An excerpt from my script review for Triangle which will be available 10/16/17:
4.) Dialogue and Description
Proper use of an establishing shot!
As I read, and our group was on the ocean liner, this eerie feeling was set up via the way shots were described especially along the corridors of the vessel.
Usually, I’m against this type of directing while writing, but since it created that initial feel of uneasiness, I was willing to let it slide.
What the writer was actually doing (brilliantly) was showing us the points of view of other characters, who we didn’t know existed yet.
Not only did it work, but like any good plot point, those early shots PAID OFF!
This is one of the only scripts that I can remember that used this technique, and it wasn’t anything difficult to emulate in our own writing.
If you’re writing a time travel/looping genre story, consider reading this to see what I’m talking about.
An example from page 52:
He heads along a corridor. In front of him is a junction.
The banging continues. VICTOR reaches the junction and
hides, as though he is about to peer around the corner. We
cut to what should be VICTOR’s POV but instead VICTOR’S
“Payoff” on page 70:
Our JESS looks at her watch. It reads eleven thirty. She
peers around the corner to look at them. Again, the framing
of her POV we recognise as a shot from earlier.
Directorial stuff like this wouldn’t be recommended unless you’re delivering a payoff later.
However, once only Jess is left around page 65, the blocks of description become harder and harder to mentally digest.
The only suggestion I can give here is to trim the fat and break it up.
For the most part, the dialogue was fine…
Except when the group is on the yacht. Damn, was it boring.
Too many introductions. Too much small talk that didn’t pay off. Too much cheesy/flirty banter.
My suggestion to someone with scenes like this is consider cutting them entirely.
If you can’t do that, what bits are absolutely crucial that can be shown in quick scenes?
The last note I had in regards to dialogue is was all the past/present/future dialogue the same?
Was it supposed to be?
If it is, double check that everything lines up. If it isn’t, show us that Jess saying different things can alter the present actions of other characters, but ultimately lead to the same outcome.
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