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Thread: Terminology CUT TO:

  1. #1
    Last of a Dying Breed popmuze's Avatar
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    Terminology CUT TO:

    In reading several screenplays I noticed that some of them dispense with the instruction CUT TO: entirely while some use it every time a scene is changed. Is CUT TO: necessary when changing scenes or is the use of a new EXT/INT tag sufficient?

  2. #2
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    With the caveat that I'm an amateur and may be corrected by someone in the next post:

    CUT TO is a transitional cue. Kind of like the period on the end of a sentence.

    If you're simply changing scenes, you can get away with the slugline shift to indicate a new location / time of day. However, if you need a dissolve, a fade, a smash cut or intercut, you're going to need to indicate that between the scenes.

  3. #3
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popmuze View Post
    In reading several screenplays I noticed that some of them dispense with the instruction CUT TO: entirely while some use it every time a scene is changed. Is CUT TO: necessary when changing scenes or is the use of a new EXT/INT tag sufficient?
    That can depend on what production level the script is at. Shooting scripts have more directions regarding transitions and types of shots. Post-production scripts will also have more directions for transitions, etc.

    I usually avoid transition cues unless it's a sequence where it's necessary for comprehending the script to know that each scene is butting right to the next for pacing/tension.

    MOST scripts you find online for already produced films are either shooting or post-production scripts. They will contain quirks that should be avoided in your writing unless you want to run the risk of being "too directorial" with your script style. (Also, folks like Shamalayan and Goldman write scripts that take great liberties with script conventions. Interesting for analysis, but you need a lot of capital to be able to show a script like that and not get laughed out of the office.)
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  4. #4
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    This is a long-running lol kind of topic on message boards, some argue there's no harm in using CUT TO: (since the pros seem to do it) and others argue it just wastes space, since a scene heading serves the same function.

    Then the discussion turns into a brawl and people get thrown through windows.

    Use or do not use, doesn't matter, is my take.

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  5. #5
    An unknown known SJWangsness's Avatar
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    Challenge: write a script for the title The Defenestration of Derek

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