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Using CUT TO: ... (1 Viewer)

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Eiji Tunsinagi

Senior Member
I've read in a lot of spec and shooting scripts that they sometimes use "Cut To" to go suddenly/quickly from one scene or image to another. But sometimes I've seen it to be a totally different scene, but no scene heading is used...is this okay? Usually new images in a different setting are new scenes, but -- not in this instance.

thanks
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
a newbie writing a spec script should NEVER use CUT TO or any other overt transition or camera direction...

every slug line IS a 'cut to'... it's only the director's job to decide how a scene is to be shot or edited... you, as the screenwriter, are only to write WHAT is to be seen and heard, not HOW that is to be accomplished...

if you've actually seen scripts where the scene changes w/o a new scene heading [slug line], then i have to guess the writer was not a pro...

i'd have to see what you're referring to, in order to know what it is and why...

hugs, maia
 
mammamaia said:
a newbie writing a spec script should NEVER use CUT TO or any other overt transition or camera direction...

every slug line IS a 'cut to'... it's only the director's job to decide how a scene is to be shot or edited... you, as the screenwriter, are only to write WHAT is to be seen and heard, not HOW that is to be accomplished...

if you've actually seen scripts where the scene changes w/o a new scene heading [slug line], then i have to guess the writer was not a pro...

i'd have to see what you're referring to, in order to know what it is and why...

hugs, maia




I've had the most difficult problems, when writing movie scripts.. I studied Photography, but ended in the classroom next door, wich was more into Cinema... . . .fascinating world.....
Well, I guess I've allways tryed to pull a good script, and you can't imagine how many first paragraphs I threw away, during the years...
I remember that I would allways stop and Quit, just when about to skip/cut/ go to / be changing the SCENE,.......

Man , I'l have to tell you....Listen to Maia ! !! !! ! ! ! !
«««««« you, as the screenwriter, are only to write WHAT is to be seen and heard, not HOW that is to be accomplished »»»»»
if you are able to stick to the thought
you will not think about Cutting it / to...

I love script writing...
Hey...I've heard M.Scorcese is Recovering Old Material, from early American Pionner Directors.....If true...I really love the guy....

....«««« If you work for a living...why do you kill yourself working ? »»»
 

evadri

Senior Member
Most of the screenplays you get from libraries or the internet are shooting scripts - not the original writer's script.
There are books on script writing coventions and formating that are more useful than reading movie scripts that have already been shot and released.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
anyone who wants to learn the basics can email me for tips from the pros and a 'tools of the trade' list...

if you want one-on-one help at the beginner or intermediate level, probably half of my mentees are aspiring screenwriters, and i always have room for one more...

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]
 

Pawn

Patron
Maia - what I find mildly annoying about you is your tendency to present useful conventions as rules.

In answer to the original question:

There's no reason not to use 'cut to'. Whilst it is not the scriptwriters job to tell the director how to present the piece, there are occasionally situations where it is essential to the piece that a certain cut takes place at a certain point. Variables like narrative rhythm are as much the consideration of the screenwriter as anyone else. A 'cut to' is thus likely to be an in-scene instruction, rather than a transitionary element. A new scene should always be labelled as such. The point is not "Never use CUT TO!" but rather, "Use it only when you must."

The inclusion of such directions becomes important when one comes to write screenplays which are not solely based on dialogue. How is one going to write a Russian Montage without them?
 

lisajane

Senior Member
I agree with Pawn. While it's generally not needed to put 'CUT TO:' everywhere, sometimes it is needed by the writer to be put in. Use your own judgement.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
the point is, pawn [annoying or not], that 'cut to' is really never needed by the WRITER... while it may be used bya writer/director, smart, seasoned writers of spec scripts wouldn't indulge themselves in such ego-scratching detail...

every slug line IS a 'cut to'... beginning or ending a montage does not NEED 'cut to' or any other transition specified, other than [re a montage] the mini-slug 'MONTAGE' at the start, and 'BACK TO SCENE' or 'END MONTAGE' at its end...

as for the 'russian montage' that was used to great effect by sergei eisenstein back in the 20s, that is a directorial technique carried out by the film editor and cutter, not a writer's call... on the rare occasion it might be necessary for the writer to specify such, that's what a 'series of shots' and standard 'montage' cover... but, still, no 'cut to' is called for, because each image described will obviously give way to the next...

the speed/manner at/in which the transition is made [cut/dissolve/etc] is NOT the writer's province... it's only the director's job to decide, and an unknown, beginning writer using such terms is only displaying his/her ignorance of the screenwriting and film production process...

even joe esterhaz [who can get away with anything he wants!], in his spec script for 'basic instinct' [for which he was paid $3mil], had not a single camera direction, transition, or other fancy technique in his entire 107 pages... just scene headings, description, and dialog... clear, lean, unencumbered writing...

i deal with screenplays every day... how many do you work with per week/month/year?... to give bad advice to beginners, based on personal preference, rather than what's most acceptable industry-wide, is not doing them any favor...

if you want to direct your own films and have the money/clout to do so, use whatever technique you want, write the script any way you like... but to be really helpful to a novice, it's best to stick to advocating what will maximize, not minimize their chances of having their work read by the agents and producers they'll need to impress...

the work i find most compelling, with good market potential, i pass on to a major agency exec who trusts me to only pass on writers worth repping ... because he knows i know the difference, he reads whatever i send him... 'nuff said?

hugs, m

ps: what i find mildly annoying is personal remarks like members stating they find other members mildly annoying...
 

Pawn

Patron
To be frank, if you're looking for people to condescend to, I suggest you go back to your "mentees".

i deal with screenplays every day... how many do you work with per week/month/year?... to give bad advice to beginners, based on personal preference, rather than what's most acceptable industry-wide, is not doing them any favor...

I study Film at degree level. I make short films, participate in various roles on the films of others, analyse thematic and directorial techniques, and yes, write screenplays. Perhaps now, in maia like style, I should recite every film I've ever worked on, and every director I've heard speak?

ps: what i find mildly annoying is personal remarks like members stating they find other members mildly annoying...

It's a wonder to me that someone of your experience can be so profoundly hypocritical. Yes, I speak my mind, but rarely to any great offense. Your entire post, on the other hand, was one colossal insinuation.

I find this exchange insulting and pathetic.
 

Spudley

Senior Member
Moderator note: Topic is now locked. Please keep the discussion to the topic, and not about each other. Thank you.
 
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