Reformatting from left-justified

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  • #46
    Re: Reformatting from left-justified

    Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
    If yours HAS to be a movie (in your mind). I dunno, man, you may have to crowd fund it. You're gonna have an incredibly difficult time getting anyone in Hollywood to read it. That's just the reality of page count.
    This is probably what it boils down to. But I still wonder how did something like Brigands of Rattleborge get through if it's impossible?

    Anyway, true. This thread has served its purpose. 99% chance I'm going to just buy Fade In. It seems affordable, and I like it. I re-edited the whole script in there and was able to trim down 21 pages, mostly by slightly rewording things that allowed to delete lines.

    I may have one or two more questions, but I'll start new threads for those. I really appreciate it all, including the aesthetics chat. I imagine this is a starter course for how it's received when I send it out.

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    • #47
      Re: Reformatting from left-justified

      Originally posted by Merrick View Post

      I'm assuming that most screenwriters who go above 120 just don't know how to tell a tight story, but that's not my case here.
      why would you assume that about other writers when your first script is 170 pages? i'm just curious. anywho...

      what i would recommend is pay to have it covered by several different industry readers. they will give you an honest opinion on it's length and marketability. no one is going to make your film unless they can make money on it.

      also, you need to consider distribution and who is going to show your almost three hour film. in the time your movie takes to play they could have two films shown, both generating revenue.

      The Brigands of Rattleborge was 137 pages. it was the #1 spec on the 2006 Black List. it's been in development since, it looks like. was announced that Amazon picked it up with a new title "Brigands of Rattlecreek," in March of this year. it's been in development for 13 years. that's a long time.

      are you saying that the quality of your writing is the same as Craig Zahler, if so, props to you. he was repped, at the time, by United Talent, so he had an agent. that's how it got around.

      is your film a western as well?

      it's going to be difficult, if not impossible to get an agent interested in reading you because they work on a referral basis almost primarily and they want to work with someone who wants a career, so if you know someone who can refer you, great. that could be your way in.

      but, your film is a lot longer. from what i read BoR had 60 pages of character development and no plot. audiences just don't have that kind of attention span.

      anyway, good luck. who are you going to sed it to? are you going to solicit agents only or managers.
      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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      • #48
        Re: Reformatting from left-justified

        1. I'd love to know what your story is about at all. Logline? Did you write Dances with Wolves or a romantic comedy that spans 75 years?

        2. Are you sure you didn't write a novel at 170 pages? JK.

        3. If the program does all the work for you, why wouldn't you easily make the PDF in the right format. I'm very confused by this. I didn't read every word in this thread -- lot to catch up on.

        4. Clerks the script was 163 pages, movie was 93 minutes, but unless he made it himself people aren't going to read that as a spec.

        5. A few stories probably about longer scripts getting sold and read, but most of the longer scripts were ones that they intended to make themselves....

        6. If you send someone a script via PDF, they may love the first 10 pages, but back in the old days, the first thing they did was look how long it was by flipping. NOw you can see 1 out of 170 pages to go.... I always look before I read a script. So I'd say most would reject it just based on length alone. I was a reader and I don't recall 1 script over 120 pages I loved. I already hated it before I read one word. I frankly get mad at movies longer than 2 hours.

        7. First scripts are 99% terrible. All scripts in general are 95% terrible, so its only slightly worse. Ha.

        8. If your goal was to finish this for yourself, you've already won. And if you don't care at all about actually getting repped -- then I'm confused why you'd even try -- which makes me think you of course would love the script to do well -- which means you should go out with the 120 page version which is also 20 pages too long if it's a comedy or action movie or thriller.

        I aimed for 105 pages or shorter.

        9. We are all rooting for you, except Gucci that jerk!

        10. Gucci -- i was talking about another Gucci not you

        11. This post is too long, i should trim it

        12. Yes now QT could write a 300 page script and everyone would read it. But that's after establishing yourself. A newbie spec longer than 120 pages is hard as hell to get read in my eyes...

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        • #49
          Re: Reformatting from left-justified

          #9 - Ha!

          #10 - Haha!

          But, agreed. Why aim for reps if you refuse to follow general industry format guidelines? Any rep reading this thread would be thinking the D-word (difficult). I'm lost on that part.

