I was just wondering what is the actual format to cite a montage? Is it similar to:
EXT. MONTAGE – DAY
There are so many images coming from so many different places, how does one cite such a thing as a montage? Thanks for your time and help.
North Carolina, USA
A montage is a collection of very short scenes, sometimes only a single shot each, designed to show a series of actions over time. Depending on the needs of the sequence, there are a few different options for how to write a montage in screenplay form.
The easiest example is when all the action is taking place in one location. For instance, say you have a character trying on clothes — the infamous Changing Room Montage. It might read something like this:
INT. CHANGING ROOM – DAY
Holly enters with a massive armload of clothes. Kyle’s eyes bulge. Holly pulls the curtain shut.
Holly emerges, dressed in different outfits, each more elaborate than the last. Kyle watches in horror and dismay, checking his watch as the madness continues.
And when it’s time to finish, a single line of “END MONTAGE” lets the reader know you’re going back to normal time.
When a montage moves between multiple locations, the situation gets a little more difficult. Often the best choice is to not even say “MONTAGE” and just let it be a series of short scenes — just a slugline and a sentence or two of description. The reader will correctly intuit that there’s a montage occurring.
If all the locations in the sequence fall within one larger location, the most economical choice may be to just change the slugline:
INT. MARY’S HOUSE – VARIOUS ROOMS
MONTAGE as Mary chases after the dog, trying to put in the eyedrops. Every time she has him cornered, he manages to escape, ducking under the coffee table or vaulting over the bed.
My advice is to pick the simplest version that gets the point across. You may find that you’re using two or three different formats in a single script, depending on the needs of each sequence.