Transition Question

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  • Transition Question

    Hi all,
    I have a question about how to do a transition. I hope this question hasn't been asked/answered before, if so I apologize for repeating.

    I am working on a new family drama script that starts with a cartoon and then we pull back to reveal it is on a television and then we pull back more from the television to see a child sitting on the floor watching the cartoon. I am wanting it to be a surprise to the audience from filling the screen with the cartoon so it seems the film is the cartoon, then revealing it is on a TV and finally that a kid is watching said TV.

    I am wondering what the specific structure would be.

    Should I put something to the effect of "We pull back and reveal the cartoon is a show on a television. We pull back again to see a young girl, AUTUMN (11), watching the cartoon show on her television" or something close to that? I am preferring it to be one smooth pull-back motion though, instead of two separate reveal cuts.

    How would I go about pulling back twice? First to reveal the cartoon is on a TV and then pulling back again to see the kid watching that TV without repeating the pull-back twice? (the cartoon is integral to the girl's story)

    I know on spec scripts it is frowned upon to put camera directions but I figured something similar to the above would be acceptable.

    Any help would be appreciated. Please let me know if you need better details.

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Usually when a formatting situation is a little challenging, it means that you could handle it effectively in several ways. I think I would do it like this.

    Code:
    INT. LIVING ROOM — NIGHT
    
    A cartoon feature is playing full screen on TV.
    
    CARTOON FULL SCREEN
    
    Describe what is happening in the cartoon. Write dialogue for the cartoon characters.
    
    END CARTOON FULL SCREEN
    
    AUTUMN (11), sprawled on the floor, watches the cartoon program and eats popcorn.
    You could have a shot that shows just the whole TV set before you have the shot of Autumn, but why? Still, if you want to do that, you can insert something after END FULL SCREEN, something like *The cartoon is playing on a big-screen TV.* But, again, why?

    As I said before, you could handle this in more than one way. Hope this helps. 🙂


    "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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    • #3
      Agree with CB. That's a good way to handle it, but anything that's clear is fine. There's no "right" combination of words you have to use.

      Comment


      • #4
        Is that really what you wanted? I don't think it is, right? You want to start as if the cartoon is your first slugline, then reveal that we are actually watching a TV all along. You're looking for a seamless transition and not a cut.

        I use this transition technique often.

        EXT. GREAT FALLS PARK - DAY

        Sarah Clarke, sits bound to a rusted out backhoe, gasping for air, choking back the blood streaming from her broken nose.

        PULL BACK TO REVEAL

        INT. STUDIO BULLPEN - DAY

        Sarah's image on a large television flatscreen. An ASSISTANT keys the computer. A BREAKING NEWS BANNER scrolls across the bottom of the feed.



        For your example....

        INT. SPONGE BOB'S HOUSE UNDER THE SEA

        Sponge Bob drags an unconscious Patrick across the rocky seafloor.

        PULL BACK TO REVEAL

        INT. CHRISTINE'S FAMILY ROOM - DAY

        Sponge Bob on a TV SET where...

        BELLA, 7, sits INCHES from the TV in rapt attention clutching her Patrick doll.

        PULL BACK TO REVEAL

        INT. CHRISTINE'S OFFICE - DAY

        A video feed of Bella on a CELL PHONE SCREEN...

        CHRISTINE, 40s, pregnant with twins, stares at the phone.

        CHRISTINE
        I love this new app.


        "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
        Hollywood producer

        Comment


        • #5
          glitchy
          "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
          Hollywood producer

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