Passing Time in Screenplays

Discussion in 'Screenwriting' started by T.I.M.U.N., Nov 16, 2008.

  1. T.I.M.U.N.

    T.I.M.U.N. Guest

    Hi everybody. I wanted to know, how would you guys go about writing a time lapse from around 9:00 AM, to 11:00 PM. If it helps, my main character faints at 9:00 AM, then awakens at 11.
  2. craktactor

    craktactor Moderator

    There's really a million different ways....

    1) (CHARACTER) falls to the floor in a dead faint. His face full of

    In the background, the TELEVISION plays a morning show....

    It's nine-o-clock and time for The Morning
    Show. Here's your hosts, Edna Twine and
    Sweet Willy Beans....

    Applause rings from the television as we hold on (CHARACTER)'s face. The SOUNDS begin to echo and fade as the light on the face dims into darkness. The only remaining light is that of the television...

    ... from the valley to the sea this the eleven-o-clock news with your anchor
    Paul Rocksolid...

    The eyes shift under the eyelids.
    Slowly, surely, (CHARACTER) awakens.....

    This is just a general idea. The trick would be to hold on the face without stating you're holding on the face. That's the fun part of writing.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
  3. T.I.M.U.N.

    T.I.M.U.N. Guest

    Yes it does. Very much so, actually. Thanks. :)
  4. Ronin

    Ronin Bronze Member

    I just write


    and that's it. Craktactor's idea is very creative, though.
  5. Population17

    Population17 Bronze Member

    Couldn't you just cut to a new slugline that is in the same location but says NIGHT and open the scene on the Character's face, or body, in the same position as when he fainted?

    Joe faints

    The sounds of the television awaken Joe.

    That's really basic but you get the idea.

    my .02

  6. The Gazer

    The Gazer Bronze Member

    Dave Trottier shows it something like this in "The Screenwriter's Bible."

    The clock ticks 9 o'clock. Joe faints.


    he comes around--groggy, confused. Two hours have elapsed.

    Best of luck
    The Gazer
  7. LukeJames

    LukeJames Gold Member

    See, I wouldn't even say two hours have elapsed. It would be better to say, The clock now reads 11:00
  8. chris

    chris Bronze Member

    I really like that idea cracktactor. I think the clock changing time has been done so often that being a bit creative with it would be quite refreshing.
  9. leedx7

    leedx7 Gold Member

    All of the above seem valid to me. I do prefer crakactors more visual approach.

    I suppose it depends on how much time passes.

    Fincher has a neat and visual way of showing the passage of time in Zodiac.

  10. lizzie

    lizzie Guest

    there are so many ways to do it, if you wanted to, you can just say "time has passed" or "two hours later" and let the director choose how to SHOW it, but I like to be more creatively involved, I like the television idea.

Share This Page