format Format issues when scene filmed by surveillance video

I have two scenes which I want to audience to see in a way that is clear they are watching the scene thru a surveillance video, and not the scene directly

For example: Person X exits the building and the audience sees the person being watched by surveillance video. In other words, the screen the audience is watching is one of a surveillance video camera, and not the scene directly.

How do I format the action/script so that this is clear to the reader of the script.

Thx
 
Is the action as viewed on a monitor, meaning the bezel of the monitor is visible, or is it directly seen as if the viewer was "in the scene"?
For the first, I would write something like;
MATCH CUT TO:
INT. SURVEILLANCE OFFICE - DAY
Tight on monitor.
Person X looks both directions down the sidewalk before walking...

For the second;
MATCH CUT TO:
EXT. BUILDING - DAY
The image is (grainy/B&W/4:3/whatever surveillance image you want to use) and from a higher perspective.
Person X exits the building. He looks both directions down the sidewalk before walking...
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Is the action as viewed on a monitor, meaning the bezel of the monitor is visible, or is it directly seen as if the viewer was "in the scene"?
For the first, I would write something like;
MATCH CUT TO:
INT. SURVEILLANCE OFFICE - DAY
Tight on monitor.
Person X looks both directions down the sidewalk before walking...

For the second;
MATCH CUT TO:
EXT. BUILDING - DAY
The image is (grainy/B&W/4:3/whatever surveillance image you want to use) and from a higher perspective.
Person X exits the building. He looks both directions down the sidewalk before walking...

I think those are both great if this is something you're directing yourself.
But if it's a spec script, things like "match cut" and "tight on monitor" edge into the area of directing from within the script.

Can you show the person doing the surveillance? You don't need to show their face, clothes, or where they are, but can you show an undefined figure watching via a camera with a big ass telephoto lens?

That shot followed by the shot in question of Person X would also accomplish what you're trying for.
 
I've read a lot of scripts from professional directors, and honestly each one has its own style while writting.

If we're going to watch a whole sequence based on this POV Security Camera, I'd create a new scene. Nevertheless, if it's just a quick shot I don't think there's a need for a CUT TO, so I usually go on with a quick note, something like this:

POV SECURITY CAMERA: We see [Character] exiting the building.

Or

SEQUENCE: Through a security camera POV, we see [Character] exiting the building.

Although I'm sure there's a specific way they show how to write this kind of scenes in Film School, I think the best option is that you get your own style for writting. One of my all-time directors is Quentin Tarantino, and if you ever read his scripts... it will be probably something like you've never seen before 🤣
 
I can share the way I do it... I agree with @mlesemann but I've found it's perfectly fine to use what's called a SECONDARY LOCATION HEADING. If you're using screenwriting software? This is usually called a "Shot." Using that style adheres the heading to proper format.

THROUGH SECURITY CAMERA

then write your description here...

Pretty simple. Easy to understand. Doesn't get too technical so a professional reader doesn't think you're directing. Gets the point across.
 
You're reading way too much into this. It's just a POV.

INT. MANAGER’S OFFICE - THE PARADISE ROOM - NIGHT

POV: SECURITY CAMERA ON THE OFFICE WALL
Tacky. A desk, a chair, filing cabinet, a casting couch and small refrigerator. There are two security monitors, one showing the security camera view of the alley and the other the empty and dark bar and strip club beyond the door.

DISSOLVE TO NORMAL VIEW:
Hoody#2 and Hoody#3 plop dazed Jack in the chair behind the desk. They both pull back their hoods--
 
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