          99.99% of reps in Hollywood will say "Bro... we gotta cut this, I can't send it out like this." Your best case scenario with a rep is this: "Dude... LOVED it! But it needs some work. Let's cut 20 pages." This is a game they're beginning to play with you, because... Boom! You work your ass off to cut 20 pages. Now it's 150. They reread. "Ok cool, it's getting there... let's cut 10 more pages." Now it's 140. "Yeah... like 10 more." etc...

          This will continue until it's at or under 120. That is, if you want to be repped and assuming they love the hell outta this and bothered to read it in the first place.

          Just know that a manager is gonna give you around 5-10 sets of notes before they're willing to put their reputation on the line for your script. I've never heard of a manager willing to send stuff out AS IS. That would kinda be a miracle.

          POINT: Bruh... just go make it!
          Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

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          • #50
            Re: Reformatting from left-justified

            Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
            why would you assume that about other writers when your first script is 170 pages? i'm just curious. anywho...
            Because of what I've read many script readers say on here and other forums / blogs. The post below yours even says they didn't like any long scripts past word 1 ...

            I am aware I could be totally delusional about all of this and could eat my words in the future.

            By the way, maybe I did not make it clear. I do intend to make this myself.

            It sounds like Hollywood and agents are not for me. It doesn't mean I won't try, but I'll have very low expectations.

            Comment


            • #51
              Re: Reformatting from left-justified

              Remember to save all this, it's going to make a great documentary, maybe as a DVD extra.

              When you make the movie, everyone you hire will be thinking, "170 pages? Is this for real? Are we being filmed for reality TV?" and doing shifty eyes at each other.
              Check out the results of the Valentine's Day short script contest in Writing Exercises forum

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
                Remember to save all this, it's going to make a great documentary, maybe as a DVD extra.
                Ha, ha!

                "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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                • #53
                  Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                  Make no mistake, I will buy that DVD.
                  Check out the results of the Valentine's Day short script contest in Writing Exercises forum

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                    No need to be rude. It's been made clear that probably the US studio system has no interest in such length spec scripts. But a good story can be told in such length.

                    I edited it below 170 btw. It's at 167 now, and I'm trying to be as ruthless as possible. There's no way it will hit 130.

                    165 maybe.

                    I wrote what I wanted to write. Not what others wanted me to write. Is it a crime? So what if the inciting incident doesn't happen on page 25? Or that it isn't a "hero's journey" structure. You may write those. And some of those films are good.

                    I'm willing to bet a lot of people have written 90-120 page scripts on this forum that haven't sold. So who cares if I broke limits? What if mine sells, would that be a bad thing?

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                    • #55
                      Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                      I'm pretty sure "dpat" was not trying to be rude. He was poking a little fun at all the people continuing to respond in the thread and it's length. That's all.

                      People are genuinely trying to help.

                      That said, points have been made by all. You've noted what you're going to do and hopefully you're all set.

                      Why don't we all move on from the topic and focus on some other threads for now? Then Merrick can update us down the line, as desired.

                      All the best with your film, M.
                      Will
                      Done Deal Pro
                      www.donedealpro.com

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                        Understandable, yes I'm good to move on. I'll definitely let you know if anything happens with it.

                        I really appreciate the supportive words from people. And a little bit of reality is appreciated too. I won't be deterred, but reasonable expectations are good to have.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                          Originally posted by Merrick View Post
                          Because of what I've read many script readers say on here and other forums / blogs. The post below yours even says they didn't like any long scripts past word 1 ...

                          I am aware I could be totally delusional about all of this and could eat my words in the future.

                          By the way, maybe I did not make it clear. I do intend to make this myself.

                          It sounds like Hollywood and agents are not for me. It doesn't mean I won't try, but I'll have very low expectations.
                          my mistake, i thought you were saying that you believe if others have long scripts they don't know what they're doing, so good to clarify.

                          look, we don't know if it's good or not. we're speculating and cautioning you, rather strongly at times, because we all have to adjust our writing based on expectations of the industry.

                          personally, my longest screenplay was 128 (sci-fi dystopian action thriller) and industry reviews said it was "slightly" too long due to a bit of overwriting.

                          now this is a sci-fi epic with ground up world building nearly the entire spec. everything was researched for a monetary system, political system, it's own slang, blah, blah, blah-- everything a society needs including infrastructure, culture, and it's actually two worlds. similar to our world, but still different, you know?

