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Old 06-04-2019, 01:05 AM   #11
Mintclub
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Default Re: Cut To:

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
this brings up a good point.


my latest spec has 68 scene headers, that would bloat my spec by 136 lines. that alone is good enough reason for me not to use it.
FA4
I’m not sure I’d ever use it throughout an entire script hence my saying I’ve a few in my most recent specs. Sometimes a transition is needed and it feels right. Sometimes I won’t even go from a ‘cut to’ to a new scene heading. As I said before it’s whatever flows. Also, I wouldn’t get too hung up on page count.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cut To:

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Originally Posted by Syringe View Post
I've noticed that some screenplays often use "CUT TO:" to mark a transition between scenes and other screenplays don't use it at all. So my question is, is it more professional to use it or not?
"often use CUT TO"

I don't often see its use in pro or non-pro screenplays.

The CUT TO transition is a direction, a cue, that indicates to the reader and film crew a cut is happening from one scene to another.

As others have mentioned, including a CUT TO to indicate a simple scene change is unnecessary because a double spaced and capped Master Scene Heading does this job effectively, though there are some who disagree and feel this is not the case, where not wanting to waste white space, instead of “CUT TO,” they’ll BOLD their Master Scene Headings.

Some are so insecure that a reader won’t notice their scene headings, they’ll take the drastic measure to BOLD and UNDERLINE.

I don’t agree with their thinking that Master Scene Headings need this type of help to indicate that a new scene is taking place, but this was already thoroughly discussed in the BOLD thread. (Though, like with anything, there are exceptions. I feel BOLD Master Scene Headings could be necessary, such as with the QUITE PLACE screenplay, where it’s mainly all action/direction. In these cases, the darker BOLD scene headings could make sense where it helps the reader.)

Back to CUT TO: There are some educators who’ll advise to never use directions, such as transitions, i.e. CUT TO, DISSOLVE TO, etc.

Transitions are a legitimate tool available to writers. They give a reader an understanding on how one scene slides into the next. It could be achieved by an image, music, action, dialogue, etc.

Let’s take CUT TO for example. When a writer does use CUT TO, it's used as a hard cut between scenes, alerting the reader’s awareness to a jump in time and/or location. It’s ending the scene suddenly for dramatic or comedic effect.

For a comedic example, I’m gonna use one of the most memorable scenes from THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY:

POLICE OFFICER
It’s just like pulling off a Band-aid.
A-one and a-two and...

CUT TO: (Flush right margin.)

PARAMEDIC
We got a bleeder!

EXT. MARY’S HOUSE - NIGHT

TWO PARAMEDICS rush Ted out the front door on a stretcher. Mary runs alongside him holding a towel on his crotch,

For a dramatic example, I’m gonna use a scene from my script, AMERICAN SLAVES.

This takes place at the end of an action set piece where slave traders have raided the protagonist’s (Shelby) village. Shelby had bashed a slaver off his motorcycle and hops on, revving the rear tire to tear off, but she’s trapped in nets and flops to the ground. The slavers walk up and surround her:

Shelby looks up at Captain Schmidt. He raises a club.

DEDRIC
Wait!

Captain Schmidt stops his swing and looks at Dedric.

DEDRIC
Gently.

Captain Schmidt bashes Shelby on the head with the club.

CUT TO BLACK: (Flush right margin.)

BLACKNESS

Sound of a heavy motor engine and metallic clanking.

FADE IN:

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - TRUCK’S CARGO AREA - DAY

Shelby lies unconscious. Her eyes flutter open and sees a row of blurry, shackled ankles.

-- Besides the standard format, this one transition is the only technical jargon that I used in my entire screenplay.

It’s sound advice for a writer not to clutter and muddle his screenplay with too much technical jargon, but used sparingly, purposely and effectively, transitions could communicate and enhance the cinematic experience. Enrich and sharpen time, location and emotional changes.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cut To:

I know I'm not a professional writer — and don't pretend to be one — but (for me) CUT TO: implies a more of a sudden "jump" to ongoing action in another scene. Not quite like a SMASH CUT TO: but more urgent than just a scene change.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cut To:

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Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post
Dunno about more professional, but readers might think you're old school, following traditional Goldman era guidelines.

