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Old 05-28-2019, 07:16 PM   #1
Friday
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Default How long does it take you to read a script?

Just curious...how long does it take you to read a script on average? I am wondering if I am taking too long to read a script. There were a couple of scripts that took me forever to read. Partly because they were dense block texts. But, I hear some people have read thousands of scripts over a short period of time.


What's the ideal amount of time? What's reading too slow?
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

It's a lot to take in, so even if the script is 90 pages, that could take 2 hours if that's your only focus. If it's like a dense drama or action movie with tons of text, that could take 3 hours.

I wouldn't worry about it, but you can't read faster than a page per minute is my guess unless it's all dialogue.

You don't need to read 1000 scripts to be a writer. And the people who said they have read a 1000 scripts got paid to do it.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

Cool. Thanks Bono. My concentration was probably just off. It took me almost half the day. When I see walls and walls of text - without any spaces - my heart just sinks. It makes the read feel like it's twice as long. I am just trying to focus on habits that help a screenwriter improve their craft. A lot of people point to reading more scripts. I am a long way from reaching the thousand script mark.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

This is a great first lesson you learned already for your own scripts.

more


white


space


so a reader doesn't give up reading your spec when they hit blocks of text that look like this over and over...

xfladfjdsfladsfdsfjkdsfjsdljfdlsjfdsjfldsjfldsjkfl dsjfljdsfljdsfldsfldsflksdfldsfldlskjfdlskjfdsljkf dlsjflsdjfljksdfljsdfljdsfljsdfljdfljdslfjsdljfsdl jfdsljfsdljfljsdfljdsfljsdfljdsfljdsfljdsfljdslfjs dljfdsljfjkdslfjkdsljkfdsljfdsljfljsdflsdfljsdjlfl jsdkfljdsfljsdfljsdfjldsfljkfdljfdljdfsldslkjljkld dfljBABABOOEYalafldfldsfjlsdlfjdsljfsdljfdslfdslfl sdfljsdfljsdfljdslfsdlfsdlfljdsfljdsfjlkdsljfdsljf dsljfljdsfljdsfljdslfdsljfldsjfljdsfljdsfljdsljfds ljfdslfl
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

I'm a horrible reader by the way... I love writing and I always wanted to write a novel... and I realize how few books I actually read in my life because well I loved movies and TV so much, that I always found them so much more fun.

Also because I think I can't concentrate very well because I'm reading the story and thinking, I don't care what color the leaves are, I'll see them in the movie! Just say it's fall. So my mind was already wired for a film script experience.

What I'm saying is I'm dumb and I can't even read something w/o noise. Silence and reading actually makes it harder for me.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bono View Post
I'm a horrible reader by the way... I love writing and I always wanted to write a novel... and I realize how few books I actually read in my life because well I loved movies and TV so much, that I always found them so much more fun.

Also because I think I can't concentrate very well because I'm reading the story and thinking, I don't care what color the leaves are, I'll see them in the movie! Just say it's fall. So my mind was already wired for a film script experience.

What I'm saying is I'm dumb and I can't even read something w/o noise. Silence and reading actually makes it harder for me.

Yeah, I am a horrible reader too. And I was a Dean's list English major. I guess I never learned how to speed read. Part of it is really attention span. If a script drags, I'll kind of surf the net to take a break. Sometimes, a script can have a lot of white space, but is too sparse. They go overboard by making it almost like a bullet point presentation. You have to almost re-read it because you're totally lost on what the action is describing. Novels are actually sometimes faster reads. The best selling authors know how to hook you in, write in an efficient style. The time just flew by reading Gone Girl. But, I was reading that for pleasure, not education.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bono View Post
I'm a horrible reader by the way... I love writing and I always wanted to write a novel... and I realize how few books I actually read in my life because well I loved movies and TV so much, that I always found them so much more fun.

Also because I think I can't concentrate very well because I'm reading the story and thinking, I don't care what color the leaves are, I'll see them in the movie! Just say it's fall. So my mind was already wired for a film script experience.

What I'm saying is I'm dumb and I can't even read something w/o noise. Silence and reading actually makes it harder for me.


Except for the bit about the color of leaves/I'll see them in the movie, you describe me and my reading (in)ability exactly.

I haven't read a novel in decades nor a long piece of fiction in years. On the other hand, I actually enjoy Reader's Digest and the shorter articles in magazines. Yep, you guessed it: Most of my reading is in dentists' and doctors' offices and my barber shop. And I competently process all the info I need, on-line, to research my scripts, so I've never felt I'm uneducated or reading-incapable.

But I do shrink away from a table at any gatherings if I hear them talking about "what are you reading these days!"

Yet with all this, it's not prevented me from writing over 50 screenplays. Not to mention, before that, blogging and long social media posts and epic emails, all of which suggests I enjoy outputting rather than inputting.

I'm just saying that a lack of readin' doesn't mean you can't do 'ritin'.

Am I making excuses? Dunno. Part of it may be choice, part of it something else. On the former, I was filled with utter boredom with what I had to read through middle- and high school. If you're supposed to love reading, that kind of drudgery will sure kill the enthusiasm in any young person. And the latter, it may be a slight undiagnosed dyslexia, which seems to be getting worse as I get older. Sometimes I really jump around as I try to read things. (It doesn't help, eg. on these boards, when somebody's transposed a word or something as a result of sloppy and hurried typing, and I'm left staring for several seconds at one sentence to try to figure out the darned thing!)

But I'm even eternally slow at reading/polishing my own scripts. My own! Hours. I picture how every word in the description declares something physical in the world I'm describing. (The description is the tough stuff; I find my dialogue to be fairly bland and conversational, and thus easier to read.) But the description - that which paints pictures - that's the tough slog, of my own or others' script.

So I guess that means that I worry about what the Director of my stuff will have to go through, which I suppose is a significant positive.

So, all of this sounds a bit like what you're describing.

The thing is, it's not a liability. We do our workarounds.

In fact, I am thankful that I found screenwriting. I did try a novel way, way back, but didn't know anything about outlining and gave up after 100 meandering pages. Screenwriting is great though, and is akin to those short stories I can absorb without too much agony in the Reader's Digest, because you're in and you're out in a hurry.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
Just curious...how long does it take you to read a script on average? I am wondering if I am taking too long to read a script. There were a couple of scripts that took me forever to read. Partly because they were dense block texts. But, I hear some people have read thousands of scripts over a short period of time.


What's the ideal amount of time? What's reading too slow?
That depends on how well written the script is. A boring one takes forever -- you keep checking how many pages you have left to read.

A really good one always seems too short.
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

how long it takes to read a script is directly impacted by how well the script is written. it also will have to do with the writer's style.

for example, Walter Hill's sparsely written Alien is going to take less time to read than James Cameron's densely written action sequences in Aliens.

i remember The Sixth Sense took less than two hours to read. it was fast. no breaks just straight through. Arrival and The Garden At The End Of The World are fast reads.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: How long does it take you to read a script?

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Originally Posted by StoryWriter View Post
That depends on how well written the script is. A boring one takes forever -- you keep checking how many pages you have left to read.

A really good one always seems too short.

That's probably it. Sometimes, you start wandering, surfing the net, etc. if the story doesn't grab you.
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