So you’ve got some cool video footage and a killer script, but you’re not sure how to get from one scene to the next. That’s where script transitions come in.

These are special words and phrases that indicate when one scene ends and another one begins.

They can also be used to describe changes in the location, time or even mood of a scene.

You should use script transitions when:

  • A character is moving from Point A to Point B.
  • The scene is changing locations.
  • The scene spans a large period of time.
  • Multiple scenes are happening at once (parallel action).
  • One character is recalling something that happened in the past (flashback).


How To Write Transitions In A Script

What Are transitions in a script In Screenwriting?

Transitions are words or phrases that connect scenes in a screenplay. Transitions can show how the scene flows from one to another or they can simply be used to communicate a change of location.

A transition is usually where you will find the story’s action as it happens and also where you will find any dialogue between two characters.

There are many different types of transitions that can be used in your script, each one has its own purpose.

Some transitions are meant to move a story along, some are used to tell your readers where the story is happening, and some are used to not leave your readers confused about what is happening in the storyline.



What Are Script Transitions?

Before you learn how to apply transitions to footage, it’s important to understand what they are.

These effects determine the manner in which the next clip will be placed on the timeline relative to the existing clips.

They are shaped like a curved line and can be applied at either the beginning of the clip or at the end of the clip.

Each transition can be applied individually to each clip on your timeline.


A T-cut is a transition that cuts from one shot directly into another shot without any overlap.

This is especially useful when you wish to match a cut and maintain synchronization throughout your project.


A wipe transition is a transition from one shot to another with an object moving across the screen, revealing footage in one shot that existed in an earlier shot.

These transitions can be applied horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, and can use either vertical or horizontal wipes.


A slide is a transition that cuts from one shot directly into another shot with an object moving across the screen, revealing footage in one shot that existed in an earlier shot.


These transitions can be applied horizontally or vertically with either vertical or horizontal wipes.

How To Write Transitions In A Script

Writing a script can be challenging. To help, we’ve put together a guide on how to write transitions in a script. If you want to know how to write transitions in a script, then read on!

TIP 1: How do you write transitions in a script?

Transitions are moments where you move from one section of your film to the next. They are used to link one scene to another and help the audience keep up with what is happening.

For example, if you cut straight from a dialogue scene into an action sequence, your audience may not know that they have moved from one place to another.

The same applies if you cut straight from a character being sad into them laughing – it doesn’t make sense!

Writing transitions in scripts helps the audience understand what is going on and aids the flow of your film.

There are different types of transitions that filmmakers use – such as ‘fade’, ‘dissolve’ or ‘wipe’. 

Write And Produce Your Scripts All In One Place

Screenwriters are a very creative bunch. They’re also notoriously independent and have lots of opinions. Expensive programs like Final Draft are often used by screenwriters to write their scripts.

There’s a great program called Celtx, which is free and easy to use. It’s great for writing, but also has some basic production features that make it easier to coordinate with a crew and other departments.

Trello is a free web-based project management system that streamlines the process of keeping all of your writers, producers, actors and crew members on track. It’s built for teams and small organizations, so you’ll need some basic knowledge of how it works if you’re going to use it.

However, the learning curve is pretty short if you’re already familiar with spreadsheets or Google Drive.

You can create boards for different scenes in your script and then make notes on each task related to that scene—what needs to get done, when it needs to be done and by whom. You can include attachments for specific tasks as well.

For example, if you need someone to write an outline for a particular scene, you can attach the outline to the task in order to streamline communication between the writer and producer on your project.

Why Do We Need Transitions In A Script?

Transitions are part of a script, they act as a bridge between one scene to another. Transitions add to the overall aesthetics of your story and thus have immense value in creating a cinematic feel.

It is very important that you integrate transitions into your script because they make the structure of the film more organized and cohesive. They tell the audience where one scene ends and another begins.

Transitions can be anything that comes in between two scenes, like the fade out effect or the wipe effect. Anything can become a transition just as long as it makes sense within the context of your script.

Transitions should match the tone of your film, so if you’re writing a comedy, you may want to include transitions like wipes or fades or zooms, or if it’s a thriller you may want to use cross dissolves or iris outs etc.

There are many ways to incorporate transitions into your script. The most common way is by using slug lines which read transition top of the white space on your script page and then you write down what type of transition will take place in that particular scene but let me tell you that this method takes up valuable space on your page so I don’t recommend this approach.

The Birth Of The Screenplay Format

Screenplays are a kind of blueprint for movies. They’re the detailed instructions for how all the actors, producers, and directors should put together a film.

This job isn’t easy and it’s impossible to do without a screenplay format in use.

It’s difficult to exactly pinpoint the precise origin of the screenplay format but they are relatively new in comparison to plays (the earliest plays were performed around 3,000 years ago).

