Screenwriting

From structure to content to representation to industry trends, this is the place to discuss, share content and offer tips and advice on the craft and business of screenwriting

Stefano Pavone
Anyone else find the 120-page limit restrictive?

Hey, guys.

Title says it all. Does anyone else find the unofficial 120-page limit restrictive when it comes to their scripts? Some stories cannot be told in simply 2 hours (a few Studio Ghibli films come to mind, which just slightly go over the 2-hour mark, and some Spaghetti Westerns and crime drama...

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Claudio Torres

Another angle:

Each page of a novel costs some additional paper to print. The cost difference between a 400 pages or 700 pages novel is marginal. But movies are different. Each page of your script cost...

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Stefano Pavone

My latest script was 131 pages initially, now it's 123. I don't think 3 extra pages are going to be that much of an issue.

Manuele Bonafede

Claudio: For my screenplay it will take at least 200 thousand pounds for page, between actors, places to shoot, costumes and etc ... and in any case and the synthesis of a trilogy written in 17 years...

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Cassandra Betancourt

I don't have trouble writing within the page limit. I do write horror and thriller and they usually come at 85-97. Maybe non-genre is harder to be under that 120?

Kiril Maksimoski

Haven't got a feature making up 90 let alone 120, 130 pages so far...like to keep the storyline clean and simple, less tirades, more action sequences...

Yet, I see most of the, say, blacklist script entries are all over 100 pgs...

Ronald Pergola
Curious/Hope I'm not breaking the rules.

If you’re a CREATIVE writer, why do YOU write?

For the money? It’s a job? Competitions? Hoping for the big break? You like to read what you write? You love when others read what you write and they tell you, they liked it?

When I first started writing, I read somewhere: “So, you want to be a screenwr...

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Cara Rogers

Reading this passage, it's obvious you're a skilled writer and have words of wisdom to share with the rest of us! Thank you for this. (FYI I write to try to "leave the audience better than I found them" because this world is tough!)

Doug Nelson

Why do I write? I don't know - It must be addictive. I've tried giving it up. I've shifted to teaching, Producing, Directing and Editing but I always go back to writing. It's a hard habit to kick.

Stefano Pavone

I don't know anything else. I can't remember wanting to be anything else other than a storyteller.

Abby Sandoitchi

Used to take notes while reading books, stuck with it, still filling up notebooks, but with/without all the other books, unless they're reference books, and those are keepers.

Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

Ronald:

I've always been creative; my first love was playing rock and roll and jazz in many different bands in Los Angeles. However, I decided I would write a great novel when I hit forty. Unfortunatel...

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Maeve ThunderChild
Help!!!!

I am DISTRAUGHT about a mess-up in my scheduled pitch today! PLEASE will Jason, James or someone call me & straighten this out!

Cara Rogers

Did you email writerhelp@stage32.com? That's supposed to be the source for pitching concerns. Hope everything is smoothed out for you, quickly.

Maeve ThunderChild

I did, Cara and am waiting to hear back. Thank you. I'm just upset this pitch that had to be rescheduled three times (all of which I got proper notice about) starting in early July had to be dismissed by the executive. I was so excited and looking forward to this.

Sam Sokolow
Great webinar for writers today

If you’re building your portfolio as a writer or looking to get the attention of an agent or manager for possible representation, Kelly Edwards is a terrific resource. Here is a link to her webinar today if you want to check it out: https://www.stage32.com/webinars/The-Ultimate-Writers-Guide-To-Sell...

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Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy
The little things make a difference

I recommend having a look at this article that discusses page architecture and creating an engaging read. 

https://www.screenwritingstaffing.com/post/page-architecture...

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PAGE ARCHITECTURE
PAGE ARCHITECTURE
The way the words are presented on the page are every bit as important as the economy of words used. This isn't about format - it's about creating an engaging read for the audience and that audience,…
Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

Rutger:

Guilty as charged. I'm an and abuser.

Rutger Oosterhoff

I'm not sure, Checking out a screenplay, sometimes it feels it works, and sometimes it feels it doesn't.

Maurice Vaughan

You're right, Rutger Oosterhoff. "sometimes it feels it works, and sometimes it feels it doesn't." I try to write action lines without "and" to save space, but sometimes using "and" makes the action l...

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Bob Johnson

Rutger, I use the least words possible, "And" is an early casualty.

Dan MaxXx

A famous name on the title page crushes all theorists. Eric Roth Woody Allen, Michael Mann scripts are huge blocks of text and yet, their sentences are easy to read and flow.

So I guess if your craft is not equal to peers, start playing with page formatting.

Andre HowardMitchell
Page One of Opening Scene

Page one of Opening Scene,

Doug Nelson

Andre - I've been in & around the film industry since the '60s and yes I have written episodes, and scripts that have gone on to production. I've taught screenwriting, still do some and I'm a paid rea...

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Christiane Lange

This useful article was posted in a couple of other threads: https://www.screenwritingstaffing.com/post/page-architecture

Your writer would do well to read it. Apart from the glaring grammar error in t...

