Today’s inquiry isn’t yes, really a concern at all, however rather one investigation into how many lines of type should fit on a traditional screenwriting page. If this may seem frivolous — a little like “How countless Angels have the right to Dance ~ above the Head the a Pin” — virtually every screenwriter has tweaked and also shuffled, nipped and tucked to get a draft a couple of pages shorter.

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

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I have actually a seemingly basic formatting question that i cannot uncover the answer to anywhere: How countless lines should fit ~ above a page?

I don’t asking for assist with the end trying to aid myself first, but believe me, this one has acquired me stumped. My research yields vastly various results and also even an interesting (disturbing?) modern trend. (I understand it’s a long read for an e-mail, yet I’ve done the research and I would really prefer your thoughts.)

I understand all about setup margins and screenwriting software, yet even complying with those suggestions, there shows up to it is in a huge discrepancy in the actual variety of lines per web page from manuscript to script. Here’s how I have actually counted lines per web page for functions of this research:

Open a screenplay increase to any type of page, begin at the an initial line the screenplay on that web page (a step heading, character name, dialogue, action; no white space or a web page number) and also count that as ONE. Then, count every line after that (including white space) every the way to the last heat of screenplay on that page (not consisting of bottom CONTINUEDs if the script has them). The number you end up v is what I call Screenplay Lines per Page.

I have actually checked dozens that screenwriting books and asked various experts that i can control to speak with. Not one book mentioned anything around the variety of lines that need to fit on a page. One producer said me that there must be 56 lines per page due to the fact that scripts are damaged down into 1/8th’s that a page, every 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 few pages to gain the general feel for the average lines per page. What I uncovered was interesting:

While i figured that page length would differ within a script, I uncovered that many scripts were pretty consistent, with couple of pages exterior plus/minus one off the average. (That is, a script that usually had 56 lines every page, would certainly mostly have pages v lengths indigenous 55-57 lines.)

Older scripts often tend to have more lines every page. A totally random sample: Apocalypse now has around 57 lines every page. Body Heat, also around 57. Aliens has many pages pushing 60. This synchronizes to the details from the producer. Fifty-six currently per web page seemed to be a an excellent number come shoot for.

However, more modern scripts have tendency to have fewer lines every page. One more random sample: Both huge Fish and Go look at to be in the 52-53 heat range. Bruce Almighty is about 52. Also Saving personal Ryan with its 162 pages and also four inch dialogue spare part falls about 52 lines per page.

Here’s the issue: The old 120 page mean has come to be the 120 web page maximum. The average now looking choose 110 pages, some sources even saying 100 pages isn’t as well short. But on peak of that, we seem to have actually “lost” about 4 or 5 lines every page. Those 5 lines account for practically 10 extr pages. So, in reality, a 110 web page script of today is really 20 pages shorter than a 120 page script that say, two decades ago.

Obviously, executives have chopped about 10 pages turn off the old 120 due to the fact that they don’t desire to read, want the movie to it is in cheaper (shorter), and want it come have more screenings every day (shorter). Yet have writers likewise cut another 10 pages (consciously or subconsciously) by reducing the number of lines per page?

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

With every the strictly rules top top formatting and the follow to the ‘one page equals one minute’ concept it appears that having actually a standard number of lines per web page would it is in a clear means to reinforce proper screenplay length. However, simply the opposite has arisen — nobody talks about lines per page. I realize that no one is going come toss out a script due to the fact that they notification (which they won’t) the the manuscript has about 56 currently per page rather 보다 52.

So, the inquiry remains: How many lines have to fit top top a page? Is over there a rule? If not, why does it seem that modern-day scripts have actually fewer lines than in the past? Something had to take place to lessen not just the web page count however the line count as well.

I only ask because I desire to acquire the most out of my pages while maintaining the format correct and in touch with modern trends. This is no little matter: there are 10 pages concealed in the difference between 56 lines per page and also 52 lines per page. Any kind of insight is appreciated.

–JeffLos Angeles

So what’s the genuine answer? Obviously, there isn’t any type of hard and also fast rule. I have the right to only market one an ext example:

Warner Bros. Is the just studio that still has a script processing department. I’ve never ever met the world who occupational there, but based on terrible experience I’ve had, mine mind’s eye sees them as four women in your 60’s that smoke, clock soaps, and also make fun of these dumb screenwriters and their high-fallutin’ words. True typists who mean 80 words every minute, lock clack far on vintage IBMs terminals with burnt-in amber monitors, thankful to everything union keeps lock employed despite complete irrelevance.

But ns digress.

When you’re hired to compose a manuscript for Warner’s, they send along their format guide. I dug mine out for Barbarella. According to it, there should be 60 lines per page. Right over that figure, however, they list the font together being prestige Pica or Courier (12 point, 10 pitch), which speak you automatically that they really haven’t readjusted for contemporary times. While allude sizes room still used, key is a vestige of typewriters.

See more: Computer Output Which Is Made Up Of Pictures, Sounds, And Video Is Called _____

Incidentally, also if you follow Warner Bros.’ formatting guidelines, they retype your manuscript anyway. This undermines any authority of Warner Bros.’ formatting guidelines: the script they create are without inquiry some that the ugliest and also least-readable screenplays I’ve read.