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Old 05-29-2019, 10:43 AM   #1
Syringe
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Default Cut To:

A quick question. 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?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:51 AM   #2
Bono
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Default Re: Cut To:

Don't use it. Waste of space.

Used to be standard, but most people have stopped using it.

But if you want to use it, you can use it as you don't go to screenwriting jail. Just saying, why waste time?

I like my specs as clean as possible.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:20 AM   #3
dpaterso
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Default Re: Cut To:

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!
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:56 AM   #4
catcon
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Default Re: Cut To:

As Bono said, it's a waste of space.

Take out one of those every page, to save maybe a quarter inch, over a 100 page script, and you've saved about 4 pages in length.

I use DISSOLVE TO: where the change of scene is truly helped by it, but it's rare.

I remember seeing the script to Social Network by you-know-who. I mean, who's gonna question Aaron, right? But every scene had that, and the script was 170 pages long! Meanwhile, they tell us slugs that we're bad-boys if our specs are over a hundred now. I remember when the upper threshold was 110, and when even 120 was tolerated.

I also think these CUT TO's are an automatic setting on the fancy-dancy script writing tools, and is something you can turn off and on.

Do it.

Me? I do whatever it takes, to shorten a script. But then I have a Stone Age tool (WinWord) and don't have to worry about what some programmer thinks is standard for anything, since I develop the whole thing mysel.
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Old 05-29-2019, 12:55 PM   #5
docgonzo
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Default Re: Cut To:

You don't have to use it as a transition. It can be added to the action line, like so:

Mary runs through the woods. CUT TO:

INT. CAR - DAY

Blah blah.
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:31 PM   #6
finalact4
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Default Re: Cut To:

typically, "cut to" is used in a production draft. no need for it in a spec. the fact that you have a new slugline is enough to indicate the 'cut.'

now, you could use a different transition should you find it necessary.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:03 PM   #7
Syringe
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Default Re: Cut To:

OK, thank you guys
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:07 AM   #8
nmstevens
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Default Re: Cut To:

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
typically, "cut to" is used in a production draft. no need for it in a spec. the fact that you have a new slugline is enough to indicate the 'cut.'

now, you could use a different transition should you find it necessary.
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.

And you've got to number the scenes and make sure that everything that's actually a scene has actually been numbered, which sometimes doesn't happen.

And you have to lock the pages so that any subsequent changes become A and B pages.

And, voila'! Your pre-production draft has now, officially a production draft.

All of the other things that people think somehow happen when this transition to a "production" happen -- they just don't.

NMS
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:39 AM   #9
Mintclub
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Default Re: Cut To:

If it needs it, add it. Simple as that. No hard and fast rules. There's so much BS around about what you can and can't put in a script. As long as it flows and doesn't bump the reader out of your story, no one cares. Can't recall any networks, producers, directors or any of my reps ever flagging up a transition and asking me to take it out.

Ps I've had "cut to" in my last few specs. Got a few in my latest one too. Nobody has said a word.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:46 PM   #10
finalact4
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Default Re: Cut To:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mintclub View Post
If it needs it, add it. Simple as that. No hard and fast rules. There's so much BS around about what you can and can't put in a script. As long as it flows and doesn't bump the reader out of your story, no one cares. Can't recall any networks, producers, directors or any of my reps ever flagging up a transition and asking me to take it out.

Ps I've had "cut to" in my last few specs. Got a few in my latest one too. Nobody has said a word.
this brings up a good point.

there is nothing that says you can't use "CUT TO:" the reason i 'm say it's unnecessary in a spec, which many may agree, is two fold. first, your next slugline indicates the cut to thereby rendering it redundant , and second, using "CUT TO" artificially inflates the page count.

each cut to has a line above a line below and the actual line itself. at the very least you are wasting two additional lines for no good reason.

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
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