A Dialogue List is a document that contains the spoken dialogue in a film or TV production. Additionally, dialogue lists include all spoken dialogue in a full-length feature film or a television series. Unlike scripts for broadcast, these lists are sometimes created before the script is final, as the filmmakers may want to review the dialogue flow between characters.

Dialogue Lists are needed by the filmmakers to submit to the network or production company as part of the distribution package. It serves as a foundation for other post-production documents that are required by distributors or TV networks. These documents are necessary for various processes such as obtaining copyright, meeting legal requirements, adding closed captions, and creating subtitles for foreign languages.

Translation, Subtitling, and Closed Captioning

The international market for feature films and TV series is an essential part of the industry, as overseas sales can often generate more revenue than domestic releases. In order for them to be successful in foreign markets, films and TV series must be translated into the native language of the country where it will be exhibited. In addition, subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) are becoming an increasingly common requirement for online distribution.

This is where the Dialogue List comes into play. The detailed account of the exact spoken words (verbatim dialogue), sound effects (e.g., glass breaking, gunfire, rain, vocal sounds (e.g., stuttering, gasps, vocal tics), music details (e.g., upbeat, eerie), lyrics (with a musical notation to indicate as lyrics, speaker identification (who is talking to whom), narrative voice-overs, timing (start and end time, duration), on-screen text, graphics and signs (lower thirds, chyrons) need to be accurate in order for the film or TV series to be precisely portrayed in the translations and subtitles.

Sample Styles

Dialogue List w/ Time Code Speaker Change

  • 3-Column Table Format
  • Character Names with Dialogue
    • Voice-Over indicators
    • All Dialogue with Indication of overlap
  • Time Code every Character

Dialogue Lists – Basic with Time Code

These follow a basic script format and are time coded to the second, at one-minute intervals. They indicate Voice-Overs (V.O.), Off-Screen (O.S.), and Off-Camera (O.C.).

  • Script Format
  • Character Name/Dialogue
    • Voice Over, Off-Screen, Off-Camera Indicators
  • Time Code at 1-minute intervals

Dubbing and Combined Continuity & Spotting List

Dubbing is the process of recording dialogue in another language to match the lip movements of the original actors. This is often done when a film or television show is being distributed in a foreign market. The dialogue list serves as the basis for the dubbing process, as it provides a detailed breakdown of all the spoken dialogue in the film or television show. This makes it easy for the dubbing team to match the new dialogue to the timing of the lip movements of the actors in the original version.

The dialogue list will also include information about any sound effects or music that appear in the production. This consists of the type of sound effect or music and the time code at which it appears. This is important for the dubbing team as they will need to match the sound effects and music to the new dialogue.

Dialogue Lists are also an essential element in building a CCSL (Combined Continuity & Spotting List), which contains, in written text, the script of the final broadcast version of a film or TV series, as well as the description of the visual (e.g., camera shots and interior scenes) and audio content. The detailed account of all the dialogue elements in the film and TV series allows one to build a good quality CCSL seamlessly.

Why You Should Employ Skilled Professionals to Create Dialogue Lists

Creating an accurate dialogue list through transcription is a task that demands expertise, patience, and experience. Some filmmakers may question why they should hire a professional when they can transcribe themselves.

There are a few technicalities that require knowledge to create an accurate dialogue list. For example, the process of separating dialogue from background noise, adjusting the volume of individual lines, and making sure that dialogue is synced with the visual elements of the film or television show. These technicalities, if not done correctly, can lead to errors that will affect the entire post-production process.

Additionally, an untrained person may not have the patience or experience to transcribe the entire dialogue accurately, leading to errors that could cause issues with distributors or film festivals. They may also not be able to recognize and correct errors that occur during the transcription process, which could lead to an inaccurate dialogue list.

Furthermore, an expert will have the ability to transcribe the dialogue in a timely manner, ensuring that the post-production process moves forward smoothly and on schedule. A professional will understand all the nuances related to the transcription, such as file formats for different distributors, etc. while an untrained person will take a longer time to transcribe the dialogue – potentially leading to delays in the post-production process.


In conclusion, the Dialogue List is a critical document in the post-production process. The Dialogue List is a fundamental document for other post-production requirements by broadcasters or TV networks. It is essential for various requirements for different distributors for domestic and foreign markets.

In producing films and TV shows for foreign markets, they provide a detailed account of verbatim dialogue, including utterances spoken by the actors of the production, which allows for more accurate translations and subtitles in the native language of the country where the film will be exhibited. Thus ensuring that the audience can understand and enjoy the production.

An accurate dialogue list is an essential step in the post-production process, and it requires skill, patience, and experience. Hiring professionals to transcribe the dialogue ensures that the dialogue list is accurate, meets the requirements of distributors, and is made in a timely manner.

When it comes to producing a film or TV show, creating and implementing dialogue lists is a crucial step in the post-production process.

If you’re looking for professional help with this aspect of your project, Daily Transcription offers post-production services that can help elevate your project. We have a team of experts that specialize in Dialogue Lists, as well as other continuity scripts, which can ensure that your project is completed accurately and efficiently.

With our expertise and knowledge, we can take care of all the technicalities and ensure that your project meets the requirements of distributors or film festivals. We can also ensure that the dialogue list is accurate, complete, and done in a timely manner. So, if you’re looking for professional assistance with dialogue lists and other post-production transcription services, Daily Transcription can help you to achieve your desired outcome.

Contact one of our representatives to help assist you in figuring out what type of script best fits your needs.