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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  Formatting question Moderators: George Willson
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  Author    Formatting question  (currently 346 views)
Posted: July 10th, 2017, 4:17pm Report to Moderator

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Hi guys,

Hopefully I'm in the right place.

I'm currently trying to write a scene that shows a mass of social media posts and newspaper pages splashing around the screen if this makes any sense? I'm struggling with how to format this to make it tangible.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Posted: July 10th, 2017, 6:46pm Report to Moderator

Southern California
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Hard to respond without context of the scene. Maybe something like


- NY POST HEADLINE: "Dave wins 4th Oscar."

- DAVE'S FACEBOOK PAGE - "Congrats on the Oscar Dave."

- WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE: "Dave best writer of all time."

- Dave typing a twitter post on his smartphone: "Thank you all - so humbled."

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: July 10th, 2017, 8:10pm Report to Moderator

London, Ontario
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You mean like this? ...

This is a picture from Non-Stop (2014)

Maybe just simply say that the text message bubbles pop up on screen?

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Posted: July 10th, 2017, 9:57pm Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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Have a look at Sherlock - 'floating text' , 'a text message pops up' 'floating words superimpose'.

There are no definite rules on how to format. Some use dialogue to convey, some description. Just make sure it's clear what the audience is looking at.

Sherlock and House Of Cards use social media/texts/tweets etc. to great effect. Sherlock especially uses floating text, graphics, in all kinds of brilliant ways.

Look at a Study in Pink shooting script.

Be inventive. Be clear. Look at those BBC Writer's room scripts but be aware they're shooting scripts, like I said.

Ooh, and look at YouTube examples oh how they film/edit floating text/text msgs etc. That can also help you to convey it in written terms in the script.

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Posted: August 11th, 2017, 3:13pm Report to Moderator

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I assume that you mean something similar to the intro that Man At Arms uses in their videos?
Example here:

Since the audience cannot pause the movie at the theater and only a bunch of anal retentive nerds in the world will actually pause their DVD or streaming to read the messages, you can say simply say that more and more social media posts pop-up covering the hole screen/everything, etc.
Maybe focus on the message that pop-up last, if it is important, and describe what it says.

What the other messages say is up to the editors and graphic designers. Why not give your work to others when you can?
If you are going to do this work yourself however, it would be a great idea to put references, jokes and Easter Eggs in them, so that the nerds will be happy to find out that they found something unique.
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