Screenwriting : Underwater by Sari Eliza

Sari Eliza


When it comes to underwater scenes, is it EXT. or INT.? I'm asking this because it feels like characters are exploring IN the water, at least with stories that'll be more ordinarily on land.

Joseph Dean Eilertson

If the scene takes place under water, then use Interior or under water. If you are splashing around on the surface I would say you are between water and sky which to me makes more sense to be Exterior.

Stephen Floyd

The primary goal of INT vs EXT is to describe light source. Since water refracts light, that’s a poser. I’d use EXT unless they’re within something not fluid.

Beth Fox Heisinger

It should be EXT because a body of water, like the ocean, is an exterior shot. Not interior or a shot inside a structure. For guidance perhaps look at various shooting scripts from films set around water—The Abyss. EXT. OCEAN/UNDERWATER - DAY or EXT. UNDERWATER. Then perhaps on the surface EXT. OCEAN - DAY or EXT. OCEAN SURFACE - DAY. Depending, you may not need DAY. Not much light underwater. Lol! Hope that helps!

Joseph Dean Eilertson

To bad you can’t get your hands on the script from Shape of Water, I’m sure that would answer your question(s). When I read a script it’s usually like Sc. 14 Ext. blah blah - Day or Sc. 83 blah blah - Night. I don’t think writing programs like Final Draft really give you many more options. If you are writing something that takes place in water I would encourage you to create your own definition of Exterior and Interior. It’s your story after all.

Beth Fox Heisinger ;) You will see INT. in the opening watery dream sequence but that is because it is an interior shot of Elisa's apartment full of water.

Pete Whiting

my script The Titron Madness has an ocean scene of people parachuting in ocean (p.26-32) with a mixture of above and under water scenes. But all the time it is EXT. Feel free to read that scene for idea. However if they are in a sub under the water then any scenes inside the sub would be INT.

Beth Fox Heisinger

I would not recommend creating your own personal definition of EXT and INT—they are what they are. Exterior shot. Interior shot. These are well-understood directional terms, much used, and much needed for film production. ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Here's a script pdf for the film The Abyss I mentioned above. Hope it offers some clarity: :) Cheers!

Tim Dutton

Listen to Beth, she just gave you an education and resources, a lot of people would pay good money for.

Pete Whiting

Beth Fox Heisinger - such a great film. Don't see female roles written like that anymore. I did base my character Nell from my script 'Titron Madness' on that style of persona and the feedback from studios, producers and coverage services was that she was their fave character. Some many other good aspects of that film. One all writers should have on their list to watch and learn from.

Dan Guardino

It is easy. A scene heading begins with INT. or EXT. INTerior (inside) or EXTerior (outside). Unless it is a indoor swimming pool or something it is EXT. If it is underwater in the ocean you would leave off the DAY or NIGHT.

Robert Alves

How many pgs is the screenplay. With little dialog I'm interested.

William Martell

EXT unless they swim into a wrecked ship...

Robert Alves

Sorry i was a little confused. I was looking for info on the screenplay for the movie underwater. With a run time of 93 min n not much dialogue i wondered how many pgs it was.

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