                          i'll get to my point. it started at 128, i had a manager at the time and i'm beginning to think now, that maybe he wasn't that good of a manager, because he never once asked me to trim.

                          i've been rewriting this script this week and my goals were, reduce the overwriting and better develop character relationships because yeah, it's hard to build strong emotional connections for an epic in 128 pages of an ensemble piece. so, i feel you.

                          sometimes distance and experience helps. this script received 8s on the black list and i say that, not to brag, but to let you know the quality of the writing. world building, action sequences, dialogue and description writing are my strengths. it is also a franchise piece.


                          128 - starting page count.
                          122 - reduced overwriting. 1/2 the way in first pass.
                          127 - add scenes and moments to increase character relationships and add clarity
                          121 - today after removing action and dialogue that was not absolutely necessary to moving the story forward including removing unnecessary scenes.
                          i'm on page 81 and will finish today. i fully expect the page count to clock in below 120 pages.

                          the story is the same. the primary action is the same. still has provocative imagery. still has my asides and my voice. but it is broken down to ONLY what moves the story forward.

                          so, sometimes distance helps your perspective. you may never get it down, without sacrificing your story. i don't know.

                          sincerely wishing you good fortune-- just keep an open mind about the responses you receive and take them to heart. no one wants to see you fail.

                          good luck.
                          FA4
                          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                            Originally posted by Merrick View Post

                            By the way, maybe I did not make it clear. I do intend to make this myself.
                            I was NOT clear on that at all. In my head, you were working a 9 to 5 job, always wanted to write and finally wrote your first script in WORD between working hours and now you wanted to know the basics of how to format, etc.

                            However, yes selling a longer spec is hard however when you give it to a manager or agent at least their jobs are to read scripts all the time. They will probably be the most forgiven of their time because they at least know they can change it from 170 to 120....

                            What I'm saying is, if I was an actor, money person, DP, any crew person, I'd be bummed out that the script I had to read was so long...

                            Now again if it reads like CLERKS which was 99% dialogue and play like it reads super fast. But if you wrote 170 pages and each action line is like a Paul thomas Anderson movie, then even if you aren't trying to sell it, it's going to be really really tough for others to see your vision on paper.

                            If I was you, I'd post first 10 pages or maybe PM some people on here -- get some reads from people that have been there (if they want to give it to you).

                            Just want a POV from someone outside your circle in my opinion.

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                            • #59
                              Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                              finalact - that is all totally understandable. I just spent the past week+ cutting it from what would've come into a script program at 220 pages and with careful editing of descriptions and re-editing once imported down to 165.

                              The story and scenes are 99% the same. I hacked out a few lines of dialogue and trimmed a couple scenes, that's it.

                              It is obviously easier to over-write descriptions in a word processor because I had no idea how they would look on a script page. Plus, a lot of action, I just blurted out to get the idea down and was much more precise about dialogue.

                              Bono - no, I run a company in another media field, so this is for all intents and purpose just a really intense hobby. I do not need to ever sell this script. I could light it on fire now and not let anyone read it, it really wouldn't matter.

                              I wrote it to do something I always wanted to do. Directing a feature is also something I always wanted to do, so hopefully I can fulfill that aspect too.

                              Maybe I will get some feedback from here when it's done and copyrighted. I feel confident in it, but it is very possible and okay if lots of people hate it.

                              As mentioned, I did a beta feedback round. One person hated it (I expected them to). Everyone else anywhere from enjoyed to loved it. The most positive reactions came from an actor, an editor, and a journalist.

                              I feel like I did a good job.

                              There are some hellishly long stretches of dialogue. And I simplified all the descriptions down to 3rd grade reading level.

                              I think it flows very quickly, save a few short scenes.

                              It's a very easy read imo.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                                Originally posted by Merrick View Post
                                Maybe I will get some feedback from here when it's done and copyrighted. I feel confident in it, but it is very possible and okay if lots of people hate it.
                                you don't "copyright" your work. you "register" your copyright. copyright protection grants coverage to the IP holder the minute it's in a fixed form. a song. a short story. an outline. a treatment. a screenplay. film. commercial. you name it.

                                it is already protected by copyright since you have an executed document. you don't even have to register it, and you are 100% protected by copyright laws. no one can steal it or infringe upon it.

                                so, it would be lovely if you posted pages. totally up to you.
                                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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