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Old 08-03-2019, 10:53 PM   #11
Merrick
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

Hey there, thanks!

What I was trying to say is that I already have a line for each scene which is dedicated for slug lines (just a /, no markings of location). So, I think that won't add anything. The greatest amount of pages will grow from -

Character: "Dialogue blah"

to -

CHARACTER
Dialogue blah

My brain works in the way that this is easier. I have used Final Draft long ago, and it was extremely helpful with formatting. But that attempt got me to page 5 or so. This attempt got me all the way.

I totally understand about the page count and how it affects sales, etc. No one in my beta read group said they felt the script was too long. But once I bring it out for financing, I know that will be the first thing. It's a character-heavy, dialogue-heavy film. It's not lean, but that's part of the atmosphere, and I think it works to its advantage. It could prevent a sale, I'm aware. But at least I wrote what I wanted ...

Statistically speaking, it's currently a 35000 word script with around 130 scenes. From what I've read, that's long but not in the realm of ridiculous.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrick View Post
Statistically speaking, it's currently a 35000 word script with around 130 scenes. From what I've read, that's long but not in the realm of ridiculous.
Sometimes you see a "how many scenes should my screenplay have?" question thread, but there's no definitive answer to that one. No one uses word count as a measurement.* We're all aiming for 100-120 pages, with 110 reckoned to be a good general target to aim for, because that's what everyone expects to see. Then again, stories about 140-page screenplays being optioned appear every now and again. I guess that means if your writing and your story are amazeballs, no one's going to care how long it is. Or maybe they will. I wait with bated breath to find out how long your screenplay actually is, lol.

If I had a file with Character: style layout, I'd search/replace ": " with "^p" (without the quotes) which might save some typing, assuming you're using Word or similar editor that understands ^p means paragraph break control.

Import options in screenwriting packages expect to find CAPPED character name followed by their dialogue followed by a blank line.

* just out of curiosity I exported a couple of my screenplays to txt files and checked the wordcount... both contained around 20k words. Which probably means nothing.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

Thank you! Yes, I understand I'm over the expected limits. And I understand word count and scene count are not norms of measurement. I did some searching anyway to see what others reported in the hopes mine was within the realms of reasonable.

I'm also not married to the studio system and would be fine with seeking private financing. Which is a real option if I get "this is great but unmakeable."

I've got 3 scenes to fix now and then a quick, final gloss over everything and it's in the bag. I'll let you know how long it is.

My fear is 220+ pages, hah. My goal is 180. Maybe Courier New pt. 11?
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post
* just out of curiosity I exported a couple of my screenplays to txt files and checked the wordcount... both contained around 20k words. Which probably means nothing.
I checked the one feature screenplay I've actually written, which is slightly over 100 pages, and its word count is almost 17,200. So I think you 20K for 120 pages (or so) is a pretty close "norm."

BTW, Free Screenwriting (https://freescreenwriting.com/) or WriterSolo can give you the word count directly. It's a feature no one will probably ever use, but I used it for this specific word count.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

A few years ago we had a similar thread about word count. Nearly everyone dismisses word count as irrelevant. However, it does, in fact, correlate reasonably well with page count.

When I ran my test a few years ago, I took a number of scripts, imported them into Final Draft (for which I retained the default settings), and then did a statistical analysis of total word count and total page count.

Naturally, the results showed significant variation, but the results were still helpful.

The data and the conclusions:


n = number of sample scripts = 35
mean (average) words per page = 198
median number of words per page = 194
standard deviation = 20.7 (let's just say 21)
lowest number of words/page (average for script) = 164
highest number of words/page (average for script) = 233
range between lowest and highest number of words/page = 69

If your script has 35,000 words, and if you format it in a standard way, I would estimate that it will be about:

(35,000 words) / (198 words/page) = 177 pages

With the standard deviation, you might get something between 156 and 198 pages.

Of course, really dense pages or skimpy pages will affect the count dramatically. This calculation will not hold if you have lots of "black" (dense description or action), or lots of "white space" (short, telegrapic action paragraphs of one or two lines, or page after page of terse, one-line dialogue).

Also, and this is very important ...

If you format your pages in a word processor with Courier New, you will probably increase your number of pages enormously. Word processors handle Courier New in a way that increases the line spacing; consequently, you end up with a lot more pages than if you format with Fade In, Movie Magic Screenwriter, or Final Draft. And do not use Courier New for any screenplay, ever. The line spacing may be fouled up, and the appearance will certainly be too anemic. Use the free Courier Screenplay, Courier Prime (both available for free from the Fade In website), or use some other Courier that is darker than Courier New. If you have access to Final Draft, that font is all right, too.

And never change the font size in an attempt to meet the goal of a set number of pages.

Let us know if you need help.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:36 AM   #16
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

Great news, and thanks for the advice! It is written in Times New Roman pt. 12. I thought scripts were in Courier New (read it somewhere), but I guess I was wrong.

