Screenwriting : Question about changing location/scene headings by Krista Crawford

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Krista Crawford

Question about changing location/scene headings

I have a part in my script where my characters are outside of an old spanish mission. One of them is on the roof, talking to the others down below her. She does do some action on the roof as well. My question is, as they're talking, do I need to keep going back and forth with EXT. SPANISH MISSION and EXT. SPANISH MISSION ROOF, or can I just keep it at EXT. SPANISH MISSION?

Craig D Griffiths

I wouldn’t they are both EXT.

So set it up in the scene description and remind the read on occasions.

Craig squint as the hits him in the eyes as Krista walks along the roof.

Craig Prickett

I'd do it as Craig has suggested.If you do it the way you were thinking it's going to be a lot harder to read,which you never want.

Krista Crawford

Great! Thanks Craig and Craig! Right now I have it as just EXT. SPANISH MISSION and do like Craig said and mention the roof every now and then.

Dan Guardino

Being on the roof and down below is just one location requiring one master scene heading.

Jodi Rath

Have you heard of ScreenPlay Subs? It's a free extension for FF and I think Chrome too. It takes (only about a handful) of Netflix films and splits the screen to show you the film on the left and the script on the right--it shows you where they cut out scenes and what was edited as well. It helps me answer questions like that. I think you can pay to get more--but I feel the 7 or 8 they provide for free is extremely helpful!

Rohit Kumar

You can write like EXT. SPANISH MISSION/ROOF-DAY with dual dialogue and scene description in between. There CROSSCUT too I think with Individual names if i remember which can be used. Do check it out

Nick Assunto - Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator

Yeah there is no need for two slugs here and to keep going back and forth unless two different scenes are happening in the location, but you said they're speaking to each other so they're sharing the scene. If another conversation was happening on the roof separate from down below you'd just reslug with the simple ROOF if you wanted to after already establishing the location at the top of the scene. Then GROUND or whatever when going back to the cross scene.

Dan MaxXx

William Martell has the simple, easiest method, "Do what the couple of dozen screenplays that you read before attempting to write one did."

this formatting stuff is not rocket science. Even if you don't know, write it on the page consistently where Readers won't care.

Ronika Merl

I agree with Dan. Readers will know what's happening. It's the director's question, when it comes to shooting... they'll need to then think specifically of how to block it, how to shoot it, what specific dialogue needs to be on the roof, which close ups happen in front of the mission. If you switch too much, it can break up the flow. Heck, I even do phone scenes like that. I set out where both characters are, and then just let the scene flow. We all know how films look in the end, and readers will definitely forgive if it's not strictly following the strictest of "Rules", as long as the whole of it makes sense.

Sarah Gabrielle Baron

Just EXT. - SPANISH MISSION. anything else is needlessly complicated. However, if different things are happening in the different places (road level vs roof) then yeah separate them.

Doug Nelson

It's simply a master scene, maybe with a couple of subs. Look at it like a Director and write accordantly.

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