Can I use “CUT TO:” when moving between scenes? Do I have to?

“CUT TO:” can be a useful transition when you need to be extra-clear we’re moving to a new place and/or time. However, with the presence of scene headers, it is by no means necessary, and in modern screenplays it is often not used at all.

In a 2003 blog post, John August names three situations where CUT TO: can still be especially useful:

  • When ending a scene abruptly for comedic or dramatic effect

  • When moving between parallel action

  • When transitioning away from titles and into a new scene

Ultimately, the use of CUT TO: is up to the writer’s personal preference.