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A Thing About Script Length
by the Hollywood Guru

Over 90 pages and under 120-125 pages and you might get read. Too many scripts are being sent to us that aren't in that range, and that's not good since it's a sure sign of a new writer. We realize that many of you are new writers, but don't let Hollywood know that. When agents or producers get a script, they assume it's from a professional writer, not a first-timer. They've only got time to deal with pros, so do everything you can to ensure your script appears professionally written.

Most often scripts from new writers come in too long rather than too short since new writers tend to overwrite. There's too much description, too much dialogue, too many scenes that don't serve a purpose, etc. If you have a script on the long side, go over it scene by scene and ask yourself, why is this here? Is it serving a distinct purpose? If it's not, cut it. Cutting scenes this way is how you'll make the most dramatic dent in the page count. Sure, you can also cut unnecessary dialogue, but if that's all you do, you won't get the page count down that much.

Now, don't write to tell us that "The Godfather" script is 200 pages or whatever. Most of you are new writers trying break in; your script isn't based on a best selling book, and you're not Francis Ford Copolla. After you sell a few scripts, you can come in on the long side. Hey, you can even write the damn thing on toilet paper if you write hits, but for now, it would be best to keep it close to 100 pages or so.


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