Get ready to write a dynamic scene that can hide exposition.
I love writing. I think it just feels free, and one of my favorite things to write is a “walk and talk” scene.
Walk and talks have become a popular technique in movies and television shows to create dynamic and engaging scenes. This technique involves two or more characters walking while having a conversation with the camera following them. It adds a sense of movement and energy to the dialogue and can be used to convey a sense of urgency or momentum in the storyline.
Walk and talks can take place in a variety of settings, from outdoor landscapes to indoor corridors, and can be used to establish character relationships or advance plot points. This technique has become a staple in modern storytelling, providing a unique and captivating visual experience for audiences.
Let’s dive into this commonly used scene.
The Aaron Sorkin Walk and Talk
Perhaps the most famous walk and talks happen in Aaron Sorkin’s movies and TV shows. The Aaron Sorkin Walk and Talk is a type of walk and talk scene that has become synonymous with the works of screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin. Known for his fast-paced dialogue and complex character relationships, Sorkin often uses the walk and talk technique to create engaging and dynamic scenes in his films and television shows.
In a typical Aaron Sorkin Walk and Talk scene, the camera follows two or more characters as they walk through a hallway or other confined space while engaging in rapid-fire dialogue. The characters often discuss complex issues or plot points, and the camera movement and pacing of the scene are carefully choreographed to create a sense of urgency and momentum.
Sorkin has used this technique in a number of his works, including the television shows The West Wing and Sports Night, as well as the films The Social Network and A Few Good Men. The Aaron Sorkin Walk and Talk has become so iconic that it is often imitated in other works of film and television.
One of the key features of the Aaron Sorkin Walk and Talk is the use of long, uninterrupted takes. These takes can last for several minutes, with the camera following the characters as they move through a complex set and engage in intense dialogue. This creates a sense of immersion for the audience, as they feel as though they are walking alongside the characters and experiencing the events of the scene firsthand.
Another key element of the Aaron Sorkin Walk and Talk is the use of rapid-fire dialogue. Sorkin is known for his witty and clever writing, and his characters often engage in rapid-fire banter that requires careful attention from the audience. This can create a sense of excitement and energy in the scene, as the characters move quickly through complex dialogue while continuing to walk and engage in physical actions.
Overall, the Aaron Sorkin Walk and Talk is a powerful technique that has become synonymous with Sorkin’s unique style of storytelling. By combining rapid-fire dialogue, long takes, and carefully choreographed camera movement, Sorkin has created a technique that is both engaging and immersive for audiences.
How Do You Format a “Walk and Talk” in a Screenplay?
This is an easy section to write because the way to format this in your screenplay is to just write, “They do a walk and talk.” I know you were expecting some elaborate explanation but it’s really just that.
Mention which characters are there, give us the location for where they are, and then just write the phrase.
To format a walk and talk scene in a screenplay, you should follow these general guidelines:
Start by describing the location of the scene, including any relevant details about the setting.
Introduce the characters who will be participating in the walk and talk and describe their physical actions as they begin walking.
Write the dialogue as you normally would, using standard dialogue formatting rules.
Include any necessary action or character beats in the scene, such as stopping to look at something or changing direction.
End the scene by describing the characters’ physical actions as they conclude the walk and talk, and any final dialogue or actions.
Here’s an example of what a ‘walk and talk’ scene might look like in a screenplay:
EXT. CENTRAL PARK – DAY
JASON and LUCY, both in their late twenties, walk briskly through the park.
JASON: So, what do you think about the new boss?
LUCY: I don’t know. Seems okay, I guess.
JASON: Come on, he’s a total micromanager.
As they continue walking, they pass a group of street performers.
JASON (CONT’D): (Stopping to watch) Check this out.
The camera follows as they watch the performers for a few seconds before continuing on their way.
JASON (CONT’D): (Resuming walking) Anyway, we need to figure out how to get him off our backs.
LUCY: Agreed. I was thinking we could try–
The camera tracks with them as they exit the park and head toward their office building.
How Do You Write a “Walk and Talk” in a Screenplay?
A walk and talk scene in a screenplay is a cinematic technique where characters are shown walking and talking at the same time, often in a single shot. This type of scene can help to create a sense of momentum and energy, and can also be a useful way to convey exposition or character development.
To write a walk-and-talk scene in a screenplay, you can follow these steps:
Set the scene: Begin by describing the location and the characters who will be walking and talking. This could include details such as the weather, the time of day, and any notable landmarks in the area.
Introduce the dialogue: Write out the dialogue for the scene, focusing on the key points that need to be conveyed. Keep in mind that the characters will be moving as they talk, so the dialogue should reflect this.
Describe the action: In addition to the dialogue, describe the physical actions of the characters as they walk and talk. This could include details such as where they are looking, how they are gesturing, and any obstacles they may encounter.
Consider camera angles: As you write the scene, think about how it might be shot on camera. Consider using a tracking shot or a Steadicam to capture the movement of the characters as they walk and talk. You may also want to use different camera angles to emphasize certain moments in the scene.
Revise and refine: Once you’ve written the scene, go back and read it over carefully. Look for any areas where the dialogue or action could be improved, and make revisions as needed.
Overall, the key to writing a successful walk and talk scene is to balance the dialogue and action in a way that feels natural and engaging. With a little bit of practice, you can create scenes that are both visually dynamic and emotionally resonant.