Today’s inquiry isn’t yes, really a concern at all, however rather one investigation right into how numerous lines of form should right on a standard screenwriting page. While this might seem frivolous — a tiny like “How numerous Angels deserve to Dance ~ above the Head the a Pin” — virtually every screenwriter has tweaked and also shuffled, nipped and tucked to acquire a breeze a few pages shorter.

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Lines-per-page translates into lines-per-script, i beg your pardon is may be a much better metric than page count for exactly how long a manuscript “really” is. So i applaud Jeff make the efforts to number it out.

I have a seemingly straightforward formatting question that ns cannot discover the answer come anywhere: How countless lines must fit on a page?

I don’t asking for aid with the end trying to aid myself first, but believe me, this one has gained me stumped. My research study yields vastly different results and even an interesting (disturbing?) contemporary trend. (I understand it’s a lengthy read because that an e-mail, however I’ve excellent the research and I would really choose your thoughts.)

I understand all about setting margins and screenwriting software, yet even following those suggestions, there appears to be a large discrepancy in the actual number of lines per web page from script to script. Here’s exactly how I have counted lines per page for functions of this research:

Open a screenplay increase to any type of page, start at the very first line that screenplay ~ above that web page (a step heading, personality name, dialogue, action; no white space or a web page number) and also count that together ONE. Then, count every line after the (including white space) all the method to the last line of screenplay ~ above that page (not including bottom CONTINUEDs if the script has them). The number you end up through is what I speak to Screenplay Lines per Page.

I have actually checked dozens that screenwriting books and also asked various professionals that ns can control to speak with. No one publication mentioned anything about the number of lines that need to fit on a page. One producer said me the there should be 56 lines per page since scripts are damaged down right into 1/8th’s that a page, each 1/8th being 7 lines long. Eight times 7 is fifty-six. Sound logical.

So I checked scripts. While ns didn’t count every page of a screenplay, ns sampled a couple of pages to get the general feel because that the median lines per page. What I uncovered was interesting:

While i figured the page length would vary within a script, I found that most scripts were pretty consistent, with few pages external plus/minus one turn off the average. (That is, a script that usually had actually 56 lines every page, would certainly mostly have pages with lengths from 55-57 lines.)

Older scripts often tend to have an ext lines per page. A completely random sample: Apocalypse currently has about 57 lines every page. Body Heat, also about 57. Aliens has countless pages pushing 60. This coincides to the details from the producer. Fifty-six present per page seemed to it is in a great number to shoot for.

However, more modern scripts tend to have actually fewer lines every page. One more random sample: Both huge Fish and Go watch to be in the 52-53 heat range. Bruce Almighty is about 52. Even Saving private Ryan v its 162 pages and also four customs dialogue spare falls around 52 lines per page.

Here’s the issue: The old 120 page median has become the 120 web page maximum. The average now looking prefer 110 pages, some sources even saying 100 pages isn’t also short. Yet on optimal of that, us seem to have actually “lost” about 4 or 5 lines every page. Those 5 lines account for almost 10 extr pages. So, in reality, a 110 web page script of today is really 20 pages much shorter than a 120 web page script of say, twenty years ago.

Obviously, executives have actually chopped around 10 pages turn off the old 120 because they don’t desire to read, desire the movie to be cheaper (shorter), and want it to have much more screenings per day (shorter). But have writers likewise cut an additional 10 pages (consciously or subconsciously) by to reduce the number of lines per page?

As a side note, doesn’t this say something around the old one minute per page rule? If friend really desire to mess with that, look in ~ Schindler’s List: 155 pages, a just 41 lines per page, and also a operation time the 194 minutes!

With all the strict rules on formatting and also the follow to the ‘one page equates to one minute’ concept it appears that having a standard number of lines per web page would be a clear way to reinforce appropriate screenplay length. However, simply the opposite has emerged — no one talks around lines every page. Ns realize that no one is going to toss the end a script because they notice (which they won’t) the the manuscript has around 56 lines per page rather than 52.

So, the concern remains: How countless lines must fit ~ above a page? Is there a rule? If not, why does the seem that contemporary scripts have fewer lines 보다 in the past? Something had to happen to to decrease not simply the web page count yet the heat count together well.

I only ask since I want to get the many out of my pages while maintaining the format correct and also in touch with contemporary trends. This is no small matter: there space 10 pages covert in the difference in between 56 lines every page and 52 lines every page. Any insight is appreciated.

–JeffLos Angeles

So what’s the real answer? Obviously, there isn’t any kind of hard and also fast rule. I can only sell one much more example:

Warner Bros. Is the just studio the still has actually a script handling department. I’ve never ever met the people who work there, but based upon terrible experiences I’ve had, my mind’s eye sees castle as 4 women in their 60’s who smoke, watch soaps, and make funny of this dumb screenwriters and also their high-fallutin’ words. True typists who median 80 words every minute, they clack far on vintage IBMs terminals with burnt-in amber monitors, thankful to every little thing union keeps them employed despite finish irrelevance.

But ns digress.

When you’re rental to write a manuscript for Warner’s, they send along their layout guide. Ns dug mine the end for Barbarella. Follow to it, there have to be 60 lines per page. Right above that figure, however, they list the font together being prestige Pica or Courier (12 point, 10 pitch), which speak you instantly that they yes, really haven’t changed for modern times. While suggest sizes room still used, pitch is a vestige that typewriters.

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Incidentally, even if you monitor Warner Bros.’ formatting guidelines, they retype your script anyway. This undermines any kind of authority of Warner Bros.’ formatting guidelines: the scripts they produce are without inquiry some the the ugliest and least-readable screenplays I’ve read.