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Thread: Scene heading/transition question

  1. #1
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    74

    Scene heading/transition question

    I have a scene that happens in a motel room and then one of the characters goes into the bathroom. So i have the sub heading

    BATHROOM -

    When I go back to the other character, should i just use the main heading again or is there a better way to do this? See below, for my example.

    INT. MOTEL ROOM #7 - DAY

    Floyd sits on the side of the bed as Becca makes her way to the bathroom.

    He grabs the remote.

    BATHROOM -

    Becca turns on the shower. She moves to the sink and grabs a toothbrush.

    INT. MOTEL ROOM #7 - DAY

    Floyd changes the channel.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW brianjanuary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    chicago, IL
    Posts
    550
    You're already inside the motel room, so you don't need to repeat INT. again when you switch scenes.

    So:

    INT. MOTEL ROOM #7 - DAY

    Floyd sits, etc. as Becca makes her way to the bathroom.

    INSIDE THE BATHROOM

    Becca turns on the shower.

    IN THE ROOM

    Floyd changes the remote.

    This set-up makes it clear what the scene configuration is. Then, as the scene progresses, you can just refer to the locations as BATHROOM or ROOM.

    The problem with this approach, however, is that if you have a long scene, you will use up a lot of white space. So another solution is to use INTERCUT, as in:

    INT. MOTEL ROOM #7 - DAY

    Floyd sits, etc. as Becca makes her way into

    THE BATHROOM

    INTERCUT BETWEEN FLOYD AND BECCA

    Becca turns on the shower.

    Floyd plays with the remote.

    Etc.

  3. #3
    figuring it all out Interrobang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    70
    I'd also vote for the 'intercut' method. It's easier to read and ultimately it's the director who'll decide on the precise order of shots.
    My author site: www.sjarnott.com

    Twitter @TheWritersGuide

    (Logo c/o stewf)

  4. #4
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    74
    Thanks! I'll play around with both suggestions and see which one ends up looking better with the complete scene.

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