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    I just finished trimming my newest and my count is at 127. The story is a cyber-thriller and much of the material is expository so the audience can understand what the heck is going on. If I start cutting more, I'm afraid I may lose that connection with the reader as it is about a master computer hacker who works "off the books" for Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Response Team. He discovers a computer worm inside a video game that is designed to shut down the oil pipelines inside the the U.S. and tries to stop it.

    So, should I leave at 127 or try and get it down further?

    Thanks.
    We gain our innocence by taking yours.

  • #2
    Re: Page count.

    My script is 143 pages and i'm not cutting jack unless I get paid too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Page count.

      I'm not sure seven pages over 'the norm' is that bad. Then again, seven pages feels like a small enough number to cut without too much pain. Your call.

      Originally posted by AE35-Unit View Post
      If I start cutting more, I'm afraid I may lose that connection with the reader as it is about a master computer hacker who works "off the books" for Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Response Team. He discovers a computer worm inside a video game that is designed to shut down the oil pipelines inside the the U.S. and tries to stop it.
      I don't get that it's self-evident from that synopsis why it has to be 127 pages? I mean if it was about the D-Day landings, told from a dozen participants' POV then maybe; if it was Game of Thrones, fine. But from your description I think cool cyber thriller - Hackers, Bourne, MI movies - not sure I'd expect it to be massively long. But then Dragon Tattoo is about 150 so...
      My stuff

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Page count.

        This one is a bit different because we're dealing with everything being aimed at the inner workings of how the injection of a worm could be used as a terrorist attack - told from computer geek characters on both sides of the law. Makes for a complicated scenario but I think I've handled it pretty well with a balance of humor - the protag is a very crude man but lovable at the same time and wins in the end.

        Thanks for the advice. I'll probably keep it here for a while. Still making a few changes in dialog inflection.
        We gain our innocence by taking yours.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Page count.

          Originally posted by AE35-Unit View Post
          I just finished trimming my newest and my count is at 127. The story is a cyber-thriller and much of the material is expository so the audience can understand what the heck is going on. If I start cutting more, I'm afraid I may lose that connection with the reader as it is about a master computer hacker who works "off the books" for Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Response Team. He discovers a computer worm inside a video game that is designed to shut down the oil pipelines inside the the U.S. and tries to stop it.

          So, should I leave at 127 or try and get it down further?

          Thanks.
          Yes.

          You should cut it down, a lot-- that's my opinion.

          The new norm is more generally 105 pages and some are pushing into the low 90s. I think under 110 is good.

          Sorry, I know it's tough-- but learning to economize through writing is an excellent skill to hone.

          FA4

          Post Edit: Admittedly, my estimate appears to be on the low side considering the feedback from the community.
          Last edited by finalact4; 02-03-2013, 08:02 AM.
          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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          • #6
            Re: Page count.

            Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
            The new norm is more generally 105 pages and some are pushing into the low 90s. I think under 110 is good.
            I never heard of this "new" norm. And I disagree with it. the OP could probably cut more and still have a viable story but to cut just to cut is another thing.

            to OP: some consultants said they see alot of things to cut in amateur script even when they screenwriters themselves said they couldn't find anything to cut. So I suggest letting a few of your buddies read the script and ask them if there was something that is unneeded or hire a consultant like scriptgal or screenmechanic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Page count.

              Andrew is reading it on the 21st.
              We gain our innocence by taking yours.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Page count.

                Originally posted by TBEagle View Post
                I never heard of this "new" norm. And I disagree with it. the OP could probably cut more and still have a viable story but to cut just to cut is another thing.

                to OP: some consultants said they see alot of things to cut in amateur script even when they screenwriters themselves said they could find anything to cut. So I suggest letting a few of your buddies read the script and ask them if there was something that is unneeded or hire a consultant like scriptgal or screenmechanic
                These are the page counts for the 2012 Black List
                127,108,104,104,113,98,112,89,110,108,106,124,115, 116,107,109,118,111,114,115,104,116,97,124,96,113, 111,101,108,122,102,129,102,104,108,112,114,119,95 ,115,127,120,107,118,95,120,115,109,108,103,115,11 0,118,118,116,118,129,128,115,108,109,100,105,102, 121,112,113,114,125,108,117,132,119,126,97,114,116 ,107

                12 scripts over 120 pages
                19 scripts between 115-120 pages
                46 scripts under 115 pages
                32 scripts under 110 pages

                65% are under 115 pages
                41% are under 110 pages

                Numbers don't lie.

