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format Slug line use

I'm working on scenes consisting of a slow walking tour through a city.

I started out with slug lines for every new street the characters turn into. That became quite busy, and not consistent with what I understand is current recommendations.

I therefore limited the slug lines to only those locations that are essential and identified by specific names. The multiple streets they walk through to get to those specific places are now indicated in the action descriptions. Those unnamed streets change mostly for visual variation while dialogues are happening, and are not essential to the story.

Now I am in doubt about the right approach. The first version appeared to be more organized and therfore clearer.

Your input will be appreciated.
 
Sounds like you may want to use a SERIES OF SHOTS or MONTAGE instead. A SERIES OF SHOTS is used more to show the passage of time while a MONTAGE is also used to show a passage of time -- it's usually a longer passage of time than a SERIES OF SHOTS and usually contains a THEME behind it.

A SERIES OF SHOTS outlines specific SHOTS. A SERIES OF SHOTS is organized according to linear time. Before each SHOT, you can stick a letter, number, or just a dash or double-dash mark. There is no real rule. Just make it clear as to what you're showing us. It needs to makes sense.

The SERIES OF SHOTS heading is so specific, it usually covers a shorter period of time than a Montage. A Montage can and often does portray images linked by abstract concepts such as THEME whereas a SERIES OF SHOTS typically depicts actions related through cause and effect.

A SERIES OF SHOTS generally does not utilize any Dialogue.

You can use a MONTAGE to compress time or summarize a particular series of events. MONTAGEs deliver a great deal of information quickly and economically. MONTAGES are most useful for portraying minor but NECESSARY story beats and actions but if any of these events are crucial to your story, a MONTAGE could diminish their impact or drama.

MONTAGEs are made up of a series of shots just like the SERIES OF SHOT but each shot usually portrays a single action or story beat with a strong narrative connection. When viewed together as a MONTAGE, the shots act as a kind of slide show -- a telling of a story WITHIN A STORY.

MONTAGES tend to have a distinct beginning, middle and end and typically depict actions and events in linear order. Most MONTAGES include shots from several different locations.

The end of a MONTAGE usually signals a new stage in the story.

You can google how to format them in a screenplay. There are numerous ways to format each. The trick is to pick the best one for where you're at in your story.

Here's the basic format of each (scroll down). Although Trottier shows letters in the SERIES OF SHOTS and double dashes in the MONTAGE? You can use EITHER OR for the MONTAGE or SERIES OF SHOTS.

Hope that helps.
 
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Thank you for input.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that SERIES OF SHOTS and MONTAGE are used mainly to compress a number of scenes, for example to show passage of time.

In may case, the interaction and dialogue between the characters during the walk is essential, while the actual streets that they are zigzagging are not, until they reach specific locations.

I hope that brings some clarity to my issue.
 
Hard to say without looking at it...

My INITIAL recommendation would be to write it all out (as you have) and then step back from it for a day or two and then go back to it and see what you can compress and combine into shorter description/action. See what dialogue you can combine instead of lengthening the conversation out.

In other words? Cut out all the fluff that really doesn't need to be there. Then once you've done that? Let it sit again for a day or two (but keep working on the script) -- go back to the scenes and make a second pass of cuts.

Rinse and repeat untill it becomes a fast and furious read... Until it POPS and you can't stop reading.
 
Thank you for input.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that SERIES OF SHOTS and MONTAGE are used mainly to compress a number of scenes, for example to show passage of time.

In may case, the interaction and dialogue between the characters during the walk is essential, while the actual streets that they are zigzagging are not, until they reach specific locations.

I hope that brings some clarity to my issue.
Might be best to just post what you've written so far so people can appreciate exactly what it is you are trying to ilustrate and advise what (if anything) to change. Whether a montage, or series of shots, or different slugs works best depends on what it is you are wanting to get across and in what context.
 
Another thing you can do if the sluglines seem to make the writing too busy is to use a full slug at the start and then shortened scene descriptions each time you move to a new setting. We will know it's part of the same passage of time and movement of the characters if done this way. For example.

EXT. WHEREVER BOULEVARD. DAY

JACK and JILL walk along talking shit.

Blah, blah, blah.

They turn right onto

110TH STREET

They talk some more crap as they arrive at a

CONVENIENCE STORE

etc. etc.
 
I usually do as suggested, putting it away for a few days to give it a fresh look later....

SECONDARY SCENE HEADINGS seem like a good approach. I will try that out.

Thank you!
 
Don't do the secondary shot thing. It's amateurish. The shot rates a slug or it doesn't. Even a MONTAGE or SERIES OF SHOTS each ultimately needs a slug. How else do you know what to shoot?

Below works, because as written, 110TH STREET is a SHOT of a street sign:
They turn right onto

110TH STREET
==

This doesn't work because CONVENIENCE STORE is a Location in its own right:
They talk some more crap as they arrive at a

CONVENIENCE STORE
==

But it should all have been in the description of the slugline (which is missing):
EXT. WHEREVER BOULEVARD - DAY
There's a sign on the corner of 110TH STREET that leads to a CONVENIENCE STORE.
==
FYI: A MONTAGE is traditionally a sequence of overlapping shots that fade in and out over one another, like in Raider's of the Lost Ark when Indy's plan flies across the map. About 20 years ago MONTAGE got muddled up with SERIES OF SHOTS.
 
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