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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  When is it OK to use DUSK, DAWN, ETC.? Moderators: George Willson
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  Author    When is it OK to use DUSK, DAWN, ETC.?  (currently 348 views)
ReaperCreeper
Posted: January 7th, 2019, 2:03pm Report to Moderator
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I hadn't given a lot of though to this before because I hadn't written many scenes where the precise time of day and transitioning natural light were particularly crucial.

With this in mind, would you relegate the importance of dawn and dusk to action/description or just make it a part of the actual heading?

I'm thinking of just making it part of the heading because it would save space and get the point across quicker, but I was curious to see what people thought since I and many others tend to just stick with NIGHT and DAY most of the time.

Is this one of those "it doesn't matter" questions to you?

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Dustin
Posted: January 7th, 2019, 2:18pm Report to Moderator
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The last one.
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HyperMatt
Posted: January 7th, 2019, 5:05pm Report to Moderator
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I would avoid it if I were you. Only use if these specific times of day are really essential to the plot. Stick to the traditional DAY/ NIGHT.


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eldave1
Posted: January 7th, 2019, 5:42pm Report to Moderator
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I use dusk or dawn in the header.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Zack
Posted: January 7th, 2019, 6:08pm Report to Moderator
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I see no issue with using Dusk or Dawn in a header, as long as it's integral to the scene.

Zack
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Dreamscale
Posted: January 7th, 2019, 7:16pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from HyperMatt
I would avoid it if I were you. Only use if these specific times of day are really essential to the plot. Stick to the traditional DAY/ NIGHT.


NO!  Disagree completely.

If dusk, dawn, whatever is the time, use it in your Slug, just like you would day or night.

One can argue that unless we're dealing with a vampire or the like, it doesn't or shouldn't matter, but it can matter...and it can make a scene much more powerful because of it.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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FrankM
Posted: January 7th, 2019, 9:24pm Report to Moderator
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I had a scene where the Sun was supposed to peek over the horizon during the scene. I just used NIGHT because it started before DAWN.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess?
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House
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eldave1
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Quoted from FrankM
I had a scene where the Sun was supposed to peek over the horizon during the scene. I just used NIGHT because it started before DAWN.


NIGHT is fine. I might have gone with ALMOST DAWN


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dreamscale
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Quoted from FrankM
I had a scene where the Sun was supposed to peek over the horizon during the scene. I just used NIGHT because it started before DAWN.


Funny, cuz, NIGHT really isn't even correct...it's morning after 12 PM.
Now, don't get me wrong...if a scene is set at 2:00 Am, 3:00 AM, whatever, I think of that as NIGHT, but 5, 6, 7 AM, depending on the season?  That's MORNING.

If you want the sun to rise in the scene, you're showing exactly what time that is, in that region, and in that season.

It's your script.  write it the way that you want it filmed.  And...don't worry about it.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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_ghostwriter
Posted: January 8th, 2019, 12:50am Report to Moderator
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@ReaperCreeper

I'll piggyback on the others'.  If it makes the read easier, then do it.  Personally.  Unless there is a specific narrative reason that a specific time of day is needed, or the subject matter is time sensitive... I only use DAY/NIGHT, and let my story set the mood.  But that's just me.

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FrankM
Posted: January 8th, 2019, 4:20am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


NIGHT is fine. I might have gone with ALMOST DAWN


Or PRE-DAWN, but it’s the second slug in a spec script, so I didn’t want to get off to a nonstandard start just in case a reader is a sticker for “tradition.”


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess?
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 8th, 2019, 5:45am Report to Moderator
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DAY or NIGHT is there so the production team can quickly look at each scene and know what lighting will be required. Night shooting is far more expensive than Day shooting, so the budget is affected.  This is also why you put INT and EXT. It quickly highlights areas for planning and budget estimation.

Therefore, if your story has a specific requirement for dusk or dawn and this is something the audience will see, definitely include it. If it doesn’t and you like the idea of this scene taking place at dusk just for a change, use day or night instead; preferably day.    


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FrankM
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw
DAY or NIGHT is there so the production team can quickly look at each scene and know what lighting will be required. Night shooting is far more expensive than Day shooting, so the budget is affected.  This is also why you put INT and EXT. It quickly highlights areas for planning and budget estimation.

Therefore, if your story has a specific requirement for dusk or dawn and this is something the audience will see, definitely include it. If it doesn’t and you like the idea of this scene taking place at dusk just for a change, use day or night instead; preferably day.    


Not sure about the scene RC is envisioning, but for the scene I mentioned one character says “good morning” and the second replies that “it’s not even dawn yet” and during that second dialogue the Sun peeks above the horizon. Since the Sun can be a separate shot, there’s no need to have the actors outside at precisely the right moment.

I’m not a director, but I think the primary photography could done in a broad swath of pre-dawn allowing for multiple takes... assuming they don’t just shoot it during the night and overexpose the sky. Just a bit of my thought process calling it a NIGHT scene.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess?
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House
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Angry Bear
Posted: January 8th, 2019, 8:10am Report to Moderator
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I used to be pretty strict on using only DAY or NIGHT. I still only use those out of habit, but I no longer insist on it being the right way. Why? Because a script will be read many many times by the producers/directors and when they plan the shooting of the film, they will decide if the scene will be shot during the DAY or NIGHT. Using DUSK, DAWN, MORNING, AFTERNOON or anything else helps the reader, which is all you need to worry about at this stage.



PS: Is that a drum I hear?  


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GM
Posted: January 8th, 2019, 8:14am Report to Moderator
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I agree with Pia.

Side note: Where’s the drum coming from so I can run the opposite direction. lol.

Gabe
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