Simple Formating Question

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  • Simple Formating Question

    Hi All,

    When you begin a script in a certain a year (let's use 2005 as an example) then go back sixty years to 1945 to tell the story up to the present, what do you use as a transition if you occassionally return to 2005 during the course of telling the story? I've used CUT TO: in earlier drafts (and that's the only place I use CUT TO: for continuity sake). but I've been advised to use BEGIN/END FLASHBACK. It's not really a flashback though because we're moving forward in time to the present. Using flashback just confuses things in my opinion.

    Thoughts?

    e.

  • #2
    Re: Simple Formating Question

    Mornin' bmp

    A slug line like the following should do the trick

    INT. - LOCATION - TIME (2005)

    Action*, dialogue, etc.

    INT. - LOCATION - TIME (1945)

    Action*, dialogue, etc.

    (No need for a CUT TO in between)

    *If you can do it naturally, try to slip some (non-cliche) era-defining detail in that first action line after each slug. A good detail will even make those parenthetical tags superfluous. Perfectly fine for a writer's draft, but you don't want production to use date superimposition if there's a way of suggesting where we are in time with an image.



    But I'm no expert. Just parroting what I recall from my "Hollywood Standard" by Christopher Riley. (Good resource for formatting.)

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    • #3
      Re: Simple Formating Question

      I should've used the actual example. My dates are B.C. so it gets confusing to the reader when you begin in say 399 B.C. then jump back to 456 B.C. and come forward back to 399 B.C. I suppose I'll just have to give readers the benefit of the doubt that the dates won't confuse them. I'm always uncomfortable
      assuming that, but dating slugs does seem to be the most sensible way to handle it.

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      • #4
        Re: Simple Formating Question

        399 B.C. ... Death of Socrates? If so, I like your subject matter.

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        • #5
          Re: Simple Formating Question

          dmoriarty,

          good eye. yes, i've done the unthinkable and written a socrates biopic. six months of writing and researching and i can't get anyone to read it much less pass on it! i guess expensive period dramas aren't exactly hot properties on the spec market in any case, i'm applying to a graduate writing program that requires a sample and this one's perfect for that. the work that went into it ought to be appreciated in an academic setting. beyond that, i'm sure there's an a-list actor or director out there with a passion for the greek philosophers. it might just take awhile to track 'em down.

          e.

          p.s. i sent you a private message.
          Last edited by bpmwriter; 12-15-2005, 07:39 AM. Reason: p.s.

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          • #6
            Re: Simple Formating Question

            well, since the time que's you should use by scene and location won't be intelligble to the audience, use Super's.

            For example:

            INT- House Day

            SUPER: # YEAR.

            That way people can track what's going on.

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