Format: Pages #screenwriting

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“Essentials of Screenwriting” By Richard Walter on Amazon.com

Quentin Tarantino’s films run probably as long as he likes. Yours should run about 100 minutes. At roughly a screenplay page to a minute of screen time, that’s 100 pages. It could vary between about 90 to 110 minutes/pages.

120 pages is too long. If it’s handed in at over 120, it’s certain there are scenes that should have been cut.

What difference does the page count make? A lot. When the reader can go to lunch. How many times it can play in the theater per day. Budget. Crazy page count usually means bad screenplay.

Readers like short scripts. Readers liking your script is good. The screenwriter competes with lunch for attention.

Don’t include draft numbers or dates on your screenplay. Cultivate the impression that you wrote the FADE OUT this morning and this is the first time anyone’s ever touched it.

No scene numbering. Font is Courier New 12 point. No illustrations. If these points seem up for debate, good luck to you.

The screenplay has three holes drilled through the pages to be fastened with brass “brads.” Make sure the brads are big enough to hold the pages together firmly. If a producer has to choose between two scripts – one with two brads, another with three – they’ll pick the one with two brads. That’s the standard. You’ll notice the screenplay that was stapled together with the crazy fonts didn’t make it to the producer.

Spell words correctly. Seriously.

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