Writers Wanted! MovieBytes is looking for articles. Call for Submissions
hey guys I have come across a format issue that I can't quite solve. The opening sequence of a screenplay I'm writing shows the main character aging from ten years old into adulthood. Same character ...Same location...but over a ten year period. I've checked different writing sources and all have given different solutions. I wonder would LATER be acceptable since the scenes take place in the same location.
I tried 'LATER' to show time passing and it didn't fly with readers. The Screenwriter's Bible gives a good example of how to address this and since I've used it, no one's complained.
Here's an example, hope it helps.
INT. CEDAR RIDGE HOSPITAL - INTENSIVE CARE UNIT - DAY
Hospital workers come and go out of Andie's room.
-- The head nurse finishes taking Andie's blood pressure, then pats Andie's arm. PROSECUTOR (V.O.) And this was the drug found in the syringe with the defendant's fingerprint, your honor. -- Carl holds her hand and reads to his daughter as a nurse hangs a new saline bag.
JUDGE (V.O.) Dr. Yates. How did you uncover that the defendant was involved in harvesting organs?
-- Carl sits in a chair with a rosary, tears down his cheeks.
INT. COURT HOUSE - DAY
Dr. Yates gives just the right amount of drama to his voice.
wow formatting didn't cross over sorry.
Thanks for the info Athena. I felt LATER probably wasn't the way to go.
I was taught that LATER is used in a slug line only when it is only a short time after the scene preceding it. As in an exterior scene at a hospital and then an interior scene at the same hospital.
Some tricks are showing seasons changing, fast forwarding day to night and showing clouds passing rapidly by.
I was the Grand Prize winner in last year's StoryPros contest. One thing I won was a screenplay analysis by them.
They were very specific on this issue.
If it is the same location, then simply say LATER instead of DAY or NIGHT.
So use a full slug line, but use LATER.
Help me here, Timothy. You don't use later for the same location unless you're still in the same time frame, same day. You wouldn't put later for the same location if it was another day, would you?
Good question Alex... in this particular screenplay...the character ages in a prison cell. There are 3 shots of him at different ages...young...middle aged...and old. So you have the same person, same location but the time lapse is in years. So that's why I'm pretty sure LATER would not be used because of the time span
Derrick, you could have your opening sequence with the character young, at the end of the scene have him lie down on the bed, back to audience, all goes dark --write new scene, INT. PRISON CELL - DAY (TEN TEARS LATER) Show character in same position, he wakes up, turns to audience and is older. Repeat sequence as needed to reach the age you need.
Yes, LATER should be used only in the same time frame. It implies minutes later, or a short time later, not days or weeks later.
INT. FRAT HOUSE - NIGHT
Big, noisy, raucous party. John enters, sees June across the room. Instantly aims for her.
INT. FRAT HOUSE - LATER
John and June are necking on the couch.
It's a stupid example but you get the point. Same location, same NIGHT, same everything except only a short time later.
Hope that clarifies it.
Register here to receive MovieBytes' FREE email newsletter featuring contest deadline reminders, news, articles, and much more. Choose a password to access the MovieBytes bulletin board and other great features.