Pump up excitement levels and leave readers breathless by using SMASH CUT TO: before every new scene!
I think it's time to invent a new one ... ZING TO:

Code:
EXT. TOP OF 50 STORY BUILDING — DAY FRED MOROSE, 60s, unsteady on his feet, stares over the edge of the roof at the street far below. He stretches one leg over the ledge and laughs. He momentarily balances on one leg, teeters, and slowly tips over the edge. He screams, grasping wildly for the ledge, his arms windmilling as he falls ... ZING TO: INT. COFFEE SHOP — CONTINOUS THE FLEA, in human mask and overalls springs from slouch to instant action. He SLAMS through the plate glass to the sidewalk. ZING TO: EXT. 50 STORY BUILDING — CONTINUOUS Fred flails and screams, falling. ZING TO: EXT. COFFEE SHOP — CONTINUOUS The Flea rips off the overalls and human mask. He violently uncoils, SHOOTS like a cannon ball through the air. ZING TO: EXT. 50 STORY BUILDING — CONTINUOUS Fred's POV — the street rushes towards him. Just before SPLAT ... ZING TO: EXT. BAR — CONTINUOUS The Flea rolls to a stop on the sidewalk. He reaches into a pocket and dons another pair of overalls and a new human mask and enters the bar. LIMP TO: EXT. CITY STREET — CONTINUOUS Blood and gore on the sidewalk. VOICE(O.S.) Ewwwww. FLOP TO: INT. BAR DAY — CONTINUOUS The Flea sits and stares up at the big screen TV. THE FLEA Did I miss the start of the game?
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cut To:

Looks like I killed another thread. Sorry. I seem to be talented at that. Just bypass my crap and move on.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cut To:

Pat pat, it takes the industry time to adjust to radical new thoughts like these, be patient.
ZING TO:
But it really does work!
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Cut To:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centos View Post
I think it's time to invent a new one ... ZING TO:
In all seriousness, there are no rules where a writer couldn't use an alternative to CUT TO, such as, ZING TO... as long it's clearly understood.

I could see this working in a comedic situation, but please, not between… every... single... scene. Purposely and effectively. Use, don't abuse.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:04 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cut To:

So minority opinion but I really like using CUT TO. I use it when I want a transition to be more sudden, but not as abrupt or jarring as SMASH TO. No one in the industry has ever complained about it in my writing before. It’s a personal choice and I think as long as I don’t use it on every page like Goldman, it’s okay.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:18 AM   #19
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Default Re: Cut To:

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Originally Posted by nmstevens View Post

-- my work has taken this journey from spec script (or commissioned script) to production draft and fundamentally, the only difference is that,

1) you need to replace all of those mini-slugs with real slug lines and make sure that all of the slug lines for a given location read the same. That is, things like:

BOB'S HOUSE, IN BOB'S HOUSE, A SUBURBAN HOUSE and THE HOUSE -- all referring to the same place, you've got to replace with just a single slug line, otherwise the automatic software gets confused and lists them all as separate locations.
So when you do this you are replacing all the mini slugs that would normally read like this:

KITCHEN

into this:

INT. MARK'S HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- DAY

or are you just leaving:

KITCHEN

--but are putting it in the "Scene heading" option in Final Draft (or whatever program you're using)?
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Old 06-28-2019, 02:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cut To:

Quote:
Sorry to have to keep saying this but --

-- my work has taken this journey from spec script (or commissioned script) to production draft and fundamentally, the only difference is that,

1) you need to replace all of those mini-slugs with real slug lines and make sure that all of the slug lines for a given location read the same. That is, things like:

BOB'S HOUSE, IN BOB'S HOUSE, A SUBURBAN HOUSE and THE HOUSE -- all referring to the same place, you've got to replace with just a single slug line, otherwise the automatic software gets confused and lists them all as separate locations.
Thank you, NMS, for posting this. These two things are some of my pet peeves. You have worked as a professional screenwriter, and I have not.
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