SCRIPTWRITING STANDARDS TIP
The Prelap: Dialog which overlaps a scene change
Ever wonder just how you're supposed to indicate when dialog is supposed to start before a cut? You know, like when you hear dialog starting over the end of one scene and after the cut is revealed to be part of the next one?
That's what's known as a "prelap", and refers to something which overLAPs the PREvious scene.
You do it like this:
EXT. JUDGE CROSS'S HOUSE, WEST SIDE EL PASO -- NIGHT
Nice neighborhood in the foothills of the Franklin mountains. The CAMERA PUSHES PAST a child's bike abandoned in the front yard to find a light in the living room as we PRELAP MIKE CROSS'S VOICE:
She was on her way to a conference in Austin...
INT. JUDGE CROSS'S HOUSE, WEST SIDE EL PASO -- NIGHT
Sonya with Judge Cross's husband, MIKE (40s) numb with grief and the shock of what she has just told him. Sonya remains unmoved. She has not tread lightly.
INT. CAR (MOVING) - NIGHT
Our mysterious Driver kills his headlights, pulls to the side of the bridge and EXITS the car, moving with purpose...
BORDER TECH #1
Lights are out on the bridge...
INT. BRIDGE OF THE AMERICA'S SURVEILLANCE ROOM -- NIGHT
A pair of American BORDER TECHS hunched over computer monitors as alarms sound and their CAMERA FEEDS blink to static.
BORDER TECH #2
Cameras too. Hell's goin' on?
Examples from the pilot script for the series The Bridge.