Without doing research on montages (I’ve only used them when I’m directing and writing, or working with a director as the screenwriter when we’re writing the shooting script, which is different than a spec script), I have to say to limit the use of montages. I haven’t used them for so long I find it hard to remember how long they should be.
You want to be careful with montages. For a new writers, some actors, directors and producers look at new screenwriters using montages as amateurish. Some would also look at it as directing, which could cause some negative feelings.
Montages are usually used in shooting scripts. That means that the director working with the screenwriter makes the decision, “Let’s put in a montage here.” The director is thinking in terms of the visuals and the flow, how they fit into and tell the story. The producer, on the other hand, would look at a way to use montages to save money.
A shooting script, written from the spec script by a screenwriter with the director, puts everything in the screenplay that needs to be there for shooting. Therefore, the lines spoken in a foreign language are written out in its native language for the actors.
The first time a character in your spec script speaks in a foreign language, simply put under the character’s name in parenthesis, (Spanish). Then proceed to write the dialogue in English throughout the rest of the script.
Remember, a spec script is written to get doors to open. So, the screenwriter must make the screenplay easy to read, fast to read, and cut-to-the- chase so that the reader can move on to the next script he or she has to read. They don’t want to stumble upon some foreign language. They’ll toss the script in the slush pile.
Donald L. Vasicek Writer/Filmmaker/Consultant http://www.donvasicek.com email@example.com