Thursday, March 15, 2007

It’s 1973. Almost dinner time. I'm having hoops.

You can now download Matthew Graham's shooting script for the first episode of Life on Mars from the BBC's wonderful writersroom website. It makes for fascinating reading, particularly seeing what material didn't get on screen. Most of the cuts are from the initial 2006 scenes, an understandable decision to get Sam [and the audience] back to 1973 as soon as possible. The script also tackles a question I'd been debating lately: when writing a spec script scene set inside a car as it travels along a road, is the scene labelled INT for Interior because we're inside the car with the characters? Or should it be EXT for exterior because the scene takes place outside, not inside a studio or location? Graham opts for I/E, indicating the scene mixes interior and exterior shots. Any TV script writers, editors or readers out there want to offer their answers to the question?

4 comments:

Lucy said...

I always write INT. for when we're inside the car WITH the characters, and EXT. if it's a shot of the actual car travelling down the road. I avoid I/E since think it makes little sense.

James Swallow said...

Just to muddy the waters a bit more, there's also the use of "Continuous", where you can designate speech/interaction happening over a mix of interior or exterior scenes. But personally, I'd do as Lucy says, because you don't know when you're writing in the interior car shots will actually be shot on location or on a set with a back-projection.

SK said...

What if you have a scene where you want to stay with the conversation as the characters walk up to the car, get in, and then drive off?

Would this do:

EXT. STREET. DAY

They walk up to Bob's car and get in.

INT. BOB'S CAR. CONTINUOUS

They keep talking.

EXT. STREET. CONTINUOUS

The car drives off.

INT. BOB'S CAR. CONTINUOUS

The conversation continues

EXT. JUNCTION. CONTINUOUS

A stolen car goes past!

INT. BOB'S CAR. CONTINUOUS

'Did you see that?' etc

EXT. BOB'S CAR. CONTINUOUS

The siren and lights go on, Bob's car pulls out, goes through the red lights, scattering civilian cars, and heads off in pusuit!

?

Lucy said...

Yes! That's fine.