We must begin with this remark: Nowadays, in Spec Scripts, transitions are frowned upon, a waste of a couple of lines you could better use for brilliant dialogue, and are only used when absolutely necessary.
When you DO use a Transition, the left margin is at 6.5" and a right margin of 1.0". Transitions are formatted in all caps and almost always follow an Action and precede Scene Headings.
Transitions you may be familiar with are:
- CUT TO:
- DISSOLVE TO:
- SMASH CUT:
- QUICK CUT:
- FADE TO:
- FADE OUT (never at the end of the script)
The only time to use a Transition in a spec script is if it's integral to telling the story. For instance, you might use a TIME CUT: to indicate passage of time. More commonly, a DISSOLVE TO: indicates that time has passed. Or, you might need to use MATCH CUT: if you want to illustrate that there is some correlation between something we just saw and something in the new scene. The point is, unless you become quite skilled in screenwriting don't use these things unless absolutely necessary, because the director of the film will probably think of something different.
Most Transitions are already programmed into script writing programs, capitalized and lined up for those rare occasions when you can't resist to use one.
Frankie pulls on a pair of shorts, slips into some running shoes and exits. CUT TO:
(Remember, the Cut To: will probably be left out in most spec scripts these days. What it indicates is a complete change of location.)