Screenwriting : Film script better off as tv pilot by Nikki April Lee

Nikki April Lee

Film script better off as tv pilot

I recently wrote a 220-page script. I'm trying to get it cut down to the standard 120-pages but its been very hard. I got rid of 20 pages so far and having an even harder time trying to cut the other 80 pages.

Anyway, when I talked about it with my friend, he said that it sounds like it should be a tv series because it feels like the story has so much more to offer, more than just two hours of film. It's been spinning in my head and I wanted to know when would you determine if a story idea is better off a film or a tv series?

What do you think?

Jenna H

Does it have an end? Is there enough story to carry through 5 seasons? TV series can go on forever. I hate endings....so I only write TV. LOL

Anthony Moore

What is the main focus of the story? If you have 220 pages, who is the main character and what are they doing on screen for almost two hours? Does every scene advance the story? Do you have too many side stories? A movie usually has one main story and one or two sub-stories. With too many sub-stories and side characters, your script loses focus and may be better as a TV series. And any script reader will tell you as a general rule, if you haven't hooked them by the first 10 pages, then you've lost them for the rest.

Even if you turn it into a TV series, a pilot is only 1 hr (about 60 pages). Can you take your script, snatch out the first 60 pages and have a coherent first story? Would it introduce most of your characters? Hold the audience's interest? And give them something to look forward to for the next episode? Its you art but you have to look at things objectively and decide what does and doesn't work. Good luck.

Wal Friman

Stick to the plan. Your instinct first said movie for a reason.

Rob Gracie

I'm wondering if its something as simple as using too much description in your actions? Pacing should read like your watching the movie. I tend to add to much at first and start editing out less relevant scenes or words on the next draft, after the main story line is complete.

Nikki April Lee

Jenna H There is a satifying end to the script. It's a tragedy but the hero does get what she wants in the end. Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think there is enough to carry over multiple seasons. I mean, I haven't tore the story apart enough to figure through seasons.

Anthony Moore I suppose I could create a sub story, which would include one of my secondary characters who has things at stake as well. Also, I'm working on my first 10 pages. I realized that my story doesn't introduce everyone until like page 30. HaHa! The 20 pages I cut was literally my intro!

Laura Scheiner Well now your post really makes me believe that it is better off a film because my other character wouldn't really have a good enough story to stand alone. Everyone in the script is wrapped around the hero's story. It would be interesting to go deeper into my secondary characters and see if there is potential.

Wal Friman Thanks man! I saw it in my head as a film first. Its just when my friend said, this should be a series, it got my wheels turning with the "what if?"

Rob Gracie I actually saw that some of my dialogue scenes are too long. I have a couple of conversations that carry on 5 pages long! That would bore me to tears if I were watching it at the movies. I'm going to look into the lengths of both to see what I can cut short and to the point of the conversation or the description.

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