It's pretty well established by now that ALL CAPS IS SHOUTING.
So if you have a character shouting at someone, you use all caps.
But what about a party scene where everyone is bellowing over the sound of the music. Personally, I find writing all the dialog in ALL CAPS makes it feel more like a party. But I've had execs tell me not to do that.
What's your experience?
For some reason, I feel like there's a difference between a character actually yelling at another character (e.g. in anger/in distress) and a character talking loudly to be heard over the BGs and Walla (my partner is a sound designer - I'm not just a geek!).
I usually put a parenthetical in for the actors, or a note in the action so that it's understood that they're conversing over loud noise, but I wouldn't normally use ALL CAPS for that kind of situation.
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I think that the trick is to use sparingly and strategically in keeping with the rhythm of the scene.
I'd echo the poster above who mentioned a paranthetical, or even a line of action at the top of the scene ("XXX music plays, they yell to be heard above it...") and then use caps, if at all, only to emphasise any words or phrases that should be particularly loud:
Last night I slept with your wife.
LAST NIGHT I slept with your wife.
You did what?
I SLEPT with your wife.
You slept with who?
Clearly, nobody would ever write dialogue that crap, but for illustration purposes...
Woman Fired for 'Shouting' in E-Mail
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