do that and I really dig how it looks and reads, myself. And the producers who've picked up my work have never complained about it (and they've certainly given me a shitload of notes about other things, so if they didn't like it, they would) ... and I've never heard anything else from anyone, and have also seen a few bolded slugs scripts from other writers.
I just wondered, what's your take? I"m not trying to cheat, my scripts all fall into the respectable parameters ... the thing just looks and reads better, in my view.
For me, bolded slugs are a little bit of an annoyance. It's pretty far down on my list of pet peeves, but I've found them distracting in the few scripts I've read. I suppose a part of that could be that I'm so used to the regular way that anything else "looks wrong." I can't really speak to how other readers might perceive it because this has never really come up in any conversations I've had when I've shared pet peeves with colleagues.
If that's the only formatting liberty you're taking, it's probably not too bad. I can see it tripping a reader's mental red flag because it's a pretty conspicuous deviation, but it's relatively minor compared to not including page numbers, having the wrong font, the wrong spacing, having more than four lines in an action paragraph and giving camera direction.
Still, it could be a calculated risk in terms of earning the reader's skepticism off the bat. No good script will get a pass because of some bolded sluglines - but if the result is that they're too distracting I could see it impacting the read on a subliminal level.
To the best of my memory, I haven't seen too many professional scripts that have bolded sluglines, if that makes a difference to you.
Hope this helps!