Most movie script writers know that you write the character’s name with capital letter first time of appearance. I also think it is common knowledge to keep color of hair and eyes out of it and it for most times is redundant knowledge what color the shirt has. Amazingly enough, brand of watch and precise age are both common traits it seems, especially among scripts from the yet not known writers.
Both are pieces of information you actually don't need to tell.
When writing a movie script it is easy to forget one thing: it is not a novel. Of course it is not a novel you say, and yes, I know you know it is not a novel. The point is that those producing the movie have read the script. When you read a novel you need information about a character early. When you meet a guy or a gal it is nice to get a fairly clear image of who it is and not halfway in learn that the fair boy you imagined is an old man. When you finished the book, you have finished the project as well. The story is ended and the book returns to its shelf. When it comes to a movie script the process has just started.
What’s the difference?
It is such monumental difference that I’m amazed that so few mention it. All those people making a film create the characters from the whole script! Those “JENNIE (43) enters in a blue costume” are close to irrelevant. The character’s age is interpreted based on what she does, her family situation and so on – the whole picture. If she is a parent she is probably over twenty, if she runs alongside a car, she is not likely past sixty. Unless it is a story about teenage parenthood or superpower at old age, any age between twenty and sixty could do just as fine. If not, probably other things in the story tell us what we need. To yell that the age is precisely “43” is only limiting in a way that is not for the good. Remember, the writer's excellence is with words and story – but leave the creation of the film to those who know the trait. It’s a movie script, not a manual.
Besides, is really the first thing you think about when a new person entering a room his or her age? The precise age!? Stick to describe what would be your first impression of the character, and only what is needed for the story.
This is where the brand of the wrist watch comes in. I don’t know my brands. If you tell me it is a… whatever brand, it doesn't tell me a thing. And the expensiveness of a brand can differ over the world as well so what is bought at Harrods in one place could be K-Mart in another (well, perhaps not, but you get the point). Use words that we can all understand, like “expensive” or “cheap” and leave the selection of brands to somebody else.
It is amazing how much you can cut if you only can leave your imaginary sense of control of the story behind you.
Remember that for the reader the project has just about begun when they finish reading. You've built a skeleton. If you have not covered it up in unnecessary garnish, its strong bones will show. Don’t draw the attention to the less vital parts of your story, and especially not with things limiting the options to get it sold.
Image from Pintest. Click on the image for more info.