questionmarkFollowing up on an earlier question: Maybe I’m foolish for asking this.

For location changes I have been using scene headings, so that in a phone conversation I will have:

INT. MARIA’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Maria paces the room, phone glued to her ear.

MARIA

I can’t believe you’d do that!

INT. SEAN’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

SEAN

Do what?

INT. MARIA’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

MARIA

That!

Is it correct to assume that by using slug lines, I could avoid the scene headings? If I were to do it that way, would I use a slug line that is essentially identical to my scene headings but without the “INT.”? or “EXT.”?

– Brock

This type of scene happens all the time. Think about 24. If you put in a new slugline every time you changed speakers on a phone call, the script would be 180 pages.

Behold, the magic that is “INTERCUT.” Instead of your second “INT. MARIA’S KITCHEN”, just have a slug that says INTERCUT or INTERCUT MARIA / SEAN. Then you don’t have to keep doing the location sluglines. They’re really in one scene, even though it’s split between two places. It’s much easier for the reader to follow.

Your scene would end up looking like this:

INT. MARIA’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Maria paces the room, phone glued to her ear.

MARIA

I can’t believe you’d do that!

INT. SEAN’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

SEAN

Do what?

INTERCUT MARIA/SEAN

MARIA

Mention my genital warts at a cocktail party!

SEAN

The guy was a doctor!

MARIA

He was a Ph. D! In philosophy!

SEAN

Rhetoric, actually.

MARIA

What’s the difference!

SEAN

There’s overlap, but rhetoric is a pretty narrow specialty.

Maria SLAMS DOWN the phone. We stay on her side of the scene. A beat, then she lets loose with a long-delayed, primal SCREAM.

The dog looks up at her with big, droopy eyes.

CUT TO:

EXT. SOMEWHERE ELSE – DAY

Next scene…