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Old 11-19-2009, 10:46 PM   #1
mtoomey
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Default 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

I've been reading a lot of 1/2 hour show scripts which in reality are just 22 minutes of airtime. But many of these scripts are 35 pages. Shouldn't it be more in the ballpark of 25?
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

They say 1 page = a minute. But as I've found out making my own short films, it's not exactly true. It all depends on genre, etc.

See, sitcoms are dialogue heavy, so that's why most fall into the 35 to 42 page range even if the show is 22 minutes.

CLERKS script was 163 pages long -- movie is 92 minutes.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

hmm...kind of figured that was why. thanks Bono.

my michael bay inspired sitcom pilot will definitely just be 22 pages with a budget of $2 million per page.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

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Originally Posted by nathanq View Post
No, there'd probably be no diaolgue. Just CGI, exploding car mixing with shots of bikini clad women (it's suck but bring in the masses).

No, I have one line of dialogue on page 7. One of the bikini clad women yells "Help."
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

Haven't seen the examples you're referring to, but lots of white space in half-hour scripts, too (multi-cam comedies have dialogue double-spaced). As for pilots, not knowing what specific notes a studio will have for cuts vs. the network, they're often written a little fat.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtoomey View Post
I've been reading a lot of 1/2 hour show scripts which in reality are just 22 minutes of airtime. But many of these scripts are 35 pages. Shouldn't it be more in the ballpark of 25?
See this thread. Though it's about dramas, the advice is still good (especially mine ).

http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=49569

Oh, and get Ellen Sandler's book.

From the produced pilots I have, most range between 33-40 pages, except for 2.5 Men, which was 53! But caveat scriptor: these are scripts written by pros.

I'd aim for 30-35 pilot pages, no more.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

What Chakala said.

30 - 35 pages for a single camera sitcom script.

Sitcoms are talkier and less visual than features.

Go to http://tvwriting.googlepages.com/pocketrockets

for single camera, look at scripts from 30 Rock, Scrubs, Weeds, Entourage, My Name Is Earl etc.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chakala View Post
See this thread. Though it's about dramas, the advice is still good (especially mine ).

http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=49569

Oh, and get Ellen Sandler's book.

From the produced pilots I have, most range between 33-40 pages, except for 2.5 Men, which was 53! But caveat scriptor: these are scripts written by pros.

I'd aim for 30-35 pilot pages, no more.
2 1/2 Men is multi camera, so different script format.

Multi camera typically runs from 40 - 50 pages. Pilots may run longer because it takes more pages to describe the world of the show.

Single camera 30 -35.

Multi camera 40 - 50.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: 30 minute sitcom script length confusion

thanks all
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