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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    General Boards    Questions or Comments  ›  Can I use "beat" in my spec script?
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  Author    Can I use "beat" in my spec script?  (currently 701 views)
Dreamscale
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 9:55am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Yes, that is my real hair...

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Quoted from The Dark Horse
What do people think of something like...

JOHN
Hi. How are you?
(Mary sighs and drinks her beer)
Yeah. I'm good.

I've seen that done a few times. I dunno what to think of it.

Using a semi-colon is a new thing for me too. But I hardly know when to use it.
JOHN
Hi. Would I like a beer?
(considers it; laughs)
Yes I would.

Oh and sotto.

JOHN
(sotto)
Beer time.

Another thing is using a beat straight away. Didn't know we could do that.

JOHN
(beat)
Yep.




I'm worried you're way overthinking all this.  The times any of this should come up in a feature script is very, very few...possibly never.  If you find you're using any of the above often, you're overdoing it.

I strongly recommend never using semicolons in a script.  They have no place there.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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FrankM
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 10:44am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
I strongly recommend never using semicolons in a script; they have no place there.


FTFY


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess? Latest draft (6/2019)
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House Latest draft (2/2019)
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Comedy short: Feedback
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JohnI
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 11:17am Report to Moderator
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I agree with Dave - I try to put a small action in if I want to break it up.

I.e
John I, uh,
(Looks down meekly)
Down’t know
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 1:11pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Yes, that is my real hair...

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Quoted from FrankM


FTFY


HA!  I had to look up what FTFY stands for, as I've never heard it before.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 1:13pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Yes, that is my real hair...

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Quoted from JohnI
I agree with Dave - I try to put a small action in if I want to break it up.

I.e
John I, uh,
(Looks down meekly)
Down’t know


One thing to keep in mind when using action wrylies is that there's only so much space on a wrylie line, and having a 2 line wrylie never looks good!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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eldave1
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 1:25pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale


One thing to keep in mind when using action wrylies is that there's only so much space on a wrylie line, and having a 2 line wrylie never looks good!


If I can't fit it on a single line wrylie,  generally don't do it. But that's just my preference.  


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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FrankM
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 1:52pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
If I can't fit it on a single line wrylie,  generally don't do it. But that's just my preference.  


So something like this?  


EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

Paula walks, carefully avoiding the various messes one finds on a city sidewalk, and rummages through her handbag.

She pulls out a letter just as she reaches a mailbox.

                    PAULA
                And here we go.
                  (Paula open the
                  mailbox, notices
                  the pick-up time
                  sticker, checks
                  her phone,
                  realizes that the
                  final pick-up of
                  the day has passed,
                  scans the area for
                  a post office or
                  other mailbox,
                  finds no
                  alternative)
                Oh well.
                  (She drops the
                  letter in the box)
                You'll get it eventually.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess? Latest draft (6/2019)
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House Latest draft (2/2019)
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Comedy short: Feedback
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eldave1
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 3:07pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



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Quoted from FrankM


So something like this?  


EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

Paula walks, carefully avoiding the various messes one finds on a city sidewalk, and rummages through her handbag.

She pulls out a letter just as she reaches a mailbox.

                    PAULA
                And here we go.
                  (Paula open the
                  mailbox, notices
                  the pick-up time
                  sticker, checks
                  her phone,
                  realizes that the
                  final pick-up of
                  the day has passed,
                  scans the area for
                  a post office or
                  other mailbox,
                  finds no
                  alternative)
                Oh well.
                  (She drops the
                  letter in the box)
                You'll get it eventually.


Exactly!


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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stevie
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 3:18pm Report to Moderator
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Beat works well in comedies as the final pause before a good funny line


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eldave1
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 5:30pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
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Quoted from stevie
Beat works well in comedies as the final pause before a good funny line


Agree


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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RolandJ
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 6:09pm Report to Moderator
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Yes. Particularly if you’ve drawn a character who is thinking about something before speaking.

EXT. POST OFFICE - DAY

John and Louise exit the post office with the letter. John tears open the envelope and stares in disbelief.

                LOUISE
          Well.....?

John doesn’t answer for a long beat. Then....

                JOHN
              (sadly)
          Sarah’s dead.....
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 2:21am Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from MarkRenshaw
I try to avoid anything which takes the reader out of the story or gives obvious acting instructions.



Years ago, scripts were littered with camera directions. Today, unless you're a director, the important thing to anchor upon is YOUR STORY.

Let the Director and the Actors have room to maneuver and express themselves.

Express your intent with as few lines as possible. They are intelligent and will get IT.

As far as I'm concerned to use a word like "Beat"...

It's a waste of space. Come on. Just ask yourself why you're writing that.

What? They wait? They think? They do the "nod and smile"? Anything, but Beat?

Please someone start a thread explaining where it ever came from in the first place.

Kay wait... You're not talking 'bout the same "beat" as me, are you?




A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Penoyer79
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 1:47am Report to Moderator
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Chaos isn't a pit, it's a ladder.

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People tell you not to do a lot of things in this craft. Like "Don't use passive verbs"

And then I looked up Bill Lancaster's The Thing script and there's passive verbs everywhere.

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MarkRenshaw
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 3:24am Report to Moderator
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As Scott Myers says, there are no rules. If your scripts are doing well in competitions, getting optioned, produced and good feedback from directors then keep doing whatever you are doing.

If not, try and figure out why.  


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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