Go Into The Story | Reader Question: Is it necessary to have scene description before dialogue in a scene?

Rick says:
2011-03-15 15:17:44

A screenplay describes not just what actors will say, but the setting for the scene as well as action. Slugline doesn't cover it fully. It seems like a cheat to me, or laziness not to let the reader know where the scene is set and the nature of the environment.
Amos says:
2011-03-15 21:45:22

To be fair, that Heywood example comes in the midst of a sequence, right? We know that Heywood is just in his cell looking out into the cell block. I know the point of the question is clear-cut scenarios, but that lack of description isn't in a stand-alone scene.
Lazzard says:
2011-03-16 01:38:01

Also, you want to be wary of joining static scenes (unless you're making a point about there being no movement). Your cuts need to be dynamic - so if you can't think of anything useful to say beneath the slug, perhaps ask yourself if you're joining the scene at the right time and in the right way...