How many scenes???

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  • How many scenes???

    I've been told that a typical screenplay has 40-60 "scenes". Is there a standard?

    What if you have an interior scene in a restaurant, and you want to show the counter, the kitchen, and a booth? Would you simply say:

    INT - RESTAURANT - DAY

    and then describe each of the above "locations" within this one scene, or...



    INT - RESTAURANT COUNTER - DAY

    action, blah blah blah


    KITCHEN

    blah blah blah


    BOOTH

    blah blah blah

    Would the 2nd choice be more accurate? And does that constitute 3 scenes?
    Writer / Director available for your project.

  • #2
    Re: How many scenes???

    Originally posted by geozero
    I've been told that a typical screenplay has 40-60 "scenes". Is there a standard?

    What if you have an interior scene in a restaurant, and you want to show the counter, the kitchen, and a booth? Would you simply say:

    INT - RESTAURANT - DAY

    and then describe each of the above "locations" within this one scene, or...



    INT - RESTAURANT COUNTER - DAY

    action, blah blah blah


    KITCHEN

    blah blah blah


    BOOTH

    blah blah blah

    Would the 2nd choice be more accurate? And does that constitute 3 scenes?
    I'm sorry for the confusion of this, but what is so important about each of these location inside the restuarant? Shouldn't it just be...

    INT - RESTAURANT COUNTER - DAY

    JACK sits at his booth when JILL arrives from the kitchen... blah, blah, blah...


    Explain to me why you need each scene described? Is something happening in each of these scene that require them to be set? Is there a person present that requires each of these settings?

    Just curious. My 2 cents.
    D. Alin
    http://alinproduction.blogspot.com Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Basically) [Skype me at "Buyitpc" - I will surely love to talk!]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How many scenes???

      it's just an average. put in all the scenes that're necessary to tell your story. some'll be 1/2 a page, others will be 3 or 4 (or more), but it'll average out to be about 2 pages per scene and roughly 50-60 scenes per 110 page script. that's not gospel, and you shouldn't read your script thinking "i've only written 40 scenes and everyone says it should be 50".

      read a bunch of scripts and if you really want count up all the scenes and see what the average is.
      Aiming for mediocrity and falling well short =)

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      • #4
        Re: How many scenes???

        There's not a standard number of scenes. Scenes average 2 pages, so that's why it's probably around 50 scenes to make around 100 pages. But some people write longer scenes, some write a whole lot of very short scenes.

        I would just say INT. RESTAURANT as long as it's all possible to see when you're in that room. For instance:

        Jill slumps in a booth. Jack stands at the counter placing his order. Behind the counter window, Humpty Dumpty flips burgers.

        If the kitchen is a whole separate room, not visible from the room with the counter, I'd give it its own slugline.

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        • #5
          Re: How many scenes???

          Hey Geozero-

          I agree with Joaneasley on this one. If you are thinking with this POV then it probably would work. Is that your question?

          Originally posted by Joaneasley
          There's not a standard number of scenes. Scenes average 2 pages, so that's why it's probably around 50 scenes to make around 100 pages. But some people write longer scenes, some write a whole lot of very short scenes.

          I would just say INT. RESTAURANT as long as it's all possible to see when you're in that room. For instance:

          Jill slumps in a booth. Jack stands at the counter placing his order. Behind the counter window, Humpty Dumpty flips burgers.

          If the kitchen is a whole separate room, not visible from the room with the counter, I'd give it its own slugline.
          D. Alin
          http://alinproduction.blogspot.com Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Basically) [Skype me at "Buyitpc" - I will surely love to talk!]

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How many scenes???

            Hmmm.

            At the counter the Main Character speaks with the "love interest", while then he moves to the back booth to talk to another character. Should I describe these scenes separately? I ask, because I do see this being done in other scripts that I read. But that would make for 70+ scenes at that rate.

            What if something happens that is not the POV of the main character? Should that be a separate scene. In terms of how it would be filmed I would think it is. For example, while Main Character and Love INterest talk at the counter, at the far end of the restaurant another character is loading shot gun shells into a sawed off shotgun. What if I want this filmed where the other characters don't see this. Create tension. Audience sees this psycho, while the rest of the people are oblivous.

            So would I:

            INT - RESTAURANT COUNTER - DAY

            blah

            BACK BOOTH

            Psycho loads shot gun, blah blah blah

            COUNTER

            still talking...when BANG! Psycho starts shooting, etc.

            Does the breaking up of the scenes allow a better "visual" flow?
            Writer / Director available for your project.

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            • #7
              Re: How many scenes???

              sounds good, geo. You're directing without directing.
              " Life is high school with money. " Frank Zappa

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              • #8
                Re: How many scenes???

                Your choice is certainly your own. It has been done differently as you have read, I'm sure. I particularly like the scene in PULP FICTION. Not because of the dialogue as it is praised all the time, but the characters didn't even seem like the type. As opposed to XXX, when Diesel meets Jackson in the restaurant. It was seen through Diesel and the gunman was inconspicuos, but when it was revealed it felt like, "Ehhh..." You know what I mean?
                And about the whole short scenes, I think you only have those one line descriptions o create an establishing shot. If there are more details to the scene, write it out.

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                • #9
                  Re: How many scenes???

                  Don't mistake a scene with a slugline.

                  A scene is one where it's got its own mini acts. It raises conflicts, has twists, leads to the next scene.

                  I might have 30 to 50 scenes in a script. But I probably have at least 150 sluglines.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How many scenes???

                    Originally posted by Hamboogul
                    Don't mistake a scene with a slugline.

                    A scene is one where it's got its own mini acts. It raises conflicts, has twists, leads to the next scene.

                    I might have 30 to 50 scenes in a script. But I probably have at least 150 sluglines.
                    My bad. Thanks everyone for advice.

                    The problem I had was with Movie Magic's way of calling "shots". I've redone the extra "scenes" as shots. Really helped my screenplay read faster, and is tighter. And guess what? I now have less "scenes".

                    You folks are awesome!!!
                    Writer / Director available for your project.

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