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You’ve got a groovy idea for a montage. But what does information technology look like on the folio? Figuring out how to write a montage in a script the “right” way is a common business concern.

In that location isn’t one definitive way to write a montage. You have plenty of industry-standard options. Nosotros’ll embrace all of them in this post, along with a more efficient manner: how to write your montage with an eye towards production so that your montage gets scheduled, budgeted and shot.

  1. How to Write a Montage for I Location
  2. Writing a Montage in a New Location
  3. Write a Montage for Multiple Locations
  4. Formatting for the Breakdown
  5. More Montage Examples


Formatting can salve your vision

Crafting a montage isn’t the most natural part of screenwriting. There’s a lot that goes into it.

There’s also a lot that goes into shooting a montage.

As a author, you lot don’t often have to think most that. You hand off the script and hope for the best. Merely sometimes, that role of the process is the scariest of all — the thought that someone, other than you lot, may completely change the story and ruin your vision.

This section briefly discusses how to avoid that by writing your montage with an centre towards production.

If you’re here to learn how to write a montage in a script, chances are you probably already know what a montage is. Just as a refresher, let’s quickly define information technology before moving on.


What is a montage?

A montage is a collection or series of images, still or moving, that are assembled to produce a sequence.

A montage is most commonly used to prove the passage of time, tell a larger story than the sum of the images information technology presents, and to compare and dissimilarity. Soviet-era film theorists and auteurs, like Sergei Eisenstein, first mastered it and nosotros’ve been using them ever since.

What can a montage practice?

  • Compression of fourth dimension
  • Comedic delivery
  • Intertwine story lines
  • Gestalt (pieces put together to make a greater whole)

Now that we got that out of the way, permit’s leap in.

So, you’re about to start writing your montage. You’ve never written ane earlier, or mayhap you’re just unclear most the best way to nowadays it on the page.

You lot’re wondering:

How much particular do I use? Where practise I put scene headers? Am I supposed to write down when a montage starts…and ends? Or will the reader exist able to tell?

As a writer, the telescopic of your office is to engage an audience with your spellbinding worlds and captivating characters…on the page. The role of producer or first assistant manager is to bring those worlds to screen.

But what if you took on that responsibleness? What if you chose to format your montage with the production in heed right from the beginning? And the side by side montage you write easily translates to screen before the producer or first Advert does annihilation at all.

Well, first off, they will Beloved you lot. But I get information technology. This probably isn’t your chief priority. Your writing must serve the story. Not cater to the producer.

And y’all’re right.


It depends how desperately you want to see your montage on screen. The more details y’all write down now, the fewer changes
make later.If we don’t give plenty details to the producer, your original montage might go lost in translation.

Or worse…

If a producer doesn’t have enough clarity, they might choose to cut the montage completely. So if you desire to preserve your vision, focus on the formatting.
Formatting your montage scenes with great detail leaves little to no room for interpretation


In StudioBinderʼs Screenwriting Software, we volition larn how to detail each new location equally a separate scene heading. We will also add descriptions to the scene.

I know. Screenplays aren’t novels. We won’t add also much description. Simply adding enough information on cast, locations, and props, will make shooting and scheduling the montage that much easier. Not to mention, keep your vision and integrity intact.

Exist clear with where the starting point is. Exist articulate where the montage ends. How can you do this creatively
with clarity for the reader?

Because of the nature of the montage – its quick and deliberate shots – it is common to run across location changes. We will need to know how to format for these changes to bring the near clarity to our producer.

Once again, nosotros want him or her to want to shoot the montage, the way
write it. And so, formatting is critical.


1. How to write a montage for one location

Let’s start with the nearly straightforward type.

If you’re jamming along in a scene and you lot want to dive into a montage without moving to a new location, it doesn’t get any easier.

Writing a montage that exists in one identify doesn’t take much formatting. But it is helpful to slug MONTAGE right where it starts.

