1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    EXT. OCEAN [Screenplay Question]

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JJ_Maxx, Jan 3, 2013.

    So I'm working on writing a script and had a question about a slug line.

    I start off the scene on a floating ship, then move to the ocean floor, where the action stays. (Think of a swordfight between two skeletons that starts on a ship and continues underwater.)

    Would I just use:

    EXT. OCEAN - DAY

    ...and keep that heading all the way through or would I change the scene to something like:

    EXT. OCEAN FLOOR - DAY

    Thanks.

    ~ J. J.
     
  2. midnight candle
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    midnight candle Member

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    hi JJ,
    i would probably start with the first header and then as the next scene shifts underwater, add CONTINUOUS

    EXT. OCEAN - DAY

    ...and keep that heading all the way through or would I change the scene to something like:

    EXT. OCEAN FLOOR - CONTINUOUS
     
  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Change scenes. It's a new shooting location/ environment. At the location transition point, use either an em dash or an ellipsis (em dash is recommended) to suggest a continuation, and then put in the new scene heading and continue the action, Such as

    They roll off the deck--

    EXT. SCENE

    --and plunge deep into the sea.

    This would go for almost all location changes within action, unless the location change is repeated in quick succession.
     
  4. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Thanks both of you! I tried to think of movies with underwater scenes and came up short!

    ~ J. J.
     
  5. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The barfight in Top Secret!

    And of coarse, most of The Abyss.
     
  6. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Ah crud! Selbbin you genius! The Abyss is ALL surface/floor scenes! Reading it now... Helps a lot, thanks!

    Looks like...

    EXT. OCEAN

    and

    EXT. OCEAN BOTTOM

    ...are used most.
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It's also one of the best scripts ever written, not just the structure but the prose.

    EDIT: but PLEEEEASE remember that Cameron wrote The Abyss to shoot it himself, so ignore any camera directions and scene transitions. It is not a spec script!
     
  8. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    :rolleyes: I know, I know!

    Daniel should make us a Screenwriting Discussion/Help forum... Or subforum maybe! Wish we had a bigger screenwriter base here. :redface:

    ~ JJ
     
  9. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Yep. It's a big part of writing. Not just novels.
     
  10. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    +1. Screenwriting is often done poorly, especially by newer writers. I think the main problem is that it's quite a small market, and requires a team of people to bring to life... All of which is very hard for up-and-coming writers.
     
  11. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I have trouble knowing when to change scenes and when to leave it.

    ---------------------------------------

    EXT. H.M.S ANABEL DECK - DAY

    SKELETOR and SKELETAR duel with swords. They lock blades and fall overboard sinking down—

    EXT. OCEAN FLOOR - CONTINUOUS

    —to the bottom of the ocean. Unphased by the water, they jab and parry as Skeletor forces Skeletar onto a coral reef.


    ---------------------------------------

    Coral reef? Hmmmm... :)

    ~ J. J.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you don't need em dashes [which should not be used in action/description element anyway] or the repetitive 'to the bottom of the ocean'... only need mention they 'fall overboard and sink' [no 'ing' verbs] and stop there...

    EXT. OCEAN FLOOR and CONTINUOUS in next slug line tells director et al. that the two are followed all the way down on camera...
     
  13. Hambone
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    Hambone Member

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    This would be great! I don't do or know anything about screenwriting, it would be a great way to expand my horizons.
     
  14. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Oh Mamma,

    Once again you are a wellspring of knowledge! I will do that!

    Yes, I have already sent a PM to Daniel to see if there's a place for more screenwriting discussion around here!

    ~ J. J.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there IS a screenwriting section... it's down in the workshop area... i don't see why another section would be needed... especially since that one gets very little traffic...

    http://www.writingforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=22
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The screenwriting section in the Workshop is for critique only, not discussion.

    But I agree with Maia. I don't see enough script and screenwriting activity to justify a dedicated discussion section, in my opinion. But we'll see. Daniel may see it differently.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    since all other writing stuff is 'discussed' in the 'general writing' section, why isn't that a fitting enough place for screenwriting, as well?... it is, after all, also 'creative writing'...

     
  18. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Screenwriting and playwriting may fall under the same broad category, but in academia they are taught separately for a reason. ;) The rules of screenwriting are not the same as any other kind of prose. Sentence structure can be broken and formatting is crucial.

    I appreciate your input, but there is desire for a discussion forum, so I will follow it up. :D

    ~ J.J.
     

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