Every screenwriting publication I’ve read, class I took, andbasically the first rule i learned says:

ONE page OF A appropriately FORMATED manuscript = APPROX. A MINUTE OF screen TIME.

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I recognize one page of speak a battle can last five minutes vice versa, one page of quickdialogue my last ten seconds if the actors speak fast… so my concern is,is this dominion true?

Has your 120 web page script been a 2 hour movie or was it more like 90 minutes?

My main reason for questioning this is I want to make my own low-budget movie.And the best tips I acquire say store the script 90 pages or shorter. And also tomake the a pat (dialogue heavy, one location).

However, native my short film experience and also being an editor, I saw a 90 pagescript that a girlfriend be just 55 minutes as soon as edited. And also I understand KevinSmith’s CLERKS was 164 web page script, but is just a 90 min movie because ofthe dialogue.

So, how deserve to I find an exact length the the movie before I shoot it. Orshould I have a 130-page manuscript if I desire to do my own feature? just how do thebig boys number out if there’s sufficient actual screen time top top the pages?

— Matthew KaplanNew York City

Your instinct is right: the one-page-per-minute preeminence of thumb doesn’t hold up to lot scrutiny. True, many screenplays are about 120 pages, and also true, many movies are roughly two hours. Yet the conversion price between document and celluloid is seldom one-to-one .

That’s why when a movie is in pre-production, one of the script supervisor’s first jobs is come time the script. She or the reads through the screenplay v a stopwatch, estimating just how long each scene will play, climate adds up the complete running time. Generally, castle go v the whole script twice, averaging the times.

How exact is the manuscript timing? Well, that counts on just how well the script supervisor has actually factored in the director’s style. Ang Lee’s Brokeback mountain featured long, contemplative shots the the heroes herding sheep, which an additional director can have to reduce altogether. However generally, the manuscript timing is in the appropriate ballpark.

Although a manuscript supervisor has much more experience, you can time a manuscript yourself. My advice would be to check out the conversation aloud, if trying to pad for non-spoken moments. It’s much easier with part scripts than others.

As much as my own films:

Go was 126 pages, yet came the end at 103 minutes — without any major scenes left out. It wasn’t play-like, however the pacing to be quick.

Big Fish to be 124 pages, and also 125 minute long. To my recollection, only one far-ranging scene was omitted, therefore the page-per-minute ascendancy came close.

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Both Charlie’s Angels movie went through so countless drafts throughout production that precise page-count is impossible. Yet the very first drafts were about 120 pages. The initial film was 98 minutes; the sequel to be 106. The pacing was obviously quick.