Screenwriting : The 110 page screenplay standard by Joseph Rhea

Joseph Rhea

The 110 page screenplay standard

As a writer who is more than a little OCD, I have absolutely no problem stretching our shrinking my feature screenplays to exactly fit the "not required but still expected" 110 page spec script standard. I also find it rather amusing that the currently available Dune Part 1 screenplay is exactly 110 pages while the movie itself is a beefy 2 hours and 35 minutes (which should equal about 155 pages at a page per minute.) Do you suppose the Dune script length is just a coincidence or a diabolical plan to make us all conform to 110 pages?

Maurice Vaughan

I've never heard of the "not required but still expected" 110 page spec script standard, Joseph Rhea. Most producers and directors I know and pitch to want short feature scripts. Like 90-99 pages. Especially with Horror.

Joseph Rhea

From scriptgenius: ...the days of turning in 120-page scripts are over. Screenplays are getting leaner and leaner. No executive or script reader today wants to take home a read that is over 110 pages. A script that runs long is dangerous, especially coming from a spec writer.

I've read posts like this all over the place saying that no one wants to read a spec script over 110 pages. Also most beat sheet templates I've seen are all set to 110 pages, Maybe it's just a weird suggestion for "new people" and more experienced writers like you don't have to bother with those silly things.

Secondary to this I still find it amusing that a 2 hour and 35 minute movie has a 110 page screenplay. Further proof that the page-per-minute is just a very rough estimate.

Michael David

The 110 page target is another canard from Save the Cat. Script length differs depending on genre. Don't take my word for it; see for yourself. You won't find a horror movie above 95 pages (usually less), you won't find a popcorn action movie below 120.

Christopher Phillips

Back in 80’s, the top 10 grossing movies averaged 110 minutes. By the 2000s, the average was 126 minutes. Now, it’s close to 131 pages. Obviously, this will vary by genre.

Pat Alexander

It's surely diabolical. i think you're onto something Joseph Rhea

Craig D Griffiths

Yep a coincidence. I have heard people obsessing sub 100 more these days.

Matthew Kelcourse

Hi Joseph Rhea - my own writings range from 85 to 120 pages and I look at it this way: if you write an engaging page-turner, in whatever genre it falls, the page count matters less than the story. I do, however, make an effort to keep it under 120 and remove any and all excess side bars/characters that do not propel the story forward.

I believe it was Aaron Sorkin who said his first draft of A Few Good Men was almost 300 pages long and he got it down to 200. Then again, Aaron Sorkin, right? :-)

Dan MaxXx

Let's not use dune as a comp. That is its own thing, with its own committee and inner- corporate politics

M LaVoie

A Quiet Place was 83 pages. No dialogue. Clueless was 120 pages. All dialogue. A ton of which was actually terrible and wisely edited out. Genre plays a role here.

Christopher Phillips

Some horror runtimes: Sinister 110 minutes. Skinamarink 100 minutes. The Descent 100 minutes. The Ring 110 minutes. The Night House 110 minutes. Hereditary 127 minutes. Get Out 104 minutes.

Figure 5-10 minutes for credits.

Scott Sawitz

M LaVoie The draft of A Quiet Place that got bought first wasn't even anywhere near that long, too... it was like 50ish, I think.

Niki H

I love the thought of it being a diabolical plan. Some directors can take a 110-page script and make it 90 minutes and some can make it 3 hours. Those are outliers of course but a standard allows for other creative play and decisions later.

Dan Guardino

Mine usually go between 85-105.

Rick Sabino

Interesting comment on the so-called 'short' screenplay at 55 pages. Is this true?

Joseph Rhea

Related to this discussion, the reason I abandoned the original (completed) version my current screenplay is because my editor correctly identified a problem that I was cutting the final act too abruptly for the pace I had established, and I didn't want to add 10-20 more pages to correct that (it was exactly 110 pages). In my case, it was for the better, because I realized that I could cut Act 3 in its entirety and end the story earlier, which gave me plenty of space to beef up the character interactions and still have a dramatic ending. My new screenplay is now finished and, yes, it is just under 110 pages. P.s. I saved that original ending for a sequel, because I hate wasting words

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