Beginning location typed across screen

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  • Beginning location typed across screen

    Hi, I am writing my second screenplay and I am a bit confused about a couple things. When the movie starts I want it to have the location and year, which is Lynchburg, Tennessee 1994. How do I write this in my screenplay? Right now I have Lynchburg, Tennessee 1994 then my opening scene starts.

    Also, when pausing in dialogue do I use (beat)? Does anyone still do that? I see some screenplays have -- instead?

  • #2
    Re: Beginning location typed across screen

    Originally posted by ijustknow View Post
    Hi, I am writing my second screenplay and I am a bit confused about a couple things. When the movie starts I want it to have the location and year, which is Lynchburg, Tennessee 1994. How do I write this in my screenplay? Right now I have Lynchburg, Tennessee 1994 then my opening scene starts.

    Also, when pausing in dialogue do I use (beat)? Does anyone still do that? I see some screenplays have -- instead?
    I think you could just use "SUPER:"

    Code:
    BLACK SCREEN
    
    SUPER: "Lynchburg, Tennessee -- 1994"
    
    FADE IN:
    As for the pause in dialogue ... whatever works. Sometimes I just use the word "pause" instead of "beat." Or you could trail off with "..." Or you could insert some action or description between sentence fragments.
    STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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    • #3
      Re: Beginning location typed across screen

      Thank you for the advise Centos. Is that the only way to write it? I am just starting to learn the craft of screenplay writing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Beginning location typed across screen

        Originally posted by ijustknow View Post
        Thank you for the advise Centos. Is that the only way to write it? I am just starting to learn the craft of screenplay writing.
        "SUPER" is short for "SUPERIMPOSE" and, as far as I know, this is the way it's usually done when you want to write something across the screen -- though I don't think you would have to have a BLACK SCREEN, or FADE IN: after the SUPER: (it could be before or not at all).

        But I'm really not the guy to ask. There are a lot of people with a whole, whole lot more experience than me.
        STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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        • #5
          Re: Beginning location typed across screen

          Originally posted by ijustknow View Post
          Also, when pausing in dialogue do I use (beat)? Does anyone still do that? I see some screenplays have -- instead?
          Here's a whole, current thread on the subject: Opinions on "A beat"

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          • #6
            Re: Beginning location typed across screen

            With screenwriting, there is seldom just one way to do something, but SUPER is the usual way to do what you want to do, and it will do the job for you.

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            • #7
              Re: Beginning location typed across screen

              Oddly enough, I was just reading Sixth Sense where M. Night Shyamalan treats it with a different approach in an early scene:

              EXT. BENCH - AFTERNOON

              The legend, "Two Years Later" appears.

              A man flips open a worn file folder on his lap. Handwritten
              notes fill every line. At the top of the first page reads,
              "Vincent Gray, age 10, Referred January 19, 1989."

              The man's hand touches the name almost reverently.
              well- it is one other way to do it...

              but I think using "Super: __________" is probably better. At least more readily noticeable...

              ETA: also I noticed a ton of wrylies, use of (Continued)s in dialogue and quite a few Beats throughout as well.
              " Don't really like writing. But I do like having written." Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad.

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              • #8
                Re: Beginning location typed across screen

                Thanks for the great advise. I am grateful to all the supportive members of this forum.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Beginning location typed across screen

                  I'm just realizing that I should have probably used "SUPER:" at the beginning of my script; "SUPER: location, date", then; "SUPER: two weeks later", then; "SUPER: one year earlier", then; "SUPER: two days earlier".

                  If, in the second two instances, would that suffice, rather than use "FLASHBACK"?
                  Thanks

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                  • #10
                    Re: Beginning location typed across screen

                    "SUPER:" seems the most common way to do it, but if you do it on a black screen before you FADE IN:, you could also use

                    Code:
                    TITLE CARD: LYNCHBURG, TENNESSEE -- 1994
                    
                    FADE IN:
                    
                    EXT. SOMEPLACE - DAY
                    
                    (...)
                    It saves a couple of lines.

                    As for the (beat) to show a pause in dialogue, you could also use (pause), or (thinks), (remembers), (swallows), etc., if any of those fit

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                    • #11
                      Re: Beginning location typed across screen

                      FWIW - 'TITLE CARD' refers to text appearing on a black screen and 'SUPER' refers to text superimposed over background footage/images.
                      Last edited by DavidK; 07-06-2013, 04:38 PM. Reason: cap
                      "Friends make the worst enemies." Frank Underwood

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                      • #12
                        Re: Beginning location typed across screen

                        Thanks DavidK
                        That was what my original question should have been

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                        • #13
                          Re: Beginning location typed across screen

                          I think whatever gets the point across should be fine whether it's TITLE CARD or SUPER, or even a BOLDED all caps word centered in the middle of the page-- as long as your intention is clear.

                          In the Andrew Walker screenplay "SE7EN" he used:

                          INSERT -- TITLE CARD

                          MONDAY.

                          It wasn't over black.

                          I even think you could use ON SCREEN: MONDAY, if you wanted to as it's clear what your intention is (at least to me it is).

                          Writers use all kinds of varying formats... the only thing I would suggest is that you be consistent within the screenplay if you're using more than one. ie-- if you have 4 times that you're going to have text over the screen, I would use the same format choice each time.
                          Best,
                          FA4
                          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Beginning location typed across screen

                            You make many good points, but DavidK also made a good catch by noticing what the rest of us failed to notice earlier, that the OP wanted this over a blank screen and not over the beginning of the movie.

                            For SUPER to work when you want a blank screen, you would probably want to start with "BLACK" to signify blank.

                            TITLE CARD does this by itself. TITLE CARD is a holdover from the silent movies, where it was usually black writing on a white card, but now that we have color, TITLE CARD might be any color writing over any color screen.



                            Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                            I think whatever gets the point across should be fine whether it's TITLE CARD or SUPER, or even a BOLDED all caps word centered in the middle of the page-- as long as your intention is clear.

                            In the Andrew Walker screenplay "SE7EN" he used:

                            INSERT -- TITLE CARD

                            MONDAY.

                            It wasn't over black.

                            I even think you could use ON SCREEN: MONDAY, if you wanted to as it's clear what your intention is (at least to me it is).

                            Writers use all kinds of varying formats... the only thing I would suggest is that you be consistent within the screenplay if you're using more than one. ie-- if you have 4 times that you're going to have text over the screen, I would use the same format choice each time.
                            Best,
                            FA4

                            Comment

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