I’m writing a screenplay with a dream sequence that repeats itself identically three times in the script. It’s about half a page long. Should I repeat it word for word in the screenplay? I’m afraid writing “Fred has the same dream as before” won’t recreate the feeling for the reader, but writing the same thing three times feels weird.
Do neither of the above. Rather, think about the audience sitting in the theater watching your movie. Are you actually showing them exactly the same dream sequence? If so, that sounds pointless and boring.
Much more likely — and more interesting — is that the audience is getting some new information in the subsequent dream sequences, details that would push the story forward. Something would have changed, and it’s those changes you need to show on the page.
INT. DENTIST’S OFFICE – DAY [DREAM SEQUENCE]
Once again, the spinning drill bears down on Tom. Same whine. Same panic.
But this time, our attention shifts to the man behind the dentist’s mask -- who isn’t a man at all, but rather
A GRAY-SKINNED ALIEN.