Formatting video footage within a movie

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  • Satriales
    replied
    I generally just use

    ON THE SCREEN or ON TV or ON THE PHONE which works fine. And when I’m getting off that shot use ON JIM or whatever to get out of it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ComicBent
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    George, what you did would work fine.

    The only ambiguity (I think) is whether we are totally in the video portion with no "framing" on a computer screen. I have the feeling that you mean for the frame to disappear.

    In any case, the V.O. remark ("Now where did those come from?") would work a little better if it were delivered when the computer frame is visible.

    Here is one possibility:
    XXX checks computer for news.
    VIDEO

    Framed on computer screen:


    Young female TV REPORTER interviews limo driver. He twirls racy red scanties.

    XXX
    (V.O.)
    Where did they come from? She wasn't wearing any.

    VIDEO

    In the scene:


    DRIVER
    Somebody sure was havin' a good time in the back seat. She wasn't exactly keepin' still-or quiet.

    Etc.
    Now, a purely nitpicky issue about V.O.

    Nobody is going to worry about this, but if you do the scene the way in which I suggested, the V.O. would technically be better as O.S. (that is, "off screen"), because the voice is that of a character in the scene (looking at the computer). We just cannot see the character.

    If, however, we go entirely into the scene, the voice becomes V.O. because the character is not actually in the video scene.



    As I said, it is a nitpicky point.

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeQKaplan
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    I have a slightly different situation: My character is watching a TV news report about his activities with a woman the previous night and makes a comment while watching the video. Here is my cut at it:

    XXX checks computer for news.

    INSERT VIDEO
    Young female TV REPORTER interviews limo driver. He twirls racy red scanties.

    XXX
    (V.O.)
    Where did they come from? She wasn’t wearing any.

    DRIVER
    Somebody sure was havin’ a good time in the back seat. She wasn’t exactly keepin’ still—or quiet.

    REPORTER
    You mean YYYY?

    DRIVER
    She was all over ’im and was in a hurry to get down to business, if ya know what I mean.

    He shakes out the panties, gives cameraman a better view.

    REPORTER
    Was it hard to keep your attention on the road?

    DRIVER
    It wasn’t easy with the car rockin’ so much.

    Reporter shoves microphone in driver’s face.

    REPORTER
    Was she fighting him—XXX—off?

    DRIVER
    Are ya kiddin’? She had me take a ten-mile detour ta give ’er a longer ride.

    He stretches panties like he was using them as a slingshot.

    REPORTER
    How exactly did you happen to come into possession of her, uh, undergarment?

    DRIVER
    (chuckles)
    They were left on the floor.

    Empty Champagne bottles and ruby sequins litter the carpet.

    END VIDEO INSERT

    Leave a comment:


  • altoption
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Originally posted by Butch Jarvinen View Post
    Thanks altoption,

    I do have names of the boat crews, (will be using ficticious names). we lost three good men that day. the footage will show one crewmember throwing two of the crew, on fire, overboard before jumping in the water, himself on fire. he was captured and killed by the VC, who later propped his body up on the river bank to lure the recovery boats into another ambush. Im hoping to fit the entire scene on one page.

    these four scenes are the hardest to write, they each have the loss of one of our guys in them.

    I'm trying to convert from windows vista to windows7 so I can download WORD and then send everything to MM6. then I will have a much better idea of how many pages over the target 120/125 that I have to cut.

    very close to finishing an eight year project
    Echo
    Wow. Tough, tough stuff. Best of luck completing and outputting to MM6.
    I wish you the best.
    altop

    Leave a comment:


  • Butch Jarvinen
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Thanks altoption,

    I do have names of the boat crews, (will be using ficticious names). we lost three good men that day. the footage will show one crewmember throwing two of the crew, on fire, overboard before jumping in the water, himself on fire. he was captured and killed by the VC, who later propped his body up on the river bank to lure the recovery boats into another ambush. Im hoping to fit the entire scene on one page.

    these four scenes are the hardest to write, they each have the loss of one of our guys in them.

