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Cut To We See Screenwriting

Recently on Twitter it was noted that your script absolutely should not contain “We see” in your action description or exposition. This would result in the reader throwing your script into the recycle pile.

It makes perfect sense! It screams, “I am an amateur!” But really, it doesn’t, and it’s just one more thing to distract you from writing a good story. Professional writers use "We see" all the time… yes I know they are professionals and produced; they can get away with it.

But I am here to tell you, what kills your script with the reader is not the use of “we see” or “cut to” it is BAD screenwriting. Poor writing causes every word to scream at the reader and then they can nitpick everything about your script they hated... including your use of We see and Cut To.

As a friend of mine (an executive) noted to me, a bad script makes every little detail jump out at the reader. A good script and the occasional use of a “we see” or “cut to” and it doesn’t matter.

Here is an example for how a professional writer that I have a lot of respect for used the “we see” analytic:

William Goldman and his script for THE SEA KINGS (dated August, 1995 draft)

FADE IN ON
An 18th Century Sailing Ship.
Dusk. Quiet blue water. We are looking at the ship through a telescope.
We follow the telescope as it moves the length of the sailing ship.
One thing seems a little strange –-
-- the ship we are seeing seems totally deserted. Now –
CUT TO

 

My God the so-called rules this man has broken and not just on the first page but in the first freaking paragraph!

To find more produced screenplays by professionals who use "We See" and "Cut To" go to our screenplay database.

 

About the Author


(Follow on Twitter) Christopher Wehner is an author and screenwriter. Currently his screenplay, EL CAMINO (Co-written with Ted Melfi) is in pre-preproduction with Netflix and Goldenlight Films which recently produced ST. VINCENT .  His IMDB page. In 2001 he published the groundbreaking book Screenwriting on the Internet: Researching, Writing and Selling Your Script on the Web, and has been a leader in Internet marketing and promotion.

To contact Chris: chris -at- screenwritersutopia.com

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