The first screenplay is believed to be “The Playwright” written by Ben Hecht in 1915. The main purpose of this script was not only to serve as a guide for whoever directed the movie but also to show how much money would be required to produce the film and what kind of deals needed to be made with cast, crew, studio etc.

Ben Hecht wrote over fifty screenplays during his career and has been credited for creating many of Hollywood’s archetypes such as hard-boiled detectives and gangsters (a la James Cagney), wise-cracking newspaper reporters (a la Cary Grant), and sassy secretaries (a la Katharine Hepburn).

Script Transitions The Purpose Of Transitions

Transitions are the links between scenes. They can be an integral part of the screenplay or merely a tool to help the story evolve.

Either way, they provide an opportunity for the writer to add something of value without having to resort to “on the nose” dialogue or clunky visual exposition. So what are some effective ways to use transitions? Here are some that work well:

Transitions as “time indicators”: This is probably the most common use of transitions in screenplays. In a scene taking place in a restaurant, for example, you could use a transition like “Later that evening…” or “The next morning…”

This not only allows you to skip over parts that aren’t important but also provides an indication of how much time has passed between events.

Tying two characters together: If two characters are in different locations, you can use transitions to show how the actions of one affect the other. For example, if one character makes a phone call while another is at home and we see her reaction to what he’s saying on the other end of the line, we understand that they’re connected and so don’t have any questions about it later.

Transitions as visual cues: If a character is looking through something — a picture frame, window, etc.,

Script Transitions What Do The Transitions Mean?

A script transition is a change in the story line of your film. It is an essential component of any video. Depending on the type of video, there are a number of various script transitions to choose from.

Longer videos have more opportunities to include a variety of script transitions, but even short videos can make use of some types of transitions.

The main question you should ask yourself when planning your script transition is this: “How does my audience perceive the content?”

It’s important to keep in mind that the type of content for your video will ultimately determine what kind of transitions you should use.

Here are types of script transitions to consider when making your own videos:

Fade In/Out – This is the most basic and commonly used transition in film. It is also one that works best with more serious material. Fade In/Out can be used as an opening or closing transition, depending on how it’s used in conjunction with other clips.

For example, if you fade out on one clip and then fade back in on another clip, this will look like one continuous scene rather than a series of clips spliced together.

Cutaway – Often referred to as a cutaway shot, this transition involves cutting away from one scene to another while still maintaining continuity

Script Transitions Formatting Screenplay Transitions

The “screenplay format” is the format most people are familiar with. It’s also the easiest to use. Screenplay format is one of two acceptable formats for screenplays; the other being “script format”“. The term “script” refers to the stage directions, whereas “screenplay” refers to the dialogue and action.

There are many differences between screenplay format and script format, but the main one is that screenplay format uses sluglines (also called “headers”) to show the reader where scene changes occur, while script format uses hyphens in a row at the top of the page to indicate scene changes.

In both screenplay format and script format, proper indenting is vital to making your script look neat and organized.

Screenplay Formatting-Header Style:

SCENE HEADERS: These are centered on a new page or new column. In both screenplay formatting and script formatting, scene headers are optional, but they make reading easier by indicating scene changes.

Scene headers also tell you if there’s a change of location or time within a single scene (e.g., INT-LIVING ROOM-MORNING). In screenplay formatting, scene headers are always typed out in full (SCENE); in script formatting, they’re sometimes abbreviated.

Script Transitions Dissolve To

A script transition is a single transition that can occur at one point or multiple points in your video. The dissolve to is a transition that fades the video out and fades in another video. It helps the viewer to follow the story from one scene to another.


In Final Cut Pro, you can use both audio and video transitions for your project. Audio transitions are used when two clips have different audio, but the same video track.

Video transitions are used between two clips with different video tracks, but the same audio track.

Step 1: In FCP, click “Window” and then click “Timeline.” Then click on the first clip on your project. To add an audio transition, click on “Effects.” Then click “Audio” then “Fade.”

You will hear what kind of transition it is when you click on it. When you have added an audio fade, you should see a line going down the left side of the screen (see picture below).

This line represents where the first clip ends and the second clip begins.

Transitions are very important elements of a video. They help a video flow from one scene to the next.

Without them, videos can seem choppy and disconnected, like a series of slides. Even an otherwise beautiful video without transitions can turn viewers off.

The most basic transition is the dissolve. When used well, it can create a seamless transition between scenes. 

Script Transitions Fade In/Fade Out

The most common transitions are linear and dissolve. Linear is just a hard cut from one scene to the next, while the dissolve gradually blends the two scenes together.

There are also more advanced transitions that use a variety of effects like Wipes, Pixelate, Push and so on. You can also specify different speeds for your transitions if you want them to be slower or faster than normal.

There are other types of transition effects. A page flip effect shows one page on top of another page, and then it flips over to reveal the next page. 

A wipe effect shows a moving object that wipes off the previous scene to reveal the next scene.

An object push effect pushes an object from its starting position to its destination position revealing the next scene in the process. A pixelate effect shows pixelated pieces of an image during a transition.