    I'm trying to convert from windows vista to windows7 so I can download WORD and then send everything to MM6. then I will have a much better idea of how many pages over the target 120/125 that I have to cut.

    very close to finishing an eight year project
    Echo

    Leave a comment:


  • altoption
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Originally posted by Butch Jarvinen View Post
    interesting thread, I had some questions on how to insert actual video footage into someone's narration of an event.

    ie:

    XXX spots the charred hull of a PBR on the river bank.

    XXX
    what boat was that?

    YYY
    ZZZ's boat, they chased a sampan into that canal
    and charlie hit them...

    INSERT VIDEO FOOTAGE - CONTINUE NARRATION

    YYY (CONT)
    with three rockets, setting the boat on fire.......etc.

    *is that anywhere close to right? this type of narration takes place in four other scenes.

    Thanks
    Echo
    Plenty of acceptable ways to handle this. I'd avoid showing and telling the same thing. I added some random names to make it a little easier to follow:

    EXT. FRANK'S BOAT - DAY

    Pete spots the charred hull of a PBR on the river bank.

    PETE
    What was that?

    FRANK
    Murphy's PBR. They chased a sampan into that canal...

    VIDEO FOOTAGE - EXT. CANAL - DAY
    Murphy's PBR flying after a sampan. The WHOOSH of mortar fire. Rockets hit. The PBR EXPLODES.

    FRANK (V.O.)
    Charlie got 'em.

    BACK ON FRANK'S BOAT

    Frank lights a cigarette.

    FRANK
    Never saw what hit 'em.
    Last edited by altoption; 09-12-2010, 04:29 PM. Reason: Minor typo

    Leave a comment:


  • Butch Jarvinen
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    interesting thread, I had some questions on how to insert actual video footage into someone's narration of an event.

    ie:

    XXX spots the charred hull of a PBR on the river bank.

    XXX
    what boat was that?

    YYY
    ZZZ's boat, they chased a sampan into that canal
    and charlie hit them...

    INSERT VIDEO FOOTAGE - CONTINUE NARRATION

    YYY (CONT)
    with three rockets, setting the boat on fire.......etc.

    *is that anywhere close to right? this type of narration takes place in four other scenes.

    Thanks
    Echo

    Leave a comment:


  • snoozn
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Thanks ComicBent. Makes sense that you'd use different methods for video within a scene and video becoming the scene.

    Leave a comment:


  • ComicBent
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    I think Mad Mat has the best answer.

    Use VIDEO INSERT ... END VIDEO within a master scene for those instances where you want to see that the video is something within a scene.

    Use MASTER SCENE HEADING (VIDEO) when the actions in the video constitute the entirety of everything that appears on screen.

    Sincerely, you can get the answer to any formatting issue in this forum. Sometimes you will get conflicting opinions, but you can choose the one you like. Sometimes there is not only one way to do something.

    Leave a comment:


  • snoozn
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Yes, I should know better than to ask for a definitive answer here! I like all these examples better than what I had. I knew the parenthetical in the description was not working.

    I don't want to be a director, either in or out of my screenplays! However, the video component is important to the story (a cyber thriller that explores issues of privacy and surveillance). At this point, I just want to make the transitions clear to the reader without interrupting the narrative flow too much.

    Thanks for all the examples. I'm going to try some version of each of those and see what sticks. And speaking of stick, I definitely need to include a lipstick surveillance camera!

    Leave a comment:


  • Mad Mat
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    INT. FORD GALAXIE - DAY
    A laptop sits open on the back seat playing a video. It slowly fills the screen:

    INT. CALLA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT (ON VIDEO)
    (Seen from POV of webcam sitting on the desk) Calla types furiously.
    How about this:

    INT. FORD GALAXIE - DAY

    A video is playing full screen on an open laptop on the back seat.

    VIDEO INSERT

    In the lounge of her apartment, Calla sits in front of her webcam, typing furiously on her computer's keyboard.

