Here we go again . . . How long is too short?



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  • Here we go again . . . How long is too short?

    The comedy screenplay is going pretty well. I got it outlined, and have been steadily writing scenes, and now I'm up to page 75.

    I've been trying to write lean and mean, eliminating the extraneous, to keep the story moving.

    But now I am afflicted with doubt . . . when I get this sucker finished, it will clock in at about 100 pages or thereabouts.

    Is this too short for a comedy screenplay?

  • #2


    • #3
      100 pages is just fine. less than ninety five would raise eyebrows - less than ninety might indicate that certain beats are probably missing.


      • #4
        I'm not going to say there is any correlation, but the copy of the script I read for Dumb and Dumberer only goes to 81 pages.


        • #5
          i wonder if dumb and dumber was a spec script or if the idea was already sold.

          if it's already sold you can write it shorter, knowing how certain scenes will play out and how the movie will be made.

          that's a terrible explanation, but, you know what i mean, i hope :\


          • #6
            100 is on the verge of too long for most comedies.


            • #7
              I've seen many comedies that went over an hour and a half, and I just lost interest at that point. Same goes for most horror films.


              • #8
                105 pages is probably pushing a comedy nowadays. don't quote me but i think high 90s won't make people think you might be missing beats.

                beats are completely different in comedies. you can totally play something out to the bitter end in comedy and that doesn't translate to page counts. gags and storyline are different. comedey is basically the only genre that allows unrelated scenes to be in a movie if it's funny.

                basically what i'm saying is that adlibbing allows for the script to take on a small version of itself.



                • #9
                  try not to fall below 100, I'm thinkin'. I write shorter screenplays myself, but wouldn't feel good turning in anything under 100. Feels short, to me.

                  Just my opine.


                  • #10
                    Comedies are shorter, between 90-105 in many cases


                    • #11
                      Re: Here we go again...How long is too short?

                      How about dark humor, social the vein of Woody Allen and Mel Brooks? Or in the spirit of novelists Vonnegut, Grass, and Calvino? Any suitable page range?


                      • #12
                        Re: Here we go again...How long is too short?

                        Definitely 300 pages. Definitely.



                        • #13
                          Social Satire page range

                          I meant acceptable range. Acceptable by the studios.


                          • #14

                            stop worrying about the length of your comedy. size doesn't matter



                            • #15
                              Sure it matters. Everything matters -- some stuff more than other stuff, of course.

                              The objective I am pursuing is to generate a screenplay that hits every target -- first, a good story; second, wide commercial appeal; third , not unduly expensive to film; fourth, well written with an absolute minimum of grammar flubs; fifth, proper length; etc. etc.

                              Success is a damned elusive target. I'm just trying to make sure I'm going after it with a full ammo clip.