Montage Part II



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  • Montage Part II

    Guys, I need to bounce some more ideas.

    A while back I started a thread about montage. I wanted to end my screenplay with a montage with a voice over letter (which incidentally works brilliantly - so thanks for the advice).

    I now realise there are two other areas of my screenplay that are best written as a montage. These are a long journey (which I can't just show him starting and ending because something happens on it), and another where my protag. makes something crucial to the plot.

    Do you think three montages in a s/p too much? It is genuinely not laziness that forces my hand, but simply to act these processes out in scenes makes the s/p way too long.

    Any opinions would be gratefully received.


  • #2
    If you are trying to add a lot of backstory in montage scenes, then yeah, it can get to be a bit much. I personally wouldn't put more than one montage per screenplay, but there are movies out there with more than one, so it's up to you.



    • #3
      Prob. Not

      Usually, I would say no. However, this is your screenplay, and perhaps yours could get away with it. If there's montages, I usually draw the line at two: one for the beginning, one for the end. And only rare movies can get away with that. Now, if you add a voice over, it gets even harder.

      I'd say try and shy away from that.


      • #4
        "to act these processes out in scenes makes the s/p way too long

        You say to act these processes out makes your script way too long. Yet you want to show a series of shots that say the same thing as acting out these processes.

        I would probably try to incorporate these events in other scenes. It might add more meaning to a scene or sequence if done correctly.

        I personally feel, few movies should end with a montage and a voice over because it seems that the voice will simply explain points that should have been resolved through action. And the same goes for the images in the montage. Do we really need to know that Character A moved to Kansas or the couple decided to break up a year later? But if a story is being narrated, a montage could work ... narrating a screenplay is extremely hard to do of course.

        I think montages work best at the beginning of a story (to set up quick bits of information that are important but not crucial) or before the act two mid point.

        Typical montages are:
        characters falling in love
        preparing for an operation
        moving out or moving in (relocation)
        one character teaching other(s)
        family or holiday celebrations
        changing of seasons

        Correct me if I'm wrong folks, but montages usually serve as a transition or set up for other developments ... but one should probably, and I say probably, not include crucial plot or character elements in a montage. Unless it is put at the very end and that element transitions the screne following it.


        • #5
          I was just thinking.

          If you're screenplay's too long, you might wanna do what BlameLew suggested and incrporate essentials into other scenes. Also ...

          There might -- MIGHT -- be some stuff that you put in your screenplay thats not essential, that can be incorporated into your off-screen movie, the off-screen movie being those things the audience will assume happened between scenes. I find it very useful to consider these things myself.

          Montages can be useful, but I think that three is too many. I think any film can probably sustain one, two max, but three ...

          Maybe you can make it work. Just a few thoughts is all.



          • #6
            Thanks guys. Food for thought.