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have a question about the best way to format a scene.
a NYC taxi driver picks up a fare and the fare says get to JFK airport ASAP. the driver is a skilled, yet somewhat reckless, driver. i want the scene to be fast action of the taxi driving through the city, making sharp turns, runnning red lights, swerving cars and people, etc... should it be a montage? or should i slug a new scene heading each time they're on a different street and a different action occurs? and finally, once they reach the outside of the airport, is that another slug line? can anyone give me some advice on the best method to use here? thanks!
P.S. i want there to be shots inside the taxi as well with character's expressions and dialogue
I'd do a montage. I think it makes for faster reading for an action scene.
I'm not trying to plug anyone's book, but Christopher Riley's "The Hollywood Standard" is great for helping one to decide the best course of action. I think it's better than David Trottier's book "The Screenwriter's Bible."
Ultimately it comes down to making it the clearest for the reader. The way Riley says to do a montage and series of shots is a little different that Trottier's by the way. So that just shows to go yuh. And of course, if you're writting this for yourself to film, then do it any way you want. :)
Darn it. I put an extra t in writing again. I've got to proof read better!
INT. TAXI - DAY
This where you put the initial conversation with the taxi driver...maybe even show reactions by the occupants as the taxi lurches forward.
EXT. NYC STREETS - DAY This is where I would put the entire the entire trip to the airport. If you want reactions from the occupants you can use them as VOs or do quick cuts to INT. TAXI for expressions and then back to EXT. NYC STREETS. I wouldn't think that describing every turn in detail would be needed. If the tax heads onto a Highway or Expressway, I might add another slugline for that.
EXT. JFK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - DAY This where I would show the cab screeching to a hault.
If I recall there's a scene in "Lethal Weapon" where there is a car chase like what you describe. You might want to check that out as an example.
I would a series of scenes. I would describ the interior cab and occupants with a regular slug line and description. After they say their first line and we move to the exterior, I would describe that scene. Then I would start the series.
e.g.1. Ext. Streets - the cab flies over the curb. 2. Int. Cab - both occupants lunge forward.
Thanks for all the input. I do agree, that no matter what method is used, it should be one that is easiest for the reader to read. So, I'm going to toy around with a few ways and see what works best.
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