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I feel like it’s a great tool for transitioning scenes.

Off the Sargent’s grimacing face—

Off the dead cheerleader’s tramp stamp—

But is this considered camera direction? Is this too specific for a spec? Or no?

Thanks! Marc

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I think it is some kind of directorial or camera direction, and I don't recognize it as a standard one. If it is what I think it means, you are directing, and wasting a line (which counts as time in a script, and costs you a line of dialogue for example). I say "wasting" because what else could happen? How is this different than what the director will imagine anyway? And if it is different, the director will go with their visual imagination over yours, anyway.

Are you talking about a Graphic Match Cut? (Or Action Match Cut.)

That would still be a directorial prerogative, but you could mention it to note to the director such a match exists. Panning away or focusing on something else or some standard camera direction should be left to the director, none of them should be mentioned.

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  • Off— just means: The last thing we see before the cut. Are you unfamiliar with this term? Maybe it’s not as popular as I assumed... Check out the Season 1 Episode 1 script for The Killing. (great screenplay) Keyword search the word “Off”. The writer uses it a lot. I realize that it’s not a spec. So, I was wondering where to draw the line. Your comment has reaffirmed what I thought. I’ll probably leave it out. Thanks – Marcus Meier Jan 28 '18 at 1:52

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