A dissolve effect dissolves one image into another image by adding transparency to the overlapping areas between them. An iris effect causes lights around an eye like in a movie theater to open up slowly from blackness revealing the next scene in a process similar to opening your eyes while being blinded by lights in a movie theater.

Script Transitions Freeze Frame

A script transition is a type of cut in which one scene ends and the next scene begins by fading to black followed by a fade-in on the new scene.

It is also known as a hard cut or wipe. Script transitions are used in film and television to show that time has passed, such as at the end of a day, or to mark a change in location. While this style was popular in the 1960s, it has fallen out of favor today.

The most common way to indicate a script transition is by using a series of wipes. The entire screen goes black before the new scene fades in.

The camera could then cut back and forth between two scenes, with each scene getting only one wipe before cutting back to the other. This works well for creating an illusion of movement through space.

Another option is an iris wipe. An iris wipe leaves one side of the screen black while the rest fades into white. It usually appears as though you’re looking through a camera lens as focus shifts from one shot to another.

The fourth option is an angle wipe, which takes place when the camera remains stationary but changes its orientation or angle at which it’s filming for each new shot. 

Script Transitions Jump Cut

Transitions are used in script writing to indicate a change of location or time. They can occur between scenes in a film or when one scene ends and the next begins.

As with any rule, there are some exceptions to the transition rule. Some films have no transitions at all (a story told out of chronological order).

Transitions from scene to scene or from shot to shot should be made smoothly. They can be accomplished through dissolves, fades or cuts between scenes or shots.

A dissolve is a gradual blending from one image into another so that there is no visual break in continuity. The director will slowly “dissolve” one image into another through the use of filters and masks. 

A dissolve is used when two separate scenes are linked by a visual effect, such as a reflection or ship’s wake hinting at a voyage to follow. Dissolves can range from very subtle to quite bold, depending on how the filmmaker chooses to make the transition.

A fade-out is the opposite of a fade-in; it gradually darkens an image until it disappears completely (often accompanied by a soft tone). Fade-outs are commonly used at the end of movies.

A jump cut is an abrupt transition between two shots.

Script Transitions Best Practices When Writing Transitions

Script transitions are a great way to give your video a professional look. Most popular video editing software programs have this feature built in. It allows you to add a transition between two clips in your video.

Here are some tips for using them correctly:

1. Use the right transition for the right scene: A great way to use transitions is to match them with the tone of the scene. For example, if you have a happy and upbeat scene, you might want to use wipes or push dissolves.

If it’s a somber scene, fades can help keep the mood down.

Fade out at the end: It’s very tempting to use an extreme transition at the end of your video so that it “stacks” well with other videos on your page. However, these effects usually look cheesy and amateurish.

Instead, just fade out at the end or do nothing. It’s much better than using an extreme transition.

2. Fade in at the beginning: The exact opposite of fading out, you should fade in at the beginning of your video clip. If you don’t fade in first, viewers might not be sure when your video actually begin.

Script Transitions Match Cuts & Creative Transitions

Transitions are very important to the overall feel of a video. They can also be tricky to pull off.

Takes some practice, but there are rules you can follow to help make your video flow smoothly.

Transitions should match the pace of the cuts

Match cuts are cuts where the end of one shot lines up with the beginning of another. These cuts are usually done in camera and so don’t need any special treatment in post production.

However, sometimes the cut is not perfect or you want to adjust for timing purposes and you will need to create a transition between two matching shots.

When you’re shooting, make sure that when you’re making your edits that they match as closely as possible. If your cut is too fast, slow it down and vice versa.

On the same note, if your cuts are already matching up perfectly but are just a bit too fast or too slow, adjust them accordingly. Slow them down if they’re too fast, speed them up if they’re too slow.

The rule here is: Match the pace of your cuts!

Creative transitions can help spice things up

Now this is where things can get fun – using creative transitions! Creative transitions include things like wipes, fades, booms and even some more unique effects.

Script Transitions Iris In/Iris Out

There are many different transitions in Final Cut Pro X that you can use to edit between two clips. One of the most popular transitions is the Iris transition.

This transition is a big favorite because it gives you a lot of control over how the transition looks and feels.

To make this transition, open the first clip. Click on the arrow that points up next to the Transform button.

This will bring up the Inspector window. In the Inspector window, click on the drop-down menu that says “No Preset”. This will open a list of presets that you can choose from. Select Iris In and then click on OK.

Repeat this process for your second clip but select Iris Out as your preset instead of Iris In. When you have both clips open, click and drag to select both clips at once and then press Command+G or Control+G on your keyboard to group them together.

Then drag the play head across both clips so that they are both selected, then press Control+D or Command+D on your keyboard to add a dissolve effect between them. You can adjust how wide the iris is by clicking on one of the clips and dragging away from it with your mouse. Experiment with different presets to see what looks best for your project.