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E.C. Henry

Will be interesting to see what Judd Apatow's new movies made at Universal end up clocking in at. He's in your wheelhouse now... Can't wait to see what "the Mernit touch" does. It's closely related to the Midas touch, right?

This pre-pro writer still has 120 pages as my scipt page goal.

Shorter is fine as long as key momments or funny set peices aren't left on the cutting floor. The goal is to create a fun, intesting piece of art -- not just to boast the movie came in under 90 minutes.

Billy, you gave us the punch-line, "It's 104 pages? Thank God." But not the set-up. Who's the joke on?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Hey Billy,
I've been saying/thinking this for years. "The Breakfast Club" is exactly 90 minutes. Now, consider it at 115 minutes - not a classic, but a bloated, if entertaining, diatribe....


I'm glad you posted this. From a strictly practical and self focused point of view, length is a problem for me. I use to watch a movie almost every night (on DVD) but found I was staying up way too late. I found myself looking at times on the DVDs and, while I know it is no way to decide on what to watch, I did find it affected my decisions.

I confess that when writing I have a tendency to over-explain, include too much background information and bore the daylights out of people as I do it. I once spent about five years working on a short story simply because I couldn't bring myself to delete a section - even though I knew, all along, that it it had to go.

I read an essay by, or interview with, Gabriel Garcia Marquez years ago where he said great writers are great not for what they've written but for what they haven't. In the context of the piece, he was referring to what was left out, dropped, as unnecessary.

Maybe scripts need a word or page limit. :-)


I so agree with this.

During my days as a ScriptReader, I'd just throw the ones over 130 pages out.

Who writes an epic as a spec?
Whoever you are, let's hope we never meet.

I definitely believe in the economy of story and usually come out around 95-100, but as studies have shown page numbers don't always equal screen time.

I guess a lot of it is in the hands of the director as you said. Of course, it's quicker to read 10 100 page scripts than 10 120 page scripts, but it's all about the director being economical in the footage he leaves.


EC: Funnily enough, the 144 down to 124 page script I mentioned is Apatow produced (thus, speaks for itself). As for the quote, it doesn't matter whose script it was - the point is, your readers love short.

Scribe: True that.

Bill: If only! Re: Marquez, it's so true. And the two pro movie editors I know attest to this in all their anecdotes - they (editor w/director) get their best cuts when stuff's been shot, put in... and then removed. The material around what's been cut then resonates wonderfully with what's been taken out.

J: I've met them, and they're just as boring as ever.

Christian: True, but why give a director more excess to be excessive with? LESS IS MORE.

free movie

This is so true post, when the movie focused on the plot without any extra long science the more this movie enjoyable and you are more in to it.

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