View Full Version : Slug Lines
09-08-2005, 05:29 PM
Hey, everyone! I'm a poet and short story writer and I am trying my mind at screenwriting.
I have a question. How specific do slug lines need to be for a spec script? I've heard and read all about leaving the direction up to the director.
If I am beginning my screenplay, where the scenes introduce my main characters for the first time, and flucuate between their bedrooms, kitchens, etc., do I need to write slug lines that specifically state whose bedroom we're in?
Right now I just have:
INT. BEDROOM - MORNING
for each scene that introduces a character for the first time. Then, we see them each in their kitchen, and so on. I keep writing it like this:
INT. KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Just curious about how detailed I need to be. Don't want to go over the top. I hope I'm making sense. Probably saying too much. Any tips will help.
09-08-2005, 05:41 PM
If you're talking about introducing different characters in their respective rooms I would write:
INT. JOHN'S KITCHEN - DAY
He sets an impressive arrangement of fresh cut flowers on the table. RUDY, his GOLDEN LAB runs in, slides on the excess cuttings that clutter the floor.
INT. JANE'S KITCHEN - DAY (even if it's moments later just write DAY)
She sucks down a martini and spits the olive across the room at a wedding picture of her and John.
hope this helps.
09-08-2005, 06:58 PM
If the character moves from one room to a new room then you would use mini slugs.
INT. JOHNS BEDROOM - NIGHT
John runs from his bedroom into the-
where he gulps milk from the fridge.
He makes a disgusted face, races into the -
and upchucks into the toilet.
One of the purposes of the slug is to cue the film crew that they have to move all the equipment.
09-20-2005, 12:59 AM
Consider this from the perspective of the poor bastard trying to mesh out a shooting schedule and locations.
It is quaint to simply say kitchen each time a character is in a kitchen but --
If there are fifty freaking kitchens in the script?
And all of them are just called "kitchen"?
Do you get the idea?
I am exagerating. Doy. But the point is, scene headers actually have a function and if there are five kitchens belong to different locations? Do not call them all "kitchen."
09-20-2005, 01:54 AM
Girlin Gray, you've made an excellent point! One that I was wondering, but was trying not to sound as if I wonder too much. There IS more than one kitchen in my script. Three, to be exact. There is a father, Jack, and his daughter, Cassie, who live in a house together. The first time we see Cassie in their kitchen is when she is alone (about the third scene or so), and I had been wondering if I should title the slug line:
INT. PETERSON KITCHEN - DAY (Peterson being their last name)
Would it be correct of me to write the slug line for all of Jack and Cassie's scenes in the kitchen like that, whether they are alone in the kitchen or not?
Also, the third main character, Page, also has some scenes in her own kitchen. Should I write the slug line using only her first name, or should I use her last name, too? I was thinking I should just write:
INT. PAGE'S KITCHEN - DAY
or, INT. PAGE FOLEY'S KITCHEN - DAY
If you or anyone can answer this simply, I would be grateful.
09-20-2005, 09:01 AM
Write the main slug for ALL scenes that take place in the Peterson home as
INT or EXT PETERSON HOUSE and then describe in the action line who is where and what happens there. (see, I'm a poet too.)
You don't have to give a character a last name if you don't want to or like the way the name sounds on it's own. Some characters need sir names to give them the proper rythem, others need to be short and easy.
If you have established Page and we know that she has her own home/place then it is fine to slug it as PAGE'S HOUSE.
Keep things consistent. Once you establish it one way you must always write it the same way.
You can also do a combined slug which contains the main local first and then a sub local on one line, PETERSON'S HOUSE - KITCHEN
or PETERSON PLACE - GARAGE.
These kinds of slugs work best when you are dealing with a large main location that has several outbuildings like an estate, amusement park, etc.
Just remember to keep them as short as possible.
09-20-2005, 12:09 PM
One last thing, just so I'm sure. When we meet Page for the FIRST time, before we know anything about her and nothing about her has been established, but is about to be, can I still write the slug line as:
INT. PAGE'S HOUSE - DAY
since the reader is being introduced to this character for the first time and is about to know who she is. Or do I need to use her last name and be more specific? I'm only asking since you said, "If you have established Page and we know that she has her own home...."
Great advice on the Peterson's House. Much obliged.
09-20-2005, 12:32 PM
Yes, you can do that.
09-20-2005, 07:01 PM
The slug you use to intro her will be the one you continue to use.
It won't change from when you first intro her at home to other times she shows up at home.
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