Scene Heading – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Film Directing Glossary Terms

I. What is a Scene Heading?

A scene heading, also known as a slug line, is a brief description at the beginning of a scene in a screenplay that indicates where and when the scene takes place. It is an essential element in screenwriting as it helps the reader and the production team understand the setting and context of each scene.

II. How is a Scene Heading formatted?

A scene heading is typically written in all capital letters and is divided into three parts: the INT/EXT, the location, and the time of day. The INT/EXT indicates whether the scene takes place indoors (INT) or outdoors (EXT). The location specifies the specific place where the scene is set, such as a room in a house or a street in a city. The time of day indicates whether the scene is set during the day or night.

III. What information is included in a Scene Heading?

In addition to the INT/EXT, location, and time of day, a scene heading may also include additional information such as the specific room within a building, the season or weather conditions, or any other relevant details that help set the scene. For example, a scene heading may read: INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY – RAINY.

IV. Why is a Scene Heading important in film directing?

A scene heading is crucial in film directing as it provides important information to the director, cinematographer, and other members of the production team. It helps them visualize the scene and plan the logistics of shooting, such as lighting, camera angles, and set design. Without clear and accurate scene headings, the production process can become chaotic and disorganized.

V. How does a Scene Heading help with organization on set?

A well-written scene heading helps with organization on set by providing a clear and concise description of each scene. This allows the production team to efficiently plan and execute each shot, saving time and resources. It also helps actors understand the context of the scene and deliver their lines more effectively. In addition, scene headings help with continuity during editing by ensuring that scenes are shot in the correct order.

VI. What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a Scene Heading?

Some common mistakes to avoid when writing a scene heading include:
– Being too vague or ambiguous: Make sure to provide specific details about the location and time of day to avoid confusion.
– Including unnecessary information: Only include relevant details that are essential to setting the scene.
– Using incorrect formatting: Follow industry standards for formatting scene headings to ensure clarity and consistency.
– Forgetting to update scene headings: Make sure to update scene headings if there are any changes to the location or time of day during production.
– Overcomplicating scene headings: Keep scene headings simple and straightforward to avoid confusion on set.