    END VIDEO INSERT

    Or don't we use VIDEO INSERT anymore? (Genuine question)

    Plus, try to write what the camera is seeing, not what the camera is doing.

    I know you're trying to create a visual style, but really that's up to the director.

    And if you're going to be the director, then you don't really need to worry too much about how it's formatted ... until you need it budgeted. But even that's OK, because you'll go through all that 'zooming in' stuff with the production manager.

    Hope this helps.

    Mat.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nexus9
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Here's an example of something you can do if seeing an example helps. But note that this in only ONE way, and it's not about being definitive.

    INT. CAR - DAY

    The car is in park. Off. In the--

    BACKSEAT

    there's a laptop. Open and on. On the--

    SCREEN

    --CALLA. 20s. Bright. Beautiful. Big smile. We're close on her.
    So close that the computer screen fills FRAME. Grainy webcam
    footage.


    Just an example. And a quickly thought out one. You can do it different. There are many ways you can.

    Leave a comment:


  • jcgary
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Originally posted by snoozn View Post
    In several cases, I want to start by showing, for example, someone watching video of an interrogation, but then zoom in and have that footage take up the entire screen, with the background no longer there. In other cases, I want the opposite, starting with a newscast that fills the whole screen and then pulling back to show the person watching it.
    I think if you can't find an elegant, easy way to do something in a script, it's best just to leave it out, and leave it to the director's discretion. This sort of push in to or pull out from a monitor is more a director's choice, anyway -- it'd be the kind of thing he or she would decide to incorporate into the movie because of their vision of the film. For me, if something isn't tied in to the narrative, I tend to leave it out.

    That being said, perhaps you can find a way to achieve this affect with words --

    INT. FORD GALAXIE - DAY
    Engine's on, car's in park, but no one's at the wheel. A laptop sits in the backseat. Footage on the screen. Come closer. It's Calla, in her apartment. She's -

    INT. CALLA'S APARTMENT - DAY
    LIPSTICK SURVEILLANCE CAM
    - typing furiously, her phone RINGS, she picks it up -
    CALLA
    Yeah.
    CALLER (on phone)
    Someone's watching you.

    I dunno. Something like that. Thing is -- the camera move is incidental to the story, I think. I'm much more interested in who's watching the webcam footage (I changed it to a lipstick surveillance cam, but that's just me, because to me webcams are too everyday), in what Calla's typing, in who's (not) driving the car, in where the car is... y'know?

    Leave a comment:


  • Nexus9
    replied
    Re: Formatting video footage within a movie

    Originally posted by snoozn View Post
    I haven't been able to find a definitive answer about the best way to do this, so I hope someone can help!
    That's because there really isn't a definitive answer. It's whatever you can do to make what you want clear. That's it. How you do that can differ for how others would.

    Leave a comment:


  • snoozn
    started a topic Formatting video footage within a movie

    Formatting video footage within a movie

    I haven't been able to find a definitive answer about the best way to do this, so I hope someone can help!

    My current script has quite a bit of "video footage," i.e. security cameras, webcams, streaming newscasts.

    In several cases, I want to start by showing, for example, someone watching video of an interrogation, but then zoom in and have that footage take up the entire screen, with the background no longer there. In other cases, I want the opposite, starting with a newscast that fills the whole screen and then pulling back to show the person watching it.

    I have used CLOSE ON and PULL BACK TO REVEAL before, but these situations don't seem quite the same, since the video, for a time, is becoming the whole movie, as opposed to showing a close-up of a photo or something. Also, especially for the scenes that start within the video, I'm not quite sure how to indicate that I want it to clearly look like video rather than film.

    Here's what I've done (and I'm especially nervous about those parentheses within the descriptive block);

    INT. FORD GALAXIE - DAY
    A laptop sits open on the back seat playing a video. It slowly fills the screen:

    INT. CALLA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT (ON VIDEO)
    (Seen from POV of webcam sitting on the desk) Calla types furiously.
    Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 10-08-2020, 12:11 PM. Reason: Added tags
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