Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter / Yoga Instructor

When to write “CUT TO”

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Ahhh, screenplay formatting.

The number one topic of obsession of new screenwriters.

And who can blame them.

I don’t know if it’s still that way but when I started out writing I thought that formatting was actually one of the most important things that made the difference between a successful and a mediocre script.

How wrong I were.

Don’t get me wrong, formatting is important. It is understood in the industry that you know your basic formatting, so it doesn’t distract the reader.

It is understood so well that basically nobody ever talks about it. You barely have conversations about formatting. The conversations are always on how to make the story better so it can sell.

Formatting?

Nobody cares.

As long as you stick to basic rules, so don’t obsess about it!

And as of the “CUT TO” thing… When do you put it?

Simple answer: never.

I never put it anywhere and I don’t remember reading a script that had it in it.

Why?

It is understood that when you have two scenes following each other that you cut from the one to the other. There’s absolutely no need to waste lines for that.

So, stop obsessing about scene transitions and use that creative energy to focus on your story.

What are the basic formatting elements that you need to adhere to and which others can you leave out?

All this and more is explained in short, easy-to-understand videos in my Writer’s Territory course platform, which I call the “Netflix” of Writing Software Tutorials and Processes.

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