StudioBinderʼs Screenwriting Software allows you to either import a script and edit from at that place or write direct in the processor. So feel gratis to throw your writing in StudioBinder and follow along.

Let’s use a one-location montage case from
Pretty Adult female.Notice the bones format of the montage from screenwriter, J.F. Lawton:

Pretty Women Originally Scripted Montage

Every bit written, activity lines make up the montage. And even though it’s a long paragraph, that’due south okay hither considering all of the action takes place in the aforementioned location. And what’s most important is that the reader has no problem grasping what’s happening.

Feel free to read the unabridged scene, just just for some context:

We are in the living room, where the montage ramps up the characters’ emotions. And all of the details in the montage gives united states that information. Formatting ane location is effortless, but it nevertheless requires detail. Don’t forget — the more you requite, the less they change.

And so, what practice you do when the montage is over? It is sometimes helpful for the reader to write Finish MONTAGE. Just with this example, you can move to the next scene heading without a problem.

You can see below how the screenwriter exits the montage:

Ending the one location montage

The montage of outfits begins in the living room and ends one time they leave the living room. The new heading with the new location (the sleeping accommodation) makes it clear that the montage is over.

This new scene-heading acts equally the catastrophe to the montage. Many times though, new scene headings are within a montage. And other endings, aren’t so distinct.

More than detailed formatting helps the producer to schedule the scene.


two. West
riting a montage in a new location

This isn’t equally complicated as it sounds.

If your montage starts in a new location from the preceding scene, include MONTAGE in your new scene’due south heading.

It’s as simple as your typical scene transition, and as long equally you label where it starts, the reader won’t take an outcome following.

In the post-obit montage example from the original
Footloose, the preceding scene takes place in a locker room.

Watch how it transitions to a montage in a Volkswagen:

Montage in a new location

Since we leave the locker room to start our montage sequence in a Volkswagen, we care for the auto as the next location, and we include MONTAGE in its scene header. Information technology’s equally uncomplicated as that.

Now for the more complicated formatting…


3. Write a montage for multiple locations

When a montage takes place in many locations, writing with the production in mind is crucial. It could brand or break whether or not it gets scheduled and shot.

And y’all don’t fifty-fifty need to know anything about how to schedule a montage to pull this off.

Tip: every bit before long as y’all realize there is more than one location within a single montage — alert bells should be going off.

Each new location is a new scene.And each scene requires planning.

Think about it this in terms of what you lot put on the page. Hopefully, you’re taking creative liberties and giving a ton of interesting details. Just all of those details on the page are what?

Which characters are in that scene? What props? Maybe you’ve even fabricated wardrobe decisions?

Yous’re a writer. You’re smart.

You know these are all elements of a scene that toll fourth dimension and money. They have to be pre-planned and scheduled.

So creating new locations as new scenes is one manner to think ahead. And being as detailed every bit possible inside those scenes is another.

Let’south take an example. If we examine a multiple location montage from
The Royal Tenenbaums, we tin can see a considerable deviation between the scene layout on the page and what we see on screen.

Let’s watch how the montage plays out on screen:

From montage screenplay to montage screen.

Now let’south read information technology.

The scene begins in a individual detective’due south office. The detective has been gathering dirt on the life of Margot Tenenbaum. When clients peek at the dossier, nosotros launch into the “Margot montage.” Like this:

Edit the montage with the production in mind

This would exist an absolute nightmare to schedule.

And then why did the writers format it this way?

Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson write this montage with the reader in mind. It gets the indicate across, gives insight into the character of Margot, and makes information technology clear where the montage begins. At the end of the montage, the writers transition with CUT TO: and return to the detective’s office.

While this montage example works equally an entertaining read, it’s a nightmare from a product standpoint. Because Wes Anderson is so involved in the films he writes, it may exist a piddling different for him. He’s not necessarily handing-off his script to anyone else.

(Though, even if you are producing your ain film, breaking up the scene headings is still helpful).

But if you’re planning on handing this script off for someone else to produce, it’southward best to make each scene as clear as possible.

