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11/22/2007 - HOW READABLE IS YOUR SCREENPLAY?
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I've read thousands of scripts. The ones I like the best are the ones that are easiest to read. Scripts that are overwritten with dialogue and long stretches of action descriptions are hard to read. And not very much fun.

When somebody important reads your screenplay such as an agent, producer or development person you want them to like your script or even love it. What they'll be more prone to respond favorably is something that is easy to read. Short scenes with only crucial dialogue and minimal stage directions.

If you have a story that gets started right away and there's a fast-paced, line of dramatic tension (no matter what the genre) you will have the rapt attention of the reader. Everybody who reads screenplays with the hope of finding one to buy and make looks at the last page of a script to see how long it is. The ones that are shorter get read first (105 pages is nice, although I tell students to shoot for no more than 110).

The same is true for the movie you're going to make. I'm talking about the short film of your short script. Less is more. Don't have tons of dialogue. Write your first draft with as much dialogue that flows out, but then cut, cut and cut.

I can't say it enough: less is more. You especially want minimal dialogue if you have bad actors. Brilliant banter will be ruined by bad acting.


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