So, you want to use an illustration for the title page of your screenplay, but you can’t import images into most screenwriting software, so how do you do it? Most people will find this is a difficult question to find the answer to. People will tell you that you’re ‘breaking the rules’ of screenwriting. But screw those people. Illustrated title pages are IN. And here’s how you add one.
Create a PDF of your script with NO title page.
In Final Draft, this is as simple as unchecking ‘Title Page’ when saving as a PDF. Then hit the dropdown for “PDF” in the bottom left corner and choose “Save as PDF”.
Change the size of your illustrated cover page to 8. 5 inches (WIDTH) x 11 inches (HEIGHT). Make sure the size is right! That’s inches, not pixels.
Now save your resized image as a PDF file in Photoshop. (If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use ilovepdf.com to convert a JPG to PDF for free).
Just go to File > Save As, then select Photoshop PDF from the drop down list.
Now hit save.
The next window will give you the option to compress the file size. It is very likely that you will need to compress your image so that the final PDF doesn’t end up being too large to attach to emails.
Here’s the compression settings I use, but feel free to experiment to find what gives you the best quality for your image:
Finally, hit ‘Save PDF’, and you’re done this step!
*Save your settings as a Preset so you don’t have to remember them for the next script!
Merge your script PDF and your cover page PDF using Adobe Acrobat or a free site like ilovepdf.com. Now I’ll be honest with you. Adobe Acrobat gives me issues, so I only use ilovepdf now! But here’s how you do it with Adobe:
Go to File > Create > Combine Files into a Single PDF.
The next window asks you to Add Files that you want to combine.
Drag and drop the files for the new, 8.5 inches x 11 inches illustrated cover PDF, and the screenplay PDF with NO TITLE, into this box. Or click ‘Add Files’ and find your files that way.
Make sure that your image is the first one on the left. You can drag it over if necessary.
Now hit COMBINE in the top right corner! Adobe creates a file named “Binder1.pdf”. Obviously, you’ll want to change this. Just go to File > Save As, and change the name.
And you’re done! It’s really that simple.
Just kidding, there’s more! Haha. On the off chance your file is STILL over 2MB, just go to ilovepdf.com and select the ‘Compress’ option. I recommend selecting the ‘Recommended Compression’ settings to retain the best quality.
Now go out there and make your scripts the beautiful pieces of art they deserve to be!