Technical Writing




A. The first and last word of all film, book, television or story titles. 

B. All proper and place names.

C. All verbs regardless of length, including forms of the verb “to be”, such as “is”, “was”, etc. 

D. The subject and object of the title, and all related modifiers, e.g., The Man (subject) Who (subject modifier) Knew (predicate) Too (object modifier) Much (object).

E. All words containing more than five (5) letters, e.g., Without, Though.

F. Articles (a, an, the) conjunctions (and, or), and prepositions such as “to” and “of” should never be capitalized unless they are the first or last words of the title


            A. Italic type

i. movie titles  (The Man Who Knew Too Much)

ii. book titles, e.g., Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

iii. stage play titles, e.g., Death of a Salesman

iv. titles of encyclicals, treatises or academic papers, e.g., Dissertazione sopra i vampire

v. titles of periodicals, e.g., The Los Angeles Times, People en Español

vi. record and CD titles, e.g., Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

(note that the punctuation separating italicized titles, including parentheses, should remain in roman typeface)

B. Quotes

                        i. television shows, e.g., “My Mother, the Car”

                        ii. magazine and newspaper articles, e.g., “Generalissimo Francisco Franco Still Dead”

                        iv. chapters of textbooks, nonfiction books and novels, e.g., “Chapter 1: I Am Born”, “Mollusks”

                        v. titles of poems, unless they are of epic or book length, e.g., “The Raven” vs. Beowulf

                        vi. song titles, e.g., “Born to Be Wild”.


A. When appearing as part of catalog or ad text, subtitles should be separated from the regular title with a colon (:) and follow the same guidelines as above, e.g., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Historical Perspective

B. When appearing as part of a logo or a graphic design, a colon may not be necessary, especially if it is unsuited to the nature of the design, e.g., Chiquititas  Rincon de Luz 



            A. When listing the achievements of actors, directors, etc., on sell sheets, the person’s name should be

followed by an em dash (—) and the titles of the movies, TV shows and plays with which the person was connected using the TITLE guidelines, e.g., Terri Garr—Ghost World, “Sonny and Cher

 B. When an actor’s name appears in a synopsis, the name should appear in parentheses after the first mention of the actor’s character, followed by an em dash and titles, e.g., The bizarre life of writer Dorothy Parker (Jennifer Jason Leigh—Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Rush Hour) is depicted…



A.     A hyphen should be used to

i.                    connect words to form single words, e.g., job-hunt

ii.                  form expressions, e.g., man-beast

iii.                form adjectives, e.g., behind-the-scenes

B.     An “en” dash should be used

i.                    to demonstrate a range of numbers e.g., 400 – 600 units

ii.                  dates, e.g., May 4th – July 7th

iii.                any range of items that would read as “(item) through (item)”, e.g., K – 12, 75 – 80 percent.

(In MS Word, an en dash is created by typing the first item in the range followed by a word space, two hyphens, a word space, and the last item in the range.) 

C.    An “em” dash should be used

i.                    for inserting phrases in a sentence (e.g., They carry with them a powerful amulet—rumored to have been stolen from Vlad’s tomb—that allows them to transcend time…)

ii.                  attributions (e.g., “Best film of the year that I’ve seen this month!”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

iii.                cast and crew credits when they occur in a synopsis, e.g., Michelle Pfeiffer—Grease 2, director Ron Howard—Eat My Dust

(In MS Word, an em dash is created by immediately following the last word of the name or phrase with two hyphens and the next word or name in the sequence, with no word spaces.)



Today’s date: ___________

Order is legible (all illegible items are written in)

Each title is identified as SP, EP or DVD

All titles have correct pricing

Bill to:

Ship to:

Customer P.O. Number (Note: If no customer P.O. # is given, assign one using the date followed by customer’s initials, e.g., National Music Rack order placed on 3/6/01 without P.O.# would be “30601NMR”.

Correct version of title (e.g., SOUL IN THE HOLE is offered in an “Edited Version” as well as a “Director’s Cut”). CORRECT VERSION MUST BE WRITTEN IN IF NOT CLEARLY SPECIFIED BY CUSTOMER. 

NLAs and TNAs marked as such

Customer notified of unavailability

“Need by” date (if known)

All pertinent information highlighted

            __ P.O. Number

            __ Unit prices

            __ Titles

            __ Modes

            __ Quantities

__ Shipping address

Order given stamp of approval with correct date and salesperson’s initials



Title spelled correctly?

Names of cast and crew members spelled correctly? (IMDb, Google, Yahoo, and Ask Jeeves can be used as references.)

UPC, ISBN and catalog numbers

Rating correct?

Correct running time?

Special features complete? Correct?

Is the synopsis coherent? All spellings correct, including actors’ names and credits? 

Are the correct typefaces used for actors’ credits (Italic for movie titles, roman and double quotes for TV shows) 

Capitalization: proper names, place names, verbs (including “is”!), first and last words of titles.

Correct running time?

If Spanish-language, is it a Televisa title? Does it include subtitles? 

Are all relevant corporate logos displayed, including Xenon’s? 

Are the names of all relevant production entities spelled correctly, including Xenon’s?

Are names and titles spelled correctly in the credit block?

Any discrepancies between the sell sheet and the final artwork?

Does the copyright line appear on both wrap and disc art? 

For sell sheets and ads, are dates and pricing correct?



1. Most stock returns include an itemized packing list that includes the sender’s RAR (Return Authorization Request) number and Xenon’s assigned Return Authorization (RA) number, as well as the sender’s name and address. This packing list (providing that it includes the title, catalog number, medium [DVD or VHS], and VHS mode [EP or SP]) can be used to check in the return by either checking off or correcting the quantities of the titles and quantities in the shipment. The person or persons checking in the return should sign and date the list when the process is completed.

2. If no sender packing list is available, make a list of all items received, including title, quantity, medium (DVD or VHS) and catalog number. For VHS titles, include mode (SP or EP). UPCs are optional. Please make sure that the list, if handwritten, is legible, and that the quantities listed have been double-checked. Please include the name of the sender, sender’s address, RA and RAR numbers if available, phone numbers, and any other pertinent information included with the shipment. Again, the person or persons checking in the return should sign and date the list when the process is completed

3. Forward all paperwork relevant to the return (packing lists, bills of lading, correspondence, etc.) to Xenon Pictures, Inc., 1440 9th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401.

4. Xenon must be given finished returns check-in paperwork within one week of receipt at Expedia.

5. All product checked in from returns (except defectives) must be added to and accounted for in current inventory of Xenon product held at Expedia.