Going back through things now, I see I've over-written some descriptions, especially action. Not by a lot but a bit. I'll try to trim out any words that don't need to be there on a final pass to see if it will take it down a few pages. I'll be very happy if I hit the 180 mark. I think I could justify the film's length in a pitch if it's that long.
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

Comic,

I wonder what the stat are on 1st kiss to page to box office #s

RotLA it's 93 minutes in

Moonlight 54 minutes
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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Originally Posted by Julysses View Post
Comic,

I wonder what the stat are on 1st kiss to page to box office #s

RotLA it's 93 minutes in

Moonlight 54 minutes

For box office numbers, it is probably better to have some people screwing no later than page 3.
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrick View Post
It is written in Times New Roman pt. 12. I thought scripts were in Courier New (read it somewhere), but I guess I was wrong.

Going back through things now, I see I've over-written some descriptions, especially action. Not by a lot but a bit. I'll try to trim out any words that don't need to be there on a final pass to see if it will take it down a few pages. I'll be very happy if I hit the 180 mark. I think I could justify the film's length in a pitch if it's that long.
Screenplays (i.e., "scripts") need to be in a Courier font. You can find various varieties of Courier, but they all look very similar, and you do not have to worry about which variety you use. However, you should select one that is clear on screen, looks good in a PDF, and prints out clearly.

Windows includes Courier New, but it is terrible for printing out a manuscript. You can download free Courier fonts from many places. As I said before, two of the best are Courier Screenplay and Courier Prime, from the Fade In website. I usually use Courier Screenplay, because it is very clear on screen and prints out beautifully. The other one, Courier Prime, prints out great, too, and looks good on screen except that the 's' character looks a little blotchy (only on screen; the print is fine).

I think that the Mac has its own version of Courier, but I have nothing to do with Macs.

When you get ready to submit your script, you will probably need to provide a PDF. Various PDF print drivers are available, and they are not all equal. I suggest using the ones that come with screenwriting programs, or use the free Bullzip PDF driver. Most of these drivers automatically embed the font that you use, and you always want to embed the font; otherwise you will probably get a default Type 1 Courier, which is basically like Courier New.

Try to avoid using any PDF driver that has the word 'Microsoft' in the name. It produces really junky PDF files that do not import into Fade In, and maybe not into other screenwriting programs.

Again, good luck!
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:49 PM   #20
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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Originally Posted by Bono View Post
You can download free trial see if it will help you format it, although I suspect you will have to tab stuff around.

https://www.fadeinpro.com/page.pl?content=download
I think this is probably the best of the bunch, if you're actually trying to break into the business. Relatively small, clean application that basically does everything. This is probably what I would buy if I thought I was actually had a chance to work in the business. Meanwhile Trelby works well for me (and I'm used to it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post
There's also,

http://www.celtx.com/
http://www.trelby.org/

which as far as I know are still free.
There's also KIT Scenarist and WriterSolo. WriterSolo now has a downloadable version (as well as still being online) — but I almost think they're trying to do too much with this platform (lots of features, but some glitches, at least in the Linux version). WriterSolo is put out by the people who host WriterDuet, their specialty is online collaboration. It appears that KIT Scenarist will soon be going to a paid version in future development, and the free version (after a few bugs are fixed) will remain where it is. (Still good.)

https://kitscenarist.ru/en/index.html
https://writersolo.com/ or https://freescreenwriting.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post
And then there's Screenplain,

http://www.screenplain.com/

which takes plain text and converts it to a screenplay.
'Afterwriting also does this online. Its advantage is that it defaults to a nicer font, Courier Prime instead of using Courier New. (It also defaults to A4, so you'll have to change that in the Settings if you want Letter size. Its publisher is, I believe, based in France.)

https://afterwriting.com/

YouMeScript is more of a traditional screenplay formatter (available online) that will import a slew of file types (and it specifically exports to Final Draft 11, the only one I've seen that does this). My issue with it is that its margins are too narrow. PDFs produced on YouMeScript run about 8 pages longer per hundred pages, which is definitely going the wrong direction in this case. But you could use it to import a file and then export to Fountain and use something else to create the PDF.

https://youmescript.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
i believe Trelby and Celtx are still free, i don't know their capabilities of converting files.

any "free trial" is going to limited functionality.

you're going to have to do some research to determine which software will allow you to import/export your file with as little work as possible. you don't want to buy something only to discover you have to re-enter every word.
All the above will import Fountain. Most, with the exception of Screenplain (I believe) will import Final Draft (.fdx) files. Trelby will import Fountain, Final Draft (.fdx), Celtx (.celtx), the defunct Adobe Story files (.astx), Formatted text (.txt) and Fade In Pro files (unless Fade In has changed its format since 2012). Not sure what Celtx will import, but it's pretty complete so I'm guessing most formats. The main disadvantage of the free Celtx application now is that its PDFs are watermarked ("Produced with Celtx free" or something like that). You could probably get around this by exporting to Fountain and using something else to make the PDFs.

Free trials of Fade In Pro and Celtx have limitations. No limitations on the others listed here.

Good luck. Definitely easier to type screenplays on a dedicated application. It automatically prompts for repeated names and scene locations, saving a lot of typing time.

Should add ... if you're using a Mac, lots of folks like Highland 2 or Slugline (which closely integrate the Fountain format). And, if you're using a Mac, Trelby is not an option.

https://quoteunquoteapps.com/highland-2/
http://slugline.co/

Neither of these are free, but they're not expensive... $40 to $50 I believe. I think both have trial versions (I don't have a Mac so I have no personal experience).
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