Screenwriting : Slugline - Day, Night or More? by Simon Crudgington

Simon Crudgington

Slugline - Day, Night or More?

Hey guys. I've got a few scenes that have started in the daylight and are then moving from room to room whilst the sun is setting, followed by a night time scene. Do you think I need to stick with good old day and night in the scene titles/sluglines, or can I use more






I keep re-writing them and not deciding (dusk, twilight, later, continuous - all contenders!), any advice would be great! Thanks.

Dan Guardino

Anytime you change the time of day you need a new slug line. However do they really need to film during the evening and sunset. That doesn't give you much time for the shoot. Only use sunset and evening vs day or night if it is required to film during those time periods.

Erik A. Jacobson

If an exterior scene is between day and night but after sunset, I like to use DUSK, usually followed by Semi-dark. Hard to see clearly.

Les Collins

Some of that information can be explained in narrative description. Especially if it is time lapse. I have also read that it is ok to occasionally use those descriptions other than day or night, but very rarely.

Tasha Lewis

Sounds fine.

Pierre Langenegger

What Dan said.

Karen "Kay" Ross

For shooting purposes, I would say stick with EVENING, but qualify it with DAY or NIGHT (i.e. INT. ROOM A - EVENING/DAY, INT. ROOM B - EVENING/DAY, INT. ROOM C - EVENING/DAY, INT. ROOM D - EVENING/NIGHT). Anything more detailed had better be essential to the story. Otherwise, it feels like you're directing the DP/gaffer as a writer, which isn't necessary. But again, for production, they just need to know what is the dominant light - day or night. Your production team will figure everything else out.

Craig D Griffiths

I think of it from a light POV. DAY, NIGHT, DAWN, DUSK all have specific looks when it comes to light.

Simon Crudgington

Thanks all, sounds good

Freyja Seren

I don't think of the script as a story, it's more like a strategy document. The story is in the planning and background work I've done and the script is the document that allows the team to make the project happen. So each piece of that document needs to be useful and relevant. After that, everything everyone has already said about lighting XD

Simon Crudgington

For context, they're short scenes where the light is helping explain to the audience the location, important for the story. So (rough descriptions for you, not the text in my script) :


Man and Teenager talking. Man starts having a seizure and Teenager has to run and get his medicine.


Teenager gets medicine, and looks out to balcony.


Teenager looks at sunset, and we see three moons in the sky.

Then he'll run back down, but this explains to the audience that we're on another planet, not Earth. The stunning scenery draws him away from an urgent task, hence the idea of sun setting. I guess this would be ok because its supporting the story?

Dan Guardino

It is okay to using things like DUSK, DAWN , SUNSET and SUNRISE but keep in you only have so much time to film so it could take several extra days to shoot the scene so I only do it when the scene MUST take place during those times for a reason.

Doug Nelson

Direct the film in the action/general lines - not in the scene header. I can light an interior shot at sunset all day/night long.

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