You are watching: How to write a phone conversation in a screenplay

Telephone conversations have the right to be tricky. There are various means you can current them, depending upon which character you wish to it is in the emphasis of our attention, and how much latitude you great to give the editor. We can cut between both parties, or display just the caller or the recipient.


One choice (and the most usual way) is to collection up the first location with a quick scene, such together the caller dialing the phone, and then collection up the second location, such together the recipient choose up the phone. While still at the second location, include the action element “INTERCUT with,” complied with by the caller’s location, all on the very same line above the caller’s an initial speech in the scene. To clarify that a character is talking on the telephone, place the an individual direction “(into phone)” under the cue:


On the various other hand, you may not wish to present both political parties of the call, however instead remain focused on just one character. In together scenes, that is rarely these job in the cinema for us to hear the various other party. Insert a parenthetical “beat” when the character we check out onscreen is listening and reacting:


If it’s necessary that we hear both sides of the conversation, climate the unseen character’s cue would have a “(V.O.)” extension and also the an individual direction “(over phone, filtered)”:


In this situation, the extension “(O.S.)” would be incorrect. “(O.S.)” is provided when one unseen personality is in the very same location, but just off-screen.

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