1. Exogenesis
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    Exogenesis Banned

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    Screenwriting Help?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Exogenesis, Jan 6, 2013.

    Hi there,
    I'd like some help with a particular scene, or essentially a shot I'd like to include in my screenplay. I finished the first draft of my screenplay recently, and have begun to edit and rewrite.
    In one scene, a female love interest character invites the protagonist to "share the night" together. The next shot is of the morning after, where we see some empty condom wrappers and an empty bottle of whiskey. Following this, the protagonist proceeded to go downstairs, muttering to himself before realizing that they're out of milk. This scene isn't needed - I could sum it up in one panning shot.
    So I figured - I could have a certain shot that showed the protagonist (Noah) leaving the house out the front door, just as we pan over to the fridge where a note is placed "Out for milk, love Noah". I then realized this shot would be taken from inside the kitchen, looking out towards the front door (in the 'living room') before panning over to the fridge.
    And my question, what would be the scene heading for this? Int. kitchen or int. living room? How would I describe the shot? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
    Luke
     
  2. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I would use INT KITCHEN, since most of the shot would be in there. However, I would also wonder whether the scene is needed at all since it's pretty much just using words to tell the audience what's happening. Do they need to know he's not there or where he's gone?
     
  3. Exogenesis
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    Exogenesis Banned

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    My only concern is that we'd be going from what I would call the sex "aftermath" scene straight to the grocery store (where he encounters what I deem to be an important plot drive). I can completely understand your logic though, because at this point, this isn't adding much other than 10 seconds.
    Thanks for the speedy reply and your help!
     
  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Don't describe the shot.

    If the scene isn't needed, don't write it. If you are not directing it, then you CAN'T sum it up in 'one panning shot'. That's a choice the director and their DOP and editor will decide when they interpret your script. Please don't make the newbie mistake of directing your script.

    Describe the relevant details of the scene and let the film-makers decide how to show it. Do not include ANY camera direction - that's for the shooting script only.
     
  5. johann77
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    johann77 Member

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    Some where between there and over there, I'm aro
    Go to DD
     
  6. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I agree with Selbbin, you shouldn't put any camera directions in your script. So for your script, it would go something like this:

    [table="width: 650, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td]
    INT. BEDROOM - DAY

    Clothes hang from the doors and the bedpost. Empty whisky bottles and condoms litter the floor. Noah rises out of bed without waking Noname.

    INT. KITCHEN - DAY

    Noah searches for coffee grounds and milk. The milk container is empty.
    [/td][/tr][/table]
    [table="width: 400, align: center"][tr][td]
    NOAH
    (to himself)
    Shit.​
    [/td][/tr][/table]
    [table="width: 650, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td]
    INT. GROCERY STORE - DAY

    Noah walks into the grocery store. His shirt is inside-out and his hair is unkempt.
    [/td][/tr][/table]




    Something like that. Good luck!

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

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    /\ as an example only, yeah, that works. Except I hate that use of continuous. First, I've never seen it before. Second, it's not needed.
     
  8. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Well, yeah it's just a rough example, but it does what he wants to do without giving camera directions. ;-)
     
  9. Exogenesis
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    Exogenesis Banned

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    Thank you all for your help!
    Thankfully, I have not made that error anywhere else in the script. Being an amateur director it's habit to see the shots, but I really appreciate the advice!
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It's ok if you're guaranteed to be the one directing it. Just not if you want to put it out there. Although that said it's best to just avoid it so as not to form bad habits.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    selbbin's right...

    CONTNUOUS isn't needed, as it's a given, unless the slug line says 'NEXT DAY' or indicates some other time change...
     
  12. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    As I said before it was a rough example. And there's no rule against using 'CONTINUOUS' if you're showing a scene that takes place directly after another one, without time elapsing. I'm not going to argue about this and I agree that it shouldn't be used a lot and avoid them if you can, but I was just writing an example and didn't take the time to write the action lines perfectly enough to remove the CONTINUOUS.

