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How to Write a Montage

Have you wondered what a montage is? Basically, a montage is a series of quick actions that happen over a certain period of time. For example, the Rocky franchise has montage scenes where Rocky is training for his boxing matches. As for writing a montage scene, there's two different ways you can go about this.

Method 1: Writing a montage that takes place in one setting

When you want the montage to begin in your scene, you want to write "BEGIN MONTAGE" in the action line. Under that, you can list a few things that happen in the montage. Once the montage is over, then you say "END MONTAGE"

EXAMPLE:

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

BEGIN MONTAGE

- Jim carries a series of cardboard boxes into the house.

- Jim decorates the area from the items from the cardboard boxes.

- Jim plops on the floor exhausted, admiring the decorations.

END MONTAGE

Method 2: Writing a montage that takes place in multiple settings

Kind of similar to the above example, you want to start with, "MONTAGE - VARIOUS" in the action line and underneath that, list the scenes with a brief action that happens.

EXAMPLE:

MONTAGE - VARIOUS

A) INT. CAFE - DAY - Maria carries a tray of dishes to a table. Suddenly she stumbles on something, causing food to splatter on the floor.

B) INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT - Maria flips through some textbooks, actively taking notes on a pad of paper.

C) INT. CAFE - EARLY MORNING - Maria cleans the counter. The clock strikes 7 as customers start to approach the diner.

END MONTAGE

Perhaps a more clever example of a montage that takes place in multiple settings is Up, where we see a time lapse of Ellie and Carl growing old together.

Before you consider having a montage in your script, keep the following questions in mind. Does the montage contain conflict? Does it drive the plot forward? What's the purpose?

Got any questions? Feel free to let me know!