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Old 04-15-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
Wade
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Question How to format this sequence using intercut?

Hi,

Currently writing a scene where we see two almost identical happenings experienced by two different people. We intercut between the two interpretations of what actually happened. Imagine two investigators showing up at a crime scene; imagine the mystery and suspense of what they're about to find. One scene though takes place in broad daylight, the other one in the middle of the night. There's no dialogue going on. (excuse the sloppy writing)

INT./EXT. POLICE CAR - NIGHT (DRIVING)

Rosanne makes a right, onto a driveway. She stops the car behind one of the two firetrucks also standing on the driveway along with several police cars and ambulances in front of a white cordoned off house.

She opens the driver door––

EXT. HOUSE - DAY

–– and Michael get's out of the car. He SLAMS the door shut and ducks under the barrier tapes as he approaches the crime scene on foot.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

Rosanne shows her batch to one of the police officers guarding the site.

EXT. HOUSE - DAY

Michael crouches down next to a yellow body bag lying on the ground. He pulls the zipper and opens the bag.

MICHAEL'S POV –– looking at Rosanne's dead body.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

ROSANNE'S POV –– looking at Michael's dead body.

Yadayadayada...

How do I make this flow better? Is there a way to use INTERCUT in this example to minimize the use of new sluglines?

//Thanks
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:07 AM   #2
Future_Screen
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Nope. No intercut. A screenwriter, if you wanna continue it, use: continuous.

Like this

Int. Jimmy’s house, living room - day

Jimmy goes out of the room.

Int. Jimmy’s house, kitchen - day (CONTINUOUS)

Jimmy is in the kitchen. He looks around.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:41 AM   #3
directorik
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Welcome to indietalk, Wade.

To need to intercut – your slug lines do that. Do not use
“continuous” - these two things are not happening at the
same time.

To make it flow better I suggest naming or describing the houses;
MICHAEL'S HOUSE or TWO STORY HOUSE
ROSEANNE'S HOUSE or CRAFTSMAN HOUSE
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:39 AM   #4
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If all of that is happening on the exterior of the same house, why not put one EXT House Night and put all of that in a paragraph for an action sequence?
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quality View Post
If all of that is happening on the exterior of the same house, why not put one EXT House Night and put all of that in a paragraph for an action sequence?
It isn't as clear as it could be, is it? You think this is happening at
the same house at the same time.

This is why Wade asked the question. I read this as two different
houses - one day and one night - with a dramatic parallel going on.
The simple solution is to distinguish between the houses. It's already
stated that one event is happening at night and the other during
the day.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:40 PM   #6
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Then it has to flow like that. The only alternative is to distinguish whose house it is.
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:34 PM   #7
Wade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Welcome to indietalk, Wade.
Thanks directorik, glad I found my way here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
This is why Wade asked the question. I read this as two different
houses - one day and one night - with a dramatic parallel going on.
The simple solution is to distinguish between the houses. It's already
stated that one event is happening at night and the other during the day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
To make it flow better I suggest naming or describing the houses;
MICHAEL'S HOUSE or TWO STORY HOUSE
ROSEANNE'S HOUSE or CRAFTSMAN HOUSE
I think I did a bad job explaining the way I intend this scene to be played out, my bad! Yeah, so this scene takes place at the same house, but at different times. The night and day scenario was just a way to simplify the explanation, but in the final screenplay, it could be the same time of day as well.(imagine we cut between two separate universes… in one universe Michael finds Rosanne dead at the house, in another universe, it’s the opposite, and we cut between these two different realities)

To clarify, this is what’s going on: (at least what we're lead to believe is going on...) Two cops have been separated into two different rooms. They’re both interrogated at the same time, and they both claim to have arrived at the same house and found each other dead. A great mystery (at least that’s what we’re lead to believe…). When this takes place we, the audience have no clue to what’s going on. How can this be?

Instead of TELLING the audience what happened, I want to SHOW what happened from both of their point of view at the same time. So, let’s put it like this: It takes place at the same time of day, they arrive at the same house - two separate realities. I see it in my head; it's beautiful! I just need to make it clear to the reader.

