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What do you guys think of the actionline "he gets it" in a screenplay? Obviously we can make the argument that one could see when someone comes to realize something, but should the writer then rather describe what we see that make us conclude that "he gets it"?

@xleo I think depends what comes before it. If it’s obvious what you’re talking about is say it’s fine

@cruzwriter
I think I agree with you. So what do you think about this scenario, faux pas or reasonable writing?

Jenny is making threats directed to Lisa. Through dialogue Jenny explicitly tell Lisa to do [something] or else...

If we follow that up by writing "Lisa gets it", we are actually not showing emotions through external action but rather explaining what is happening internally in Lisa.

@xleo @cruzwriter

I get it.

You're saying—in short—the camera is on Lisa. The actor playing Lisa processes Jenny's threat, arriving at an internal understanding. The camera captures the actor's expression of her internal.

Not only is it actable and filmable, it gives the Lisa performer a chance to act (an arc!) nonverbally. She'll dig that, and might surprise us with a nuance we don't expect.

@dejackson @cruzwriter hey! I remember that exchange (sorry for not getting back to you in that script, haven't gotten around to finish it yet). In that particular scene I don't think it works actually, and I think it is because I'm not sure either. Maybe if it was made clearer who Ynga is speaking to and what she is referring to, the "he doesn't [get it]" would work.

@dejackson @cruzwriter
That being said, I do like how it looks on the page. And I don't deny that it could be a very nice little nugget of information about how Ynga and... the name escapes me... how they don't seem to understand the situation in the same way, or be really on the same page.

@xleo @cruzwriter Actually my first screenshot included the other character, but —not seeing the relevance—I omitted it for space.

@xleo @cruzwriter Do you propose the action line be this?

Kejndyrrh doesn't know what he must do.

I feel that's unnecessarily redundant. Equally, in the context of your example,

Lisa gets Jenny's threat.

@xleo @cruzwriter

It occurs to me there's hazard in trying to adhere to the advice, "Show don't tell."

I hold it intends that the camera should preempt the boom mic. But the temptation in the writing is to describe everything, to eliminate any white space in the imagination.

@xleo @cruzwriter

[Obviously we can make the argument that one could see when someone comes to realize something, but should the writer then rather describe what we see that make us conclude that "he gets it"?]

We're often cautioned not to direct on the page. I feel we should resist micromanaging ANY department, including the acting.

@dejackson @cruzwriter I agree that we should probably not micromanage, but I disagree that describing action equates to micromanaging.

@xleo @cruzwriter

I don't mean describing action broadly. I mean prescribing what an actor's lips or eyebrows do that shows they get it.

For example: In my wip I say a character "warms himself." A reader asked, "How? With a fire? with blankets?"

I'm not defending the vague writing here, just saying that it came out of my resistance to say he "warms himself. Rubs his shoulders. Blows into his hands and rubs them together," etc.

@dejackson @cruzwriter I totally agree, no need to describe facial expressions or in any other way be ridiculously detailed in the action line. As Cruz-Castino said, what is not clear by itself in the action line should be clear by it's context.

@dejackson @cruzwriter no, that is not what I'm suggesting. I am suggesting that the reader should know what it is that Kejndyrrh doesn't know he must do, in order for the "he doesn't” to work. But maybe that's just me.

@xleo @cruzwriter

I know what you're getting at. Other readers express similar confusion.

I suspect it has to do with a rule I use: A pronoun always refers to the last person named. Readers don't see the pattern.

@dejackson @cruzwriter the problem is that Ynga spoke to Djürstn the moment before that. It is not clear that she is now instead speaking to Kendyrrh.

@xleo @cruzwriter

True, she spoke to Djrüstn.
But then the CAMERA moved to Kejndyrrh.

Hopefully, this edit clarifies that her attention is on the lens' most recent subject.

Sorry to hijack your thread!

@dejackson no worries! This is the most exciting action this instance have had, no? :)

Sorry for getting bogged down on tiny details. I'll get back to you on the whole script later this month.

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