Screenwriting Basics: How to Write Cinematic Phone Conversations

Let’s get back to the screenwriting basics — but with a new and improved perspective. The question at hand? Phone calls. You’ve got two or more characters in different locations talking through a phone, radio, or comm link. How do you format these types of scenes in a cinematic way? This is one of the most common and basic questions screenwriters struggle with. But an even more common misconception is that the answer lies just within the format. It’s more than that. The key element in the way we’ve written out that question is the word cinematic . We’ll take a step back a bit and cover the idea of writing cinematically before we tackle the basic formula of how you should portray such a scene within the confines of screenwriting format. Writing Cinematically Writing cinematically is a must for screenwriters trying to break through those Hollywood walls. There is a true difference between how a spec script is written — scripts written under spec ulation that they will be sold and produced — compared to how seasoned screenwriters write assignments or craft shooting scripts. Spec scripts need to be written with cinematic flavor. That’s one of the secret […]

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