Your screenplay is full of scenes that have to fit together. You also need the story to flow seamlessly and for all the action to impress the script reader. One element of that is mastering when to use "continuous" within the scene headers.
This has so much to do with your pacing and your understanding of the craft. If you get it wrong, it's a stumbling block for the reader and it's a sign that you don't know what you're doing.
Today, I'll show you how and when to link scenes together and give you a trick to master "continuous" while you're formatting.
When do you use 'Continuous' in a Script?
The phrase "continuous" is used in sluglines to indicate ongoing action. If you have a chase scene or a character walking through a home, you'd put the word "continuous" in the slugline, where you'd usually have the time of day, to indicate on-going action.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Fred carries a bundle of potatoes. He moves toward a door.
INT. BASEMENT - CONTINUOUS
Fred opens the door and heads down the stairs.
If you're worried about losing the time of day, you can use brackets around the word and keep the time of day.
INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT [CONTINUOUS]
Does that make sense? The idea here is that you want to indicate to the reader that this isn't a new time, it's just a moment we're seeing right after the last.
You can also use this to show your collaborators where the new location is necessary. Maybe that a new shot is starting. Remember that before anyone sees the movie on the screen they have to see in their heads, and on the page. How do you create a "cut" and move the visuals?
Get familiar with these types of tools so you can use them in your script to create pacing and a mental picture of the cut.
What's next? Learn script formatting!
Script formatting matters. Most filmmakers know scripts follow a very particular screenplay format, but do they know why?
Click the link to learn more!