PDA

View Full Version : spec script length?


storyman
06-21-2008, 04:32 AM
I tried 7 times to do a search for this topic but the protection 'code' would never work because I could not match it. I can't possibly be the only one who has trouble with this over creative version. AW's poor choice of using this particular protection needs to be re-evaluted. There are plenty of other versions that aren't so cryptic where one can read the darn thing. Now for my question.

I've been away from screenwriting for a few years but I'm back. At that time spec script length was 120 but now I'm hearing different. Blake Snyder ('Save the Cat') says 110, for example. I also here it depends on who one is dealing with at the time. I read in forums, comedy's are 90-100, big budget might be 120. Will 'they' all except spec scripts at 110-120 pages now or should I stick with 120?

I'm guessing that the possible reasons could be economics or those who were sticklers for the old ways have mostly died off? Anyone have some facts on the issue?

coneflower2001
06-21-2008, 07:02 AM
I all depends on your story as well...On the Disney Fellowship link here (http://www.disneyfeaturewritingfellowshipprogram.com/application.html)...it says not over 120, so if you keep it between 90-120 you should be alright. It's better to have a few pages to cut rather than not enough.

dpaterso
06-21-2008, 11:11 AM
There's an entry in the screenwriting tips (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24087) sticky thread titled, "How long should my screenplay be?" but that's only a rough rule of thumb guide to aim for between minimum 90 and maximum 120 pages, same as it's always been. Recently I've read a pro screenwriter advise 110 pages is still ideal, and read a pro script analyst advise 100 pages might be even more ideal. Who can tell if that's across the board or the personal preference of a handful within the industry? I play safe and aim for 110. If the script needs to be a little longer or a little shorter, that's not going to be an impossible rewriting task.

I tried 7 times to do a search for this topic but the protection 'code' would never work because I could not match it. I can't possibly be the only one who has trouble with this over creative version. AW's poor choice of using this particular protection needs to be re-evaluted. There are plenty of other versions that aren't so cryptic where one can read the darn thing. Now for my question.
I don't know what you mean, what "protection 'code'" would never work, "other versions" of what? You're having problems with searches? I searched for spec script length in this forum and got 29 matches (including this thread). If you'd like me to raise this as a problem for our technical support folks, some more info would be appreciated. (The board software is vBulletin; the search function isn't something we can fiddle with.)

-Derek

odocoileus
06-21-2008, 12:44 PM
As long as you're between 100 and 120, use the length which best suits the story.

Even 125 page script which makes full use of every page is going to be accepted just fine. The problem is that so many writers leave in non essential stuff. A typical 120 pager might have 10 pages in need of cutting.

You might ask your question on Craig Mazin's message board, along with
Wordplay and Two Adverbs - various pros may be around to give you their opinions. Scott the Reader could probably tell you the most common length among the scripts he reads for studios and prodcos. Alex Epstein and John August have talked about script length on their blogs, too, I believe.

Lots of opinions, no hard and fast rules.

dageezer
06-21-2008, 02:43 PM
I can't disagree with anyone so far.

Most of the scripts I get are 110-115. Stay in that range and you'll be fine. Anything over 120 is pushing your luck.

The only scripts I've seen over 120 pages are the ones that are contracted and the writer or writers are working on a second or third draft of a shooting script.

LIVIN
06-21-2008, 02:50 PM
Re searches: Try the "search this forum" option in the scriptwriting section as opposed to the general "search"

On to length. People say 90-120, but I think 90 is too short. Although, I don't write the type of scripts that are normally allowed to be 90 pages (horror). Comedy is also typically thrown into that 90 page range, but I'd be skeptical of 90 pagers (easier to cut some than to have expand the story).

There is no they. People will have different answers, although just about no one will have problems with 110, as far as I can tell. For me, if I don't have 100 pages, I don't have enough. That being said, the story should depict the length. Around 120 + you can get people not reading it because they think it's too long, according to the page count. Then again, are they necessarily the people you want to work with anyway? Make it great and the rest won't matter.

My last two scripts are 107 and 109. My current one looks like it'll be a little longer, but not over 120.

nmstevens
06-21-2008, 04:22 PM
I haven't submitted a feature script, either on assignment or a spec, that's been over 115 pages for years and I wouldn't suggest that anybody looking to break in do it either.

NMS

storyman
06-23-2008, 12:44 PM
Okay, it seems clear that the 120 page spec script is no longer SOP. I thank all of you for your advice. For now, I'll shoot for 110 for most scripts and keep in mind that things are flexible.