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Author Topic: Slugs and action  (Read 539 times)
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infamous
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« on: September 16, 2013, 10:21 PM »

Re: Slugs and Action

Evening,

I am both a newbie to forums and a novice in screenwriting.  If the latter is obvious perhaps someone will kindly point it out.  What a delight being able to communicate with real like-minded souls for a change.
My work on the near-completed first 10 pages of the rewrite of one of my screenplays has once again come to a screeching halt - this time due to contradictory information given by some online screenwriting sources regarding slugs and action.
I have just discovered  "... if it's in the slug, lose it in the action" (as in Splendora by Hudson Phillips, I believe) - this is the opposite to some of the online formats that I have been adhering to.  Since I much prefer Mr Phillips' way and before I go back to the Fade in to alter all accordingly, the following are 3 versions of a scene on page 3 of my current rewrite:

1. EXT. SIDE STREET - NIGHT
Tightly parked vehicles swamp the side street.  Despite his injuries, Yardstick hurls himself down (it?).  Laboured thud of size thirteen steel toe cap Doc Marten boots.  No hiding place.  Yardstick freezes.

2.EXT. SIDE STREET - NIGHT
Injured, Yardstick hurls himself down the side street swamped with vehicles parked tight.  Laboured thud of size thirteen steel toe cap Doc Marten boots.  No hiding place ...

3. EXT. SIDE STREET - NIGHT
Swamped with vehicles parked tight.  Yardstick - beaten up - forces himself down the side street.  Laboured thud of size thirteen steel toe cap Doc Marten boots ...

Any thoughts?
Best,
Infamous.
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Pitchpatch
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Mugwump
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 02:26 PM »

>> 3. EXT. SIDE STREET - NIGHT
Swamped with vehicles parked tight.  Yardstick - beaten up - forces himself down the side street.  Laboured thud of size thirteen steel toe cap Doc Marten boots


I like that one.  It hinges off the slug, eliminating repetition.  One problem: in all of the examples, I'm unsure if the "laboured thud" applies to his own boots or those of his presumed pursuers.  Given "laboured", I'll go with the former.  I wonder if putting the sound cue first makes a stronger connection, i.e. switch sentence three and two.

You could lose the EXT if this is part of a chase sequence.  If it's not a shooting draft then you can slug as sparsely as you like, so long as there's no ambiguity or confusion.  Thinner slugs make for a faster read.  Up to personal taste.
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