Dear Spec Script Screenwriters,
I encourage you to buy “The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats: Part I: The Screenplay” by Cole/Haag. You will need it sooner or later, so the sooner you get it, the handier it will be for you.
With respect to “Montages” or “Series of Shots” (Cole/Haag uses “Series of Shots”, not “Sequence of Shots”) by Cole/Haag:
“One of the major differences between a SERIES OF SHOTS and a MONTAGE is that a SERIES OF SHOTS uses the principles (the major characters) and is filmed during the actual shooting schedule of the film. A MONTAGE is put together during post production in the editing process. Basically a “laboratory” operation, if you will.”
In my opinion, I would suggest you stay away from using either one of these unless you’re working with the director when writing the shooting script. The reason for that is that a SERIES OF SHOTS is utilized in the shooting script, not the spec script. Using SERIES OF SHOTS in the spec script can make the screenwriter appear amateurish since a SERIES OF SHOTS are determined by the director during the writing of the shooting script process. And a MONTAGE isn’t used until editing. Here, again, the director and the editor make determinations about MONTAGES, not the screenwriter. The screenwriter is utilized in both, but the difference is, the screenwriter is usually a produced screenwriter.
I hope this is of help to you.
Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
The Zen of Writing