The problem is... it is not a WRITER'S tool.
It really is an editor's tool. (Director too. Cause you know, he'll tell the editor, "Hey, nice montage" and take credit for it).
Here is the thing about montage in a screenplay.
It SUCKS to read.
The majority of the time when montage is used in a screenplay, it is because the writer is lazy. He wants to shortcut through necessary exposition with a montage, instead of crafting a dramatic scene/sequence. Or worse, supplements drama with a laundry list of things to "look" at.
In my experience, there are two types of montage.
- Symbolic Juxtaposition
- Series of Shots
The alphabetcal list of items in a series of shots often reads with a very sterile tone. More often than not, the reason to use montage is to CREATE a specific tone. Montage does a great job of creating tone on the screen. Montage on the page reads extremely flat.
If you are a screenwriter, your job is to create the tone of the movie on the page. Montage, more often than not, works against that goal.