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Heh. If I'd wanted that I'd have been a lawyer!

Yeah, there's big money doing court-appointed work for indigent clients.. ;-) I don't think money is motivating factor for either of us.

Nope! :-)
Heh. If I'd wanted that I'd have been a lawyer!

Yeah, there's big money doing court-appointed work for indigent clients.. ;-) I don't think money is motivating factor for either of us.

Just as well.

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood
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I met a screenplay teacher who insisted "-ing" words (I'm ... the pp tense. Should I be worried about this? Thanks.

Neal's observations about grammar are valid, of course, but the point of writing in format is never that a particular format is somehow empirically 'correct,' it's just the way it's done.  Doing it another way just demonstrates that you're either unwilling or unable to do it the way it's usually done, or that you're so green that you don't know HOW it's usually done. One thing that the format of 'no -ing words' does, as Paul points out, is force you to make more interesting choices.  'Bob moves to the door' vs. 'Bob is moving to the door?'  They're both boring.  Bob should creep toward the door, or suanter, or leap or explode or inch or fox-trot or SOMETHING more interesting that simply 'move.'

But that's still not really the issue relating to "-ing."

John creeps to the door. John saunters to the door. John hops, skip, dances, jaunts, or flitters to the door.
The point is, in the sentence as written, at the end of the sentence, John is *at* the door.
"John is creeping toward the door" means that John is in the process of moving from a given point toward the door. When the sentence ends, he hasn't gotten there yet, which means that something may very well happen before he gets there. He may see something. The door may open. A velociraptor may break through the ceiling.
Anything could happen on your way from where you are to where you're going.
But in order to describe that, the key word is "go-ING" there. Fill in any verb you want. Creeping, leaping, jumping, darting, tap-dancing.

On the other hand, if you GO to Cleveland, you are then in Cleveland, and that leaves no present-tense for anything to happen to you on the way there.
This has nothing to do with interesting or uninteresting choices.

You can go to the door and it can be uninteresting, or you can be going to the door and it can be uninteresting.
What matters is that the two sentences have described two different things.
NMS
Seems to me that it's hard to avoid at least one -ing word at the start of a scene.

Why should you even want to avoid it? You are describing what is visible on the screen.

That's kinda my position. But my pal had been recommended by someone that knows (I didn't ask) that you have to avoid them in movie scripts. So like the OP, he's running in circles trying to avoid them when they do a specific job.
M
That's kinda my position. But my pal had been recommended by someone that knows (I didn't ask) that you have to avoid them in movie scripts. So like the OP, he's running in circles trying to avoid them when they do a specific job.

Anyone who claims to "know" that you have to avoid them in a script in fact knows nothing. Why this is even a debate is beyond me.

One describes a state, the other describes an action.

FADE IN
INT. 221B BAKER STREET - DAY
Holmes is standing by the window. Watson is lying on the sofa.

HOLMES
I'm not comfortable standing here. My feet are
killing me.
WATSON
Why don't you sit down?
Holmes sits down.
END OF DISCUSSION

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
That's kinda my position. But my pal had been recommended ... trying to avoid them when they do a specific job.

Anyone who claims to "know" that you have to avoid them in a script in fact knows nothing. Why this is even a debate is beyond me.

It's typical advice conflict when people are starting out. They talk to someone they think or have been told is an expert to do this or that and they think it's an inflexible "Hollywood rule" in a place that resembles the Wild West intellectually.
I usually qualify on some things - I've seen it done like this, here's how I've done it and no one's ever complained, etc.

And I tell them to check with some others. Which is what he's doing.
"MC"
One describes a state, the other describes an action. FADE IN INT. 221B BAKER STREET - DAY Holmes is standing ... comfortable standing here. My feet are killing me. WATSON Why don't you sit down? Holmes sits down. END OF DISCUSSION

INT. 221B BAKER STREET - DAY
Holmes stands by the window. Watson lies on the sofa.
This works just as well and is the more common construction in the recently-sold scripts I've been reading.

Martin B
"MC"

One describes a state, the other describes an action. FADE ... don't you sit down? Holmes sits down. END OF DISCUSSION

INT. 221B BAKER STREET - DAY Holmes stands by the window. Watson lies on the sofa. This works just as well and is the more common construction in the recently-sold scripts I've been reading.

It works just as well, but it doesn't mean the same thing.

As for what you've been reading, well so what? I'll bet it's chock full of "lays" when it should be "lies" too - doesn't make it right.

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
HOLMES I'm not comfortable standing here. My feet are killing me. WATSON Why don't you sit down? Holmes sits down.

Makes the point nicely, but the characterisation needs a bit of work.

Thinking about the grammatical issue, I decided that I don't think about it: I just write what seems right to me, and to hell with any alleged rules. I just opened a spec script of mine that's in circulation right now, and discovered that the second line on page one is "XXX XX... is standing on the very edge of a flat roof." Obviously, it's never going to sell.

And, as MC and others have said, "XXX XX stands on the very edge..." is describing something quite different. And begs the question "Well, what was he doing before that, and why isn't it in the script?"

And what the devil is a gerund?
Bert
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