whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

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  • whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

    Pennypacker recently posted an article from the rouge wave about there being a recent trend of four acts and a shorter page count. It seemed like the general consensus of an absolute floor for page count with a structure that aims at 120 pages was around 85-90 pages, give or take, but if this new trend aims for 100 pages, what do you guys think the lowest page count one could get away with is?
    The end is too damn nigh.

  • #2
    Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

    Great question. I can only say a few months ago my reps told me not to go below 100.

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    • #3
      Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

      Okay, this is kinda stupid but makes sense to me.

      I try to make it 2 digits on my comedies rather than 3. If the script hits the desk at 114 and is being pushed as a comedy, I'm pretty certain they'll come back with "seems a little long".

      I win points immediately with the reader if it's 95 because they know it'll read fast and their job's easier. It's more a psychological thing than anything else, although I have heard what femme was saying about 100 being the new 110 or 120.

      I don't think I'd go below 90 though because then you're open to the "what's missing?" bit.

      Just my opinion though...

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      • #4
        Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

        Anything lower than 90 is certainly going to seem too thin to most.

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        • #5
          Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

          I'm pretty sure 85 minutes is still minimum length for a feature film according to the Academy and whoever else governs awards ceremonies. I would assume that is also the rule of thumb for prodcos and studios. I could be wrong though.
          For more of my thoughts on screenwriting, check out my blog.
          Jonny Atlas Writes!

          - Sic Semper Tyrannis.

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          • #6
            Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

            Originally posted by seh View Post
            Great question. I can only say a few months ago my reps told me not to go below 100.
            Haha, Julie writing not to go above 100, your rep's telling you not to go below....

            That's it, guys. Exactly 100 pages, every single time. There's the ticket.
            Sent from my iPhone. Because I'm better than you.

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            • #7
              Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

              I don't know, 100 pages feels kind of pat. You might want to pad it and cut some scenes out.

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              • #8
                Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

                twk - I would raise my eyebrows if a script were under 90 pages, honestly. Let me put it this way - in the handful of times I have read a script that was under 90 pages, the script felt bare bones.

                Re general page count, I just noticed the Pennypacker left off the last 3 pararaphs of my post on the Rouge Wave. And they are pretty important in light of the chorus of hearty disagreement on the earlier thread.

                ***

                ...It goes without saying that if your first act break happens on page 28 rather than page 25, you'll live. This is a guide and we don't need any OCD Wavers freaking out on a slight page number difference.

                But what this guide will do for you is force you to compress your story into its most elegant, efficient essence. Any writer can tell a story in 125 pages - but it takes a good writer to whittle that down to a sexy 105 page script.

                So out with the old, in with the new - try it, Wavers, and see if this new paradigm can help you take your scripts to the next level.


                ***

                I don't say that a script HAS to be 100 pages. To hew to that literally is nonsensical. Maybe I'm taking you too literally, Naud. Shorter scripts expected these days. I don't want to argue about it anymore but I stressed in the Rouge Wave that this is a GUIDE. Sheesh!

                Julie Gray



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                • #9
                  Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

                  It's not that you're taking what I said too literally, Femme. It's that you're taking it too seriously.

                  Was a joke.
                  Sent from my iPhone. Because I'm better than you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: whats the new consensus on bare minimum page count?

                    We are writers. There will never be a consensus.

                    But my friend's father opinion (bored with saying mine) is a script should be: 90 to 110 pages.

                    A comedy, I'd aim for 95 to 100 pages. A thriller probably good to be around the same page count too. Keep it moving.

                    Other genres, 110 or less.

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