                FA4

                Caveat: I understand that this isn't all the scripts circulating in the industry; it's a good example, though.
                Last edited by finalact4; 01-31-2013, 05:16 PM.
                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Page count.

                  Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                  These are the page counts for the 2012 Black List
                  127,108,104,104,113,98,112,89,110,108,106,124,115, 116,107,109,118,111,114,115,104,116,97,124,96,113, 111,101,108,122,102,129,102,104,108,112,114,119,95 ,115,127,120,107,118,95,120,115,109,108,103,115,11 0,118,118,116,118,129,128,115,108,109,100,105,102, 121,112,113,114,125,108,117,132,119,126,97,114,116 ,107

                  12 scripts over 120 pages
                  19 scripts between 115-120 pages
                  46 scripts under 115 pages
                  32 scripts under 110 pages

                  65% are under 115 pages
                  41% are under 110 pages

                  Numbers don't lie.

                  FA4

                  Caveat: I understand that this isn't all the scripts circulating in the industry; it's a good example, though.
                  That absolutely proves nothing at all and is a horrible example. Just because a script is under 120 pages doesn't mean it was written under that just for page count sakes. It was because that's how far the story had to go before it was finished.
                  In fact my very first script was 120 pages, I didn't need anymore or any less because that's all the pages the story needed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Page count.

                    Dudes I didn't mean to start an argument. Anybody want to read a few pages?
                    We gain our innocence by taking yours.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Page count.

                      Originally posted by AE35-Unit View Post
                      Dudes I didn't mean to start an argument. Anybody want to read a few pages?
                      No arguments, seriously , I've never read your story, so you have to take that into consideration, but generally speaking I stand by my opinion.

                      My suggestion is that you subjectively look at where you can reduce... and take a whack at it, be honest, be brutal-- it's actually a great feeling when you do it.

                      Good luck,
                      FA4

                      I would also say, that your story probably doesn't need as much of the exposition as you think. What you have to achieve early in the story "is suspension of disbelief." We don't have to become experts to understand the technology, you simply have to give us enough so that we believe it could happen.

                      Look at the recent film "Looper" Rian doesn't really get into how the technology works at all, but he dramatized the story with just enough that we accept it. (okay, some didn't, but I loved the film).

                      And I completely agree with jpcdoc, it doesn't mean you lose any beats or scenes.
                      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Page count.

                        Cutting doesn't have to mean eliminating any scenes or beats or moments. I get that a tech-heavy script might require more narrative description, and I agree that the new norm is in the low 100s, but a terrific script can be as long as it needs to be.

                        That said, it's possible to cut several pages from a script by noodling with the description, and even the dialogue, without changing any of the beats. I think 127 is totally fine and acceptable... if every extra word has been eliminated. The page count might make a reader wonder about this as they read the first few pages, but if the story is riveting, they will quickly forget about the page numbers and dive into what they're reading.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Page count.

                          Originally posted by TBEagle View Post
                          My script is 143 pages and i'm not cutting jack unless I get paid too.
                          Good luck getting read.
                          Introduce a little anarchy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Page count.

                            Originally posted by BurningWorld View Post
                            Good luck getting read.
                            thanks, that's why i'm going to try to go through the recommendation route or blklst.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Page count.

                              Speaking as someone who used to read screenplays for a production company, I can say that, at least to me, page count matters.

                              At first.

                              It's one of the first places I would go. Because I had a lot of screenplays to read. Seeing anything over 120 immediately sent me looking for something else to read.

                              Eventually I had to read everything that was dropped on my desk, so in that respect, it wouldn't matter if it was 150 pages. I had to read it.

                              But you have to remember, the reader is going to give a recommendation. You want them going into your screenplay feeling positive.

                              Once the initial grumpiness wore off, if I started reading a screenplay and I loved it -- then I was hoping it would never end. This happened once. The movie ended being made and a great screenplay became a so/so movie. I learned a lot watching that happen.

                              If you have a 127 page screenplay I would say create 2 versions. The 105 page version and the 127 page version. And see which fares better. It can't hurt. It's your screenplay. You can make as many versions of it as you'd like. I bet the 105 page version wins out.

                              Good luck!

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