    Sometimes we argue too much over style and we miss the substance completely and that is kind of sad. :(

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

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    Na, it's great. We keep working through various examples to give a constant, evolving education on screenwriting. It's not about 'editing' your rough sample, and I know it was rough and only an example, but about showing other people reading that 'hey, see that, while we're here let's talk about that!' You accidentally gave us another interesting thing to highlight in our ongoing quest to assist in the construction of kickass screenplays.

    PS, like the change and love the dedication to formatting. Still awesome.
     
  14. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Good points Selbbin!

    For some reason, I always like to show what I am saying, rather than trying to explain it.

    Put it this way, writing a piece feels natural, smooth. Trying to explain how I do it is a little more difficult.

    According to my handy-dandy Screenwriters Bible, "The term CONTINUOUS simply means that the action happens continuously. There is no jump in time."

    This is just before Dave Trottier says, "As you can see, formatting, as with all languages, is as much of an art as it is a science."

    That's good advice. ;)

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

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    Yeah, there are formatting golden rules and formatting choices that do vary. My mentioning of 'Continuous' is specific to its use in the scene heading, which I have never seen (but that doesn't mean doesn't exist). I have seen it at the end of a scene as an instruction, similar to FADE IN / FADE OUT but I hate using it as it should be obvious that the action continues. You don't need to flash 'Continues' up on screen to inform the audience. ;)
     
  16. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    This is true. In all honesty, I should have put an action line saying Noah was leaving the room. Technically, it isn't continuous since Noah walks out of the bedroom, down the stairs, and into the kitchen.

    For example! (You know I love examples!)

    Ferris Buellers Day Off: (Dialogue Removed)

    [table="width: 650, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td]

    INT. BEDROOM

    He walks across the room to his dresser. He opens his
    underwear drawer.

    He pulls out a pair of underwear. He gets dressed as he
    speaks.

    He looks at himself in the mirror on the back of his closet
    door. He doesn't like what he's wearing. He continues his
    speech as he disrobes.

    INT. HOUSE. STAIRCASE

    Ferris comes down the stairs. He's wearing a completely
    different outfit.

    INT. KITCHEN

    Ferris comes into the kitchen and crosses to the refrigerator.

    He takes a sip out of a bottle of orange juice.

    He crosses to the pantry.

    He emerges from the pantry with a handful of Oreos.

    INT. FAMILY ROOM

    Ferris walks in and flops down in an armchair.[/td][/tr][/table]



    The beginning of this movie has Ferris moving a lot through rooms. Again, there is an art to this, and no two people will do it the same, but it's a good example. Even though all the scenes are happening one right after another, it's not instantaneous, so no continuous is needed.

    But, here is an excerpt that shows CONTINUOUS properly:

    28 Days Later:

    [table="width: 650, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td]

    EXT. ENGLISH CHANNEL - DAY

    The little boat is overloaded. Water is coming over the sides. SURVIVORS bail frantically, using their cupped hands to get rid of the flooding sea water. Then the outboard motor dies. And won't restart.

    Then a sound.

    Distant at first, but growing louder. Nearer.

    A SURVIVOR points. All eyes follow.

    INT. US F16 - CONITNUOUS

    The PILOT sees the boat below.

    SURVIVORS waving.

    EXT. ON BOARD THE BOAT - CONTINUOUS

    Joyful, the SURVIVORS cheer and shout.

    Too soon.

    EXT. AIR TO AIR - CONTINUOUS

    The F16 swoops over head and Immelmans back.

    An EXOCET MISSILE detaches from the fighter's right wing.

    EXT. SEA LEVEL - CONTINUOUS

    WHOOOOOOOSH.

    The boat dissapears in a thrity meter surge of water.

    The F16 flies low over the wreckage.

    EXT. AIR TO GROUND - CONTINUOUS

    The F16 skims over the corpses in the water.

    Then we see another boat wrekc.

    Then another.

    Then another.

    The English channel is swamped with the CORPSES of escaping survivors.

    And through them, a US AIRCRAFT CARRIER slices like a Hellish icebreaker.

    FADE OUT​
    [/td][/tr][/table]



    These are two different scenes, (re the boat and the plane) but the action is 'continuing' through each scene change. No time elapsed.

    Also, I noticed the original poster has been banned, that's weird. Ah well. Cest la vie.

    ~ J. J.
     

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