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"quick shots of" (1 Viewer)

jjshell

Senior Member
Hello,

Does the following seem acceptable?

"Quick shots of [NAME] opening his apartment's door, getting undressed, taking a shower, getting dressed, leaving the apartment."

Regards,

jj
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
not acceptable at all... what you seem to want is a 'SERIES OF SHOTS'... and this is definitely not the way one is written... you need to learn the proper format and terms for writing a screenplay...
 

jjshell

Senior Member
you need to learn the proper format and terms for writing a screenplay...
Is it acceptable if I don't know the answer to my questions before asking them?

what you seem to want is a 'SERIES OF SHOTS'... and this is definitely not the way one is written... .
How should it be written then?

No offense, you seem to be have a very good knowledge, but that kind of answers is not helpful to someone willing to improve his skills like me.

Instead of telling that it's wrong, what about showing me how it's right?

Regards,

jj.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammamaia
you need to learn the proper format and terms for writing a screenplay...

Is it acceptable if I don't know the answer to my questions before asking them?

...of course!... i wasn't implying it wasn't... just making an observation i thought would be helpful...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammamaia
what you seem to want is a 'SERIES OF SHOTS'... and this is definitely not the way one is written... .

How should it be written then?

No offense, you seem to be have a very good knowledge, but that kind of answers is not helpful to someone willing to improve his skills like me.

Instead of telling that it's wrong, what about showing me how it's right?

i could show you everything about how to write a screenplay in proper format, but i don't have time to do that, so was hinting that you might want to get yourself some real scripts and a good how-to, so you can see and learn such stuff for yourself... but since you want it here, here it is:

SERIES OF SHOTS: JOE COMES HOME, GETS READY FOR A DATE

or:

SERIES OF SHOTS

A) Joe comes in from work.

B) He takes off his clothes.

C) Joe in the shower.

D) He gets dressed.

E) He leaves the apartment.

...all of this is explained on pp 119, 122, 123 of trottier's 'bible'...
 

jjshell

Senior Member
Thank you very much :)
I have books about screenplays format, and I've seen the "quick shots of" trick used in some screenplays. Hence my question.

Thanks for your time and your answer :)
 

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
Don't go away unsatisfied, jjshell. That poster is not a screenwriter.

There is a lot of controversy about Series of Shots, Montage, and merely using action paragraphs. Things are loosening up all the time.

The way I would handle that would be:

Joe enters, undresses, showers, dresses, exits.

Except that the dressing and undressing are too obvious to mention and you don't want to be opening doors and other meaningless filler. You cut right in to the action or speech.

But I will assume that was just a quickie example.

Another way to handle it would be:

INT. JOE'S BATHROOM -- DAY
Joe emerges from the steamy shower and stands naked in front of the mirror. He wipes an area clear, looks at himself, makes a face.

Or whatever. Point is...you just get him there, cut in, cut away.

But that doesn't help you with the shot series.

For one thing, nobody uses those lame numbers anymore.

SERIES OF SHOTS: JOE COMES HOME, GETS READY FOR A DATE
Is useless.

You can just call your shots with dashes if you want

SERIES OF SHOTS:

--Joe kicks in his front door

--He tears off his clothes

etc.


If you are writing screenplays, I would suggest that you go to screenwriter sites for info. It's a very specialized form of writing.

absolutewrite.com has a section with a little more expertise around than this one

artfulwriter.com and wordplayer.com are two of the very best, highly professional and owned by accomplished screenwriters (the guys who wrote Shrek and Pirates of Caribbean in the latter case) Ease in, look around, read the files before asking questions.

Once you feel you have a great script and want peer review, there are two sites that provide a structured comment system, zoetrope.com and triggerstreet.com

Since the previous poster told you to read up but didn't offer any suggestions of links, let me recommend:
A Few Notes on Formatting - Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwritign - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
as a sort of "Gold Standard" for format...it's what the leading competition puts forth and unlikely to advise anything that will get you in trouble.
 

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
I ran into this post on zoetrope just now...by an experience TV production pro.

I think it might be helpful for you.


he usual practice is to write "spec" screenplays in master scene format.

Don't confuse a "master scene" with a "master shot". When writing in master scene, you can imply all kinds of shots by simply writing what the audience will see on the screen.

Example:

EXT. DODGER STADIUM - DAY

The windup and the pitch. It's a fast ball.

The batter swings... and misses.

RADAR GUN READOUT - 101 MPH

In the visitor's dugout...

COACH CLANCY
Sheesh, the guy's got an arm like a machine!

But note that this all takes place under the same "slug" -- EXT. DODGER STADIUM - DAY . If you go elsewhere or to a different time period, you need a new slug.
 

jjshell

Senior Member
Thanks a lot for your great help :)
One of my aim is not to break the narrative. And also, I'd like to avoid extra lines since I'm already above the 120 pages red line.

I've bought a few screenplays (shooting scripts) that were using the "Quick shots" technique. The thing is, every time the writer was the director. Hence my question.

I guess I will apply the usual technique in complicated situations: get rid of what makes things complicated.

EXT./INT. CHARACTER'S APARTMENT - DAY

Character exits the front door. When he reaches the street corner, he stops short.

CHARACTER
[a curse]

Character comes back in a rush to his apartment, opens the door, opens a drawer, takes out his wallet and leaves the place.

seems a fairly good option. Or not?

:)
 
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