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Erik Meyers

Maybe I'm naive, or too nice , but helpful criticism starts with what is good about what someone writes/posts, rather than a harsh list of that they hate or think sucks.

Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

Erik:

I have to disagree with your post. When I went to school, I was taught how to write a thesis statement and defend my argument or position. I also took a criminal law class where I learned how to...

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Doug Nelson

Erik (& friends) - the harsh reality is that commercial screenwriting is a business, and a very tough business too - very few make it to the top, and those that do grow very thick hides. It sounds to...

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Ronald McQueen
The Partner - tv Pilot

The Partner, a Platinum Award winner in the Spring 2022 WRPN.tv screenplay competition

Maurice Vaughan

Congrats on winning, Ronald McQueen.

Ronald McQueen

Thanks Maurice, much appreciated. Now to see if this leads anywhere.

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Ronald.

Doug Nelson

Ronald - nice going. Whether it leads anywhere - hold not thy breath. Go talk with CJ Wally @ Script Revolution in London.

Cherelynn Baker

Congratulations!

Zorrawa Jefferson
A major update on my screenwriting journey

Hello, everyone! This year has been a very interesting one for me. I took a two year break from writing screenplays and decided to just study the craft and try to understand why my screenplays never made sense and why my structure was always so bad. I have learned a lot. Including how to write stron...

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Doug Nelson

Nice to hear that. Looking forward to seeing you between the red velvet ropes soon.

Sabrina Miller

Given your commitment to the craft, it sounds like you're on your way to a "recommend." Wishing you all the best.

Kelly Hendrickse

Congratulations! Your drive and commitment is inspirational. Rooting for you and your success :)

Rosemond Perdue

awesome! it's tough to take a step back and see what is and isn't working. well done making changes to your way of working and getting results.

Jamaal Richards
A ..... Film

Hi guys. Not sure if this is the correct lounge for this question, but as you're my favourite people, I thought I'd start here. In film credits, when we see 'A ........ Film', what does that person have to have done to earn that credit? For example I've just finished a short with an amazing team. I...

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Jamaal Richards

lol Vincent Turner

Jamaal Richards

Thanks Maurice. I'll have a look at this now :)

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Jamaal Richards.

M LaVoie

The EP will often get "A______production" credit and the director will get "A film by_______" credit. I negotiated that into a directing agreement so I have the right to claim that. Whether I will or not all depends on how it turns out.

Jamaal Richards

Thanks all xxx

Geoff Hall
An Appeal to my Fellow Screenwriters

There is a strange phenomenon amongst screenwriter’s and their profiles on Stage 32, where there is no Bio written. I don’t know why, as presumably we are good with words!

We all have a story to tell and we’d love to know more about you in our community and to connect with you, but it’s difficult to...

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Erik Meyers

I assume these are bots or fake accounts.

Geoff Hall

Hi Erik, not always. A lot of the time they are real people.

Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

CJ: You are 100 percent correct.

I just spent two full days refining my pitch deck, rewriting my logline and synopsis, and creating a character description sheet, which was requested by my producer. I...

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Geoff Hall

Nice one, Phillip! Agreed, the supporting documents are invaluable.

Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

Geoff: Thanks!

Rosemond Perdue
Thomas Pemberton LAB

Hello to everyone taking part in Thomas' class today to Write Your Feature Screenplay in 12 weeks.

Here's the link so you can all stay connected throughout the class.

We learn so much together.

Here's an easy way to stay in touch.

Amanda Toney

Hi everyone - to avoid any confusion I just re-sent out the syllabus and questionnaires updated and I copied Thomas's email in the cc:, as well as included it on the syllabus.

Selma Karayalcin

Hello, I am from London England and live in North Cyprus. I loved hearing your stories last night and can't wait to hear how they develop. It is going to be quite a ride for all of us!

Richard "RB" Botto

Couldn't be in better hands with Thomas. As good as it gets.

Paul Rivers

Hello fellow writers,

I am enjoying Tom's Lab, his patience and notes are wonderful.

I am relieved to find a creative process to write/finish my first draft of a feature length script.

Listening to you...

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Manuele Bonafede

:)

Mariatou Saho
Festival Question

Hey, so when I am submitting a work for a festival, should I get it copyrighted first or not?

Manuele Bonafede

Hi Dan, your profile message is making me laugh .. I like the "fucking script" part hahahahhahah!

Maurice Vaughan

Yes, Mariatou Saho. Copyright your work before you submit it to festivals. Use the U.S. Copyright Office. https://www.copyright.gov/...

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Dane Johnson

Copyright is already in the film. But you should register it with the Copyright Office before submitting to festivals. Damages for any infringement that happens before registration cannot be recovered.

Doug Nelson

Not really, unless the paranoia keeps you awake all night.

Kiril Maksimoski

"Work" like a movie or script? Anyways, most festivals have disclaimers...Unless you have a "Usual Suspects" sequel script, I'd worry not...

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