I’ll say it again – format each location with new scene headings.

StudioBinderʼs Screenwriting Software makes this incredibly piece of cake to do.

If you break down each location in your montage equally a new scene, the software will automatically create a new alphanumeric scene number for you lot, such as Scene 98A, 98B, 98C, etc.

StudioBinder creates new scene headings

If you’re working in StudioBinder and created new scene headings for each location in your montage, simply press “sync” in the top right corner…

Sync edits instantly to project

…these new headings will populate in the rest of the project.

Annotation the new and improved shooting script below:

One time synced, the shooting schedule has new headings

This volition be VERY helpful for your offset Advertizement and producer.

Simply now, what does that hateful for y’all?

Well, for one matter, your vision will be more explicit. And clarity can translate your written montage beautifully to screen.


iv. Formatting for the breakdown

Now that your start Advert has the new scene numbers, they tin suspension down each one of these “mini-scenes” in the script breakup.

In a script breakup, a showtime AD identifies the essential elements in the scene. They typically volition start with who is in that scene, followed past props, wardrobe, set up dressings, etc.

When a scene is detailed plenty, breaking information technology down is a breeze.

Peculiarly in StudioBinder.

Learn more than about the breakdown beneath:

StudioBinder’s Script Breakdown

The software’s color tagging characteristic leaves no room for error.

Take a look at one of our new scenes:

A well-formatted montage makes script breakdowns easy

With location clarity and great detail in writing, identifying elements for scheduling becomes near mindless.

Your vision is and then meticulously laid out; there’s nothing left to do but schedule it.

When you added your new scenes and synced the script, StudioBinder automatically generated those new scenes into strips on a stripboard.

And now the info from the script breakdown saves on each strip.

Y’all’re probably already aware of what a stripboard is but just a reminder – a stripboard in film is a list of color-coded strips, where each strip represents a scene that can be arranged, and re-bundled, for the purpose of scheduling.

Rearrange your strips, schedule efficiently

Your producer or showtime AD will have their own methods on how they schedule. You lot probably won’t need to worry nearly this as well much. Merely expect at how easy you just made information technology for them.

They can assign locations on the board and even move the strips around. Dragging and dropping the strips depending on actors’ schedules, or anything else that might come up.

StudioBinder is literally designed to streamline the pre-production process. And every bit a writer, yous are an integral part of this process.

So stay involved in information technology and stay true to your vision.

Y’all deserve to see it come to life.


five. More than montage examples

Because this mail service dives into the technicalities of writing a montage and writing one for someone else, I wanted to remind you that writing montages can be fun.

And they can do a lot for the story by revealing who your characters are.

Let’southward take a quick wait at our favorite montages that made it from script to screen, and maybe give you lot some inspiration for your own montages.

I promised myself I wasn’t going to show yous anything from
Rocky.But I tin’t ignore an unabridged franchise so closely associated with the montage.

This one (and pretty much everyone), reveals the character’southward goal, and the lengths he’s willing to go to achieve it.

Where would the Rocky’southward be without the montage?

Guy Ritchie’s
Snatchuses a montage differently.

Snatch Montage

The sped up, multi-location montage reflects the fast-paced, take chances-taking lifestyle the characters atomic number 82. It provides some sense of humor when Cousin Avi finally arrives at his destination.

Thinking conceptually to help the kickoff Advert doesn’t diminish your intuitive nature as a author.

It brings it to life.

Later all, the goal in writing any montage — or any script, for that affair — is to come across it on screen.

Up Next

How to Write a Automobile Chase

While a great montage can captivate an audience, nothing keeps viewers engaged quite like a automobile chase. If y’all desire to have your writing to the next level and really challenge yourself, bank check out our side by side article on, “How to Write a Car Chase.”

By examining some of the greatest automobile chases in cinematic history, the post dives deep into different avenues, (no pun intended), you can take to craft an incredible chase.

Up Next: How To Write a Automobile Chase →


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