Intermission – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Screenwriting Glossary Terms

I. What is an Intermission in Screenwriting?

In screenwriting, an intermission refers to a break or pause in the action of a film or play. It is a designated period of time where the audience is given a chance to rest, refresh, and reflect on what they have just seen before the story continues. Intermissions are commonly used in longer films or plays to give the audience a break from the intensity of the story and to allow for a natural pause in the narrative.

II. When is an Intermission Typically Used in a Screenplay?

Intermissions are typically used in screenplays for epic or lengthy films that have a runtime of over two hours. They are also commonly used in plays that have multiple acts or a complex storyline that requires a break for the audience to digest the information presented. Intermissions are often strategically placed at a point in the story where there is a natural break in the action or a significant plot twist that leaves the audience wanting more.

III. How Does an Intermission Impact the Structure of a Screenplay?

The inclusion of an intermission in a screenplay can have a significant impact on the overall structure of the story. It allows the writer to divide the narrative into two distinct parts, each with its own beginning, middle, and end. This can create a sense of anticipation and suspense for the audience, as they are left wondering what will happen next during the break. Additionally, an intermission can provide a moment of reflection for the characters, allowing for deeper emotional development and character growth.

IV. What Are the Benefits of Including an Intermission in a Screenplay?

There are several benefits to including an intermission in a screenplay. Firstly, it allows the audience to take a break and recharge, which can help them stay engaged and focused throughout the entire film. It also provides an opportunity for the audience to discuss and analyze the story so far, creating a sense of community and shared experience. Additionally, an intermission can help build suspense and tension, as the audience eagerly anticipates the resolution of the story during the break.

V. How Can an Intermission Enhance the Audience’s Viewing Experience?

An intermission can enhance the audience’s viewing experience in several ways. It can provide a moment of relief from the intensity of the story, allowing the audience to relax and refocus before the action resumes. It also gives the audience time to process and reflect on the events that have unfolded, deepening their emotional connection to the characters and the story. Furthermore, an intermission can create a sense of anticipation and excitement for the second half of the film, keeping the audience engaged and invested in the outcome.

VI. Are There Any Drawbacks to Including an Intermission in a Screenplay?

While there are many benefits to including an intermission in a screenplay, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One potential drawback is that an intermission can disrupt the flow of the story, pulling the audience out of the narrative and breaking the immersion. Additionally, some audience members may find intermissions to be unnecessary or inconvenient, especially if they are not used to breaks in the middle of a film. However, when used effectively, an intermission can enhance the overall viewing experience and add depth and complexity to the story being told.