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Old 08-14-2019, 09:36 AM   #41
Merrick
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

Thank you very much. Trust me, I understand. And I might be completely nuts and eat my words later.

I just did a round of edits in OOO and now I'm finishing a round of edits in Fade In. I think I literally managed to hack out 40 pages.

It still puts me around 170.

Shrug.

Honestly, I wish it hit 120. Would make my life easier. But I'm not looking to sacrifice story and tone for a page number. For me, it's the narrative that comes first.

In a total pull the rip cord scenario, I could crowdfund the whole thing and make it ultra low budget. But that would only be after exhausting all options.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:01 AM   #42
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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I don't understand how any of this relates to what I noted; and I've read it three times now.

I didn't say any thing about margins in any way. Right? Though I wouldn't recommend fudging with them too much. The script will most likely get reformatted at the very least by the POC since they will manage the revision pages, etc.. But more importantly than that, before things even get really rolling, someone will bring in a pro to "time" the script -- usually a script supervisor -- so they really have a much better idea of how it is playing in a more "true" time sort of way. Even though that can change to during shooting.

I've worked all the way through on four studio feature films including posts: assemble edits, rough cuts, re-cutting, spotting, scoring, etc. I've been through it on two indie films as a producer -- nothing to brag about but I've been through it. I've also cut films myself and yes, things change quite a bit in post. As it's been said, the film/script is rewritten in post. That's where it truly comes together in so many ways. I've given quite a few notes on cuts of films for filmmakers too. (Did it twice for films my wife wrote for a cable network.)

And I know what time code is. Heck, I cut projects using edge code on 16 mm. That's how old I am.
Ha! No worries. It was my mini-rant on "perfect" margins. Didn't the OP mention margins? Maybe I imagined it. Wasn't disagreeing with anything you said. All sound advice. Nor assuming that you didn't understand what timecode was.

Agreed! I wouldn't do anything drastic with margin fudging. Also, wasn't meaning to imply that fooling with margins is a way to cut a 170 page script to a readable length. I'd aim for 2-3 pages at most with margin fussing (I do it for "widows" hate 'em). Personally, I think anything over 120 and people are gonna assume it's bloated. 110 is the magic number in my mind. That's 60 pages over.

Okay, 16mm, you're legit old-school! Thumbs up!

Jokes aside, I get that creatives get what timecode and post is like. I'm saying the suits (particularly agents) often have no idea how that world works. So for them to be so nit picky about margins and page count, I don't think they even understand why it doesn't super matter (within reason).

To get back to Merrick's page count problem: I agree with everyone else that 170 pages is WAY too long, from a budget standpoint alone. But, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe he's right that nothing can be cut from his EPIC MASTERPIECE. Reason being, my manager got my last script at 135 pages. I was like "dude... I honestly don't know what to cut. Help!" He's like "Because this felt rushed at the end and should probably be longer... as in TV show. How do you feel about repurposing it as a TV show?" So that's what we did.

Maybe Merrick is trying to stuff a TV show [limited series perhaps?] into a film format. If that's the case it could be longer. I'd seriously consider whether or not it was written in the wrong format (TV v Film). Have you thought of that, Merrick?

It's not an easy transition to reformat. It's not cut n' paste. It's hard. Then you gotta make a show bible too. More time. But maybe that's your problem???

Who knows when it's sight unseen.

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Old 08-14-2019, 10:12 AM   #43
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

It has aspects of a series to it, but it's a feature. It's not episodic. Maybe your script needs to be 170?

I'm just saying.

I've seen 90 minute movies that are way too long and 120 minute movies that are too short.

I rewatched History of Violence the other night. That film is too short. It built this great world and didn't take the time to explore it.

I could be deluding myself that I'm a good writer, no doubt about that. But a story should be as long as it needs to be. That is true.

I'm assuming that most screenwriters who go above 120 just don't know how to tell a tight story, but that's not my case here.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:34 AM   #44
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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It has aspects of a series to it, but it's a feature. It's not episodic. Maybe your script needs to be 170?

I'm just saying.

I've seen 90 minute movies that are way too long and 120 minute movies that are too short.

I rewatched History of Violence the other night. That film is too short. It built this great world and didn't take the time to explore it.

I could be deluding myself that I'm a good writer, no doubt about that. But a story should be as long as it needs to be. That is true.

I'm assuming that most screenwriters who go above 120 just don't know how to tell a tight story, but that's not my case here.

Mine could have absolutely gone to 170. One problem. Nobody would have read it at 170. At least not in Hollywood. But, my first problem would have been that there's no way in hell my manager would have sent it out at 170. I'm not even sure he'd read it at 170.

Repurposing it into TV allowed the story to breathe. It just wasn't gonna work as a film without me feeling like I was cutting into bone. I was attached to direct if it was a film. But, even as the writer/director even if I got it greenlit at 135 pages, I would have wanted to cut it to around 110. Which would mean I'd have to kill off the B-story and make it 100% about the A-story. Making it a TV show meant I got to keep everything and add more (at least in bible form). The 1st act became the pilot. Thus, I added 25 pages to the first act in order for it to work as an arcing pilot that FELT like a pilot and not just drag and drop of the 1st act.

If yours HAS to be a movie (in your mind). I dunno, man, you may have to crowd fund it. You're gonna have an incredibly difficult time getting anyone in Hollywood to read it. That's just the reality of page count.


Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:32 AM   #45
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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Thank you very much. Trust me, I understand. And I might be completely nuts and eat my words later.
Sounds like you've accomplished what you set out to do at the beginning of this thread. Now the thread has gone another direction (which happens a lot here).

Best of luck.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:25 PM   #46
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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If yours HAS to be a movie (in your mind). I dunno, man, you may have to crowd fund it. You're gonna have an incredibly difficult time getting anyone in Hollywood to read it. That's just the reality of page count.
This is probably what it boils down to. But I still wonder how did something like Brigands of Rattleborge get through if it's impossible?

Anyway, true. This thread has served its purpose. 99% chance I'm going to just buy Fade In. It seems affordable, and I like it. I re-edited the whole script in there and was able to trim down 21 pages, mostly by slightly rewording things that allowed to delete lines.

I may have one or two more questions, but I'll start new threads for those. I really appreciate it all, including the aesthetics chat. I imagine this is a starter course for how it's received when I send it out.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:29 PM   #47
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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I'm assuming that most screenwriters who go above 120 just don't know how to tell a tight story, but that's not my case here.
why would you assume that about other writers when your first script is 170 pages? i'm just curious. anywho...

what i would recommend is pay to have it covered by several different industry readers. they will give you an honest opinion on it's length and marketability. no one is going to make your film unless they can make money on it.

also, you need to consider distribution and who is going to show your almost three hour film. in the time your movie takes to play they could have two films shown, both generating revenue.

The Brigands of Rattleborge was 137 pages. it was the #1 spec on the 2006 Black List. it's been in development since, it looks like. was announced that Amazon picked it up with a new title "Brigands of Rattlecreek," in March of this year. it's been in development for 13 years. that's a long time.

are you saying that the quality of your writing is the same as Craig Zahler, if so, props to you. he was repped, at the time, by United Talent, so he had an agent. that's how it got around.

is your film a western as well?

it's going to be difficult, if not impossible to get an agent interested in reading you because they work on a referral basis almost primarily and they want to work with someone who wants a career, so if you know someone who can refer you, great. that could be your way in.

but, your film is a lot longer. from what i read BoR had 60 pages of character development and no plot. audiences just don't have that kind of attention span.

anyway, good luck. who are you going to sed it to? are you going to solicit agents only or managers.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:46 PM   #48
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

1. I'd love to know what your story is about at all. Logline? Did you write Dances with Wolves or a romantic comedy that spans 75 years?

2. Are you sure you didn't write a novel at 170 pages? JK.

3. If the program does all the work for you, why wouldn't you easily make the PDF in the right format. I'm very confused by this. I didn't read every word in this thread -- lot to catch up on.

4. Clerks the script was 163 pages, movie was 93 minutes, but unless he made it himself people aren't going to read that as a spec.

5. A few stories probably about longer scripts getting sold and read, but most of the longer scripts were ones that they intended to make themselves....

6. If you send someone a script via PDF, they may love the first 10 pages, but back in the old days, the first thing they did was look how long it was by flipping. NOw you can see 1 out of 170 pages to go.... I always look before I read a script. So I'd say most would reject it just based on length alone. I was a reader and I don't recall 1 script over 120 pages I loved. I already hated it before I read one word. I frankly get mad at movies longer than 2 hours.

7. First scripts are 99% terrible. All scripts in general are 95% terrible, so its only slightly worse. Ha.

8. If your goal was to finish this for yourself, you've already won. And if you don't care at all about actually getting repped -- then I'm confused why you'd even try -- which makes me think you of course would love the script to do well -- which means you should go out with the 120 page version which is also 20 pages too long if it's a comedy or action movie or thriller.

I aimed for 105 pages or shorter.

9. We are all rooting for you, except Gucci that jerk!

10. Gucci -- i was talking about another Gucci not you

11. This post is too long, i should trim it

12. Yes now QT could write a 300 page script and everyone would read it. But that's after establishing yourself. A newbie spec longer than 120 pages is hard as hell to get read in my eyes...
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:20 PM   #49
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

#9 - Ha!

#10 - Haha!

But, agreed. Why aim for reps if you refuse to follow general industry format guidelines? Any rep reading this thread would be thinking the D-word (difficult). I'm lost on that part.

99.99% of reps in Hollywood will say "Bro... we gotta cut this, I can't send it out like this." Your best case scenario with a rep is this: "Dude... LOVED it! But it needs some work. Let's cut 20 pages." This is a game they're beginning to play with you, because... Boom! You work your ass off to cut 20 pages. Now it's 150. They reread. "Ok cool, it's getting there... let's cut 10 more pages." Now it's 140. "Yeah... like 10 more." etc...

This will continue until it's at or under 120. That is, if you want to be repped and assuming they love the hell outta this and bothered to read it in the first place.

Just know that a manager is gonna give you around 5-10 sets of notes before they're willing to put their reputation on the line for your script. I've never heard of a manager willing to send stuff out AS IS. That would kinda be a miracle.

POINT: Bruh... just go make it!
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:13 AM   #50
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Default Re: Reformatting from left-justified

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why would you assume that about other writers when your first script is 170 pages? i'm just curious. anywho...
Because of what I've read many script readers say on here and other forums / blogs. The post below yours even says they didn't like any long scripts past word 1 ...

I am aware I could be totally delusional about all of this and could eat my words in the future.

By the way, maybe I did not make it clear. I do intend to make this myself.

It sounds like Hollywood and agents are not for me. It doesn't mean I won't try, but I'll have very low expectations.
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