1 page = 1 minute script

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  • 1 page = 1 minute script

    So I finished my script last night. It's a crime/drama/action movie. It turned out to be 35 pages but when looking at it and filling in the action scenes I see it clocking in at 80 minutes. I didn't go into too much detail on the action scenes for the script cause I'll be directing myself and I want to go into more detail for them when doing the storyboard. So I think it's possible for this 35 page script to turn out to be 70-80 minutes. What do you guys think?

  • #2
    I don't know about 70-80 minutes, that seems like a stretch. I just wrote a 36 page screenplay for a crime/thriller and I expected it to run, AT MOST, about 40 minutes. Even then I would probably cut it down in post to about 30. The fact that a script, written in 12 pt. Courier, translates to one page per on-screen minute is the truth. Granted, I don't know how much visual filler you have in your script and it may very well be easily described on one page of script but take minutes to translate on the screen. But still, I wouldn't think it would be over 45-50. But who knows, I could be wrong.

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    • #3
      One minute per page rule

      Yes, a general rule of thumb is one minute per page, but obviously this can vary. If your film has lots of scenes with minimal dialogue, perhaps loads of action, then it is possible that it is longer. Don't worry if it is short - it is probably better than being too long. Film producers often immediately ignore long scripts as they inevitably cost more to produce.
      Visit http://forum.filmscriptwriting.com for more scriptwriting discussions.

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      • #4
        I was just reading through posts and saw this. I always wonder how things went. I was thinking about dialog verses action and wonder if you use story boards.
        Lights! Cameras! Action!

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        • #5
          Thinking about this more and wonder how someone handles the time and length to tell a story and what criteria one uses to determine what is needed and what can be left out.
          Lights! Cameras! Action!

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          • #6
            The one minute per page rule is directed more towards standard story-telling scripts. I've worked on projects that were 90 minutes in length and yet were only 40 pages in length. It has a lot to do with how much description and dialogue is scripted. Action films tend to have several scripts. One for standard structure, another for action, another for visual effects.

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            • #7
              Instead of making rules or setting parameters around your script or story-telling I suggest you just tell your story. There are not many "rules" for distribution anymore. You can find a release for virtually anything you wish to communicate. Once you're in the marketplace and are building a following you can become more concerned about setting your own parameters. The most critical rule is that you must tell your story and submitted it into the marketplace.

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