I've just read the first 10 pages of a script on THE Black List. Not the public-facing Black List that so many of us have wasted money on, but the Black List that is a collection of scripts that have been voted the best unproduced (or in development) scripts by a closed circle of agents and others in Hollywood. The writers are also repped by two major agencies. So, all told, I think you can safely assume these scribes know their craft. That's why I got a chuckle when I saw how many of the so-called screenwriting 'rules' they broke in just the first 10 page. For example:
- a liberal use of the phrase "WE SEE"
- using CAPITALS to distinguish objects and sounds throughout.
- use of the word 'visibly' or "clearly", e.g. 'She turns around, clearly upset'.
- liberal use of CUT TO and SMASH CUT TO
- referring to a collection of short scenes that showed a series of actions by the same character over a span of time without using the labels SERIES OF SHOTS or MONTAGE
- use of ellipses or italics in dialogue at least once on each page
- brief action descriptive in parenthetical before dialogue
I'm not passing judgement on those writers, or proponents of said screenwriting 'rules', though. Over the course of an entire script, I might do a little of all of those things. Hell, I'm not on THE Black List, nor am I repped yet, but those writers are. Frankly, I think we could tie ourselves in knots trying to draw any sane conclusions from it all. I just found it....interesting.