After working through the screenwriting process for more than 15 years, and developing my own set of tricks and shortcuts and must-haves -- I've found that less is more. We're not writing a novel, so description/action sequences should be minimal. Get your point across, but don't overdo it. I once had a development exec. tell me, "Don't do the work of the other craftsmen." In other words, describe what you need to, if it's integral to the plot/character. But there's no need to talk of the intricate details in the home or surroundings of your main character (unless there's something like Tippi Hedren's aversion to the color red in Hitchcock's Marnie -- as an example). Let the production designer and artisans have their creative say.
And one of the favorites I've moved into regular rotation in my own descriptions -- as an example -- if there's a fight on-screen, simply say, "There is a struggle." Unless someone needs to break an arm, or get a bruise (important later in the script), there's no need to overdo it. The fight choreographer has to earn his/her paycheck too. "There is a struggle." And leave it at that.
And beyond all of that, smaller descriptions will keep your page count down, which is always a giant plus!
Less is more.
Thrilled to announce that my 10th feature spec script, "Mom Died" has been named an "Official Selection" for the 6th Annual FilmQuest!
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