Screenwriting : Stupid question by Tony Ray

Tony Ray

Stupid question

What's it called when you have something like a Title Card, but it's in the film for a given purpose? For instance, say you have a scene with a phone conversation, then it cuts to a card that says "Five minutes later . . .", before cutting back to the conversation but five minutes into it. Anybody know what I'm talking about? And, if so, what is it called? Please and thank you in advance.

Stephen Floyd

I just always called it a title card.

Jeff Saylor

I think you can call it something like a SUPERIMPOSED.

Beth Fox Heisinger

SUPER: "Five minutes later"

Ally Shina

Beth is has it right, format and all.

Rutger Oosterhoff

.... "Five minutes later"? It is called a waste of time. Indicating time that has gone by in a phone conversation would simply need A DISSOLVE.

Tony Ray

The reason I'm using a "Five minutes later" is because in the scene, a story needs to be told to a new character. But I don't want to waste lines and pages reiterating what the audience already knows. Besides, it's for a comedy. It'll be utilized for comedic effect.

Tony Ray

Thank you everyone for the responses!!!

Nathan Smith

If you use SUPER, that implies that the text is seen over whatever image is in the scene. If you want a black screen with text you would technically make it a new scene:



Might I suggest using INSERT, such as simply:


CJ Walley

Yikes! Yeah, SUPER is the wrong solution here.

There actually isn't a correct format that I know of for a title card/intertitle. You just need to make it clear such as;


Beth Fox Heisinger

Tony, yup, I’ve seen it done plenty in comedy, and certainly not always OVER BLACK or BLACK SCREEN but rather over an image/footage. It depends on specific context and desired effect, of course, and there are a few ways to approach and/or format. I’ve seen CRYLON used too, but rarely. Perhaps look for a script from a comedy film that has those elements in it for a pro example. See how it was handled on the page. Oh, and a great reference book to keep handy is David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible for any formatting questions you might have. Hope that helps!

Beth Fox Heisinger

To add... You could also use breaks in a scene to convey time or a quick time-lapse instead of text appearing on screen as either a card or super. A well-placed cut can have great comedic effect. Again, hope that helps! Best to you!

Phil Clarke

As others have said, there's no one single way to do this, but it's all about being CLEAR and CONSISTENT. Use these two factors as a fall-back and you won't go too far wrong.

Ally Shina

Wow, all those great screenwriters who's scripts I've read who used SUPER were totally wrong now? Yeah, I'd rather stay out of this one.

Gustavo Freitas

Super or Title should do it. "Super" is used when you expect the text to be shown over the footage (superimpose); "Title" is used when you want it to be written on a card, a black screen, or some kind of effect (aka a "Title Card"). The main point is that the text won't be shown over the scene footage, so you should have a rough cut that could be used for comical effect. Anyway, I wouldn't overthink it: let the director or the editor have the final call; just make sure that the joke is sharp and funny enough. And I totally agree with Phil Clarke: be clear and consistent, and people will get it.

CJ Walley

Not necessarily, Ally Shina. Simply writing SUPER mid-scene is the wrong answer to the question at hand which specified wanting a title card.

SUPER when you mean text superimposed over the action is fine.

Dan MaxXx

Here's how Jenkins did it. Bolded and centered text on the page

Ally Shina

CJ, I'm staying out of it.

CJ Walley

Dan MaxXx, Tarantino does it in a similar fashion but retaining quotation marks while also dropping the text onto a new centre-aligned line. Barry Jenkins formats beautifully. Thanks for sharing that.

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