You might not be able to put it like this, but this is how it goes down: (NEW EXAMPLE)

INT./EXT. POLICE CAR - DAY (DRIVING) (ROSANNE'S UNIVERSE)

Rosanne makes a right, onto a driveway. She stops the car behind one of the two firetrucks also standing on the driveway along with several police cars and ambulances in front of a white cordoned off house.

She opens the driver door ––

EXT. HOUSE - DAY (MICHAEL'S UNIVERSE)

–– and Michael get's out of the car. He SLAMS the door shut and ducks under the barrier tapes as he approaches the crime scene on foot.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT (ROSANNE'S UNIVERSE)

Rosanne shows her batch to one of the police officers guarding the site.

EXT. HOUSE - DAY (MICHAEL'S UNIVERSE)

Michael crouches down next to a yellow body bag lying on the ground. He pulls the zipper and opens the bag.

MICHAEL'S POV –– looking at Rosanne's dead body.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT (ROSANNE'S UNIVERSE)

ROSANNE'S POV –– looking at Michael's dead body.

Etc...

My initial thought was that new sluglines would for each time we cut between the two realities would mess up the flow, hence another solution. To quote the great John August:

Quote:
Originally Posted by John August
If you’re cutting away to the same thing often, using the full scene header gets annoying. It’s like that guy at a party who keeps introducing himself.

We know who you are, Dave. You can stop.
Appreciate everyone's input, thanks!
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:18 AM   #8
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Michael's Universe, Rosanne's POV? Oo
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:46 AM   #9
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I know that's how you picture it - intercut - but have you considered showing first Michael's POV, then Roseanne's after that? You'd have the viewer believing that they know what happened, then you immediately undercut it.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quality View Post
Michael's Universe, Rosanne's POV? Oo
Where?
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post
I know that's how you picture it - intercut - but have you considered showing first Michael's POV, then Roseanne's after that? You'd have the viewer believing that they know what happened, then you immediately undercut it.
Do you refer to POV in the broader sense (of what actually happened according to each character), or POV as a shot description the way I used it? English is not my native language, what is an "undercut" in this context?
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wade:
Do you refer to POV in the broader sense (of what actually happened according to each character), or POV as a shot description the way I used it? English is not my native language, what is an "undercut" in this context?
I mean POV in the broader sense of what happens to each character.

By "undercut," I mean simply that you reduce the viewer's confidence that what they just saw is the "truth," in the context of the story.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post
Where?
Michael's Universe, Rosanne's POV?

Why did you put those in your screenplay?
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post
I mean POV in the broader sense of what happens to each character.

By "undercut," I mean simply that you reduce the viewer's confidence that what they just saw is the "truth," in the context of the story.
Ah ok, now I see, thanks! So basically you first show Michael's version of what happened, all of it, and then you show Rosanne's version. That's one way of doing it, but it's not the way I intend to tell the story. It makes sense from one perspective which is that it's much easier to write, but what's the point of writing something that's not the way the writer intended the story to be told?

I should say I will also direct this film, but that shouldn't discourage me from writing the story the way I intend to show it on the big screen (hopefully). I consider the script to be the blueprint for the film. You wouldn't give a blueprint for a house to a construction company and say "this is almost what the owners had in mind, but not exactly..."

Satyajit Ray (Indian filmmaker) once said: "The director is only one who knows what the film is about"... I don't agree. The screenwriter is the only one who knows what the film is about... a director can only interpret the story unless he or she has written the story themselves.

To me, writing a screenplay is not like writing a novel. It's a blueprint. You have all these tools at your disposal, and editing is one of them. When I write, I see the film in front of me, literally... but then again, I don't understand how people could write something only to hand it off to someone else so that this person can turn it into a film... Even if they get paid for it.

Last edited by Wade; 04-22-2018 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quality View Post
Michael's Universe, Rosanne's POV?

Why did you put those in your screenplay?
To quote myself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post
You might not be able to put it like this, but this is how it goes down
Explanatory purposes. Everyone understands what I imply by putting his or her's universe in a parenthetical in the slugline, though that is not the professional way of doing it... The professional way is what I'm looking for, hence the purpose of this thread.

Last edited by Wade; 04-22-2018 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Grammar
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