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#1 Jorge Espinosa

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:26 PM

Hello guys,

How many scenes would normally make a full length script? Is there an average?

Thanks. Enjoy the hollidays.
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#2 Jim Keller

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 06:29 PM

It very much depends on the genre. In a genre where you want to create a sense of fast-moving action, two-page scenes are very typical , often shorter. A slower-paced family drama, scenes might run 5-6 pages on average (noting that to keep the flow from feeling monotonous, you would need to insert a lot of variety). I was once loosely affiliated with an independent feature that only had four scenes in its 118 pages.

I'd suggest sitting down and timing scenes in several films you think work well (generally 1 page = 1 minute) and seeing how the structure affects the storytelling.
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 12:28 AM

An average might be possible statistically. But, I haven't run across that, yet. I'd throw out a guess at somewhere around three minutes (average speaking) per scene with 30 scenes in a 90 minute feature. That's about what I end up with in my scripts. Some scenes go short while some go long. But, I usually end up with somewhere around a three minute average.
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 07:29 AM

I think this depends on what you're defining as a scene. In a film script a scene is a place and a time and there are no set rules, it can be 3 pages long or a single shot and the function is to move the story forward.
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#5 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 12:58 PM

How many scenes would normally make a full length script? Is there an average?

As many as it takes to tell the story - no more, no less.

Of course there is an average, just like there is an average height for a human being. But in both cases trying to apply the average to an individual is pretty meaningless.

--
Jim
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#6 Steve McBride

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 01:55 PM

The number of scenes completely relies on the story and it's locations and elements. A better way to look at a number for scripts is to do page length. In general feature scripts run between 85-130 pages. Shorts run anywhere below that really (5-25 is where you'd want to keep it for a short, you don't want it going too long).

Within the script you have your scenes which can be one three-line action block long before a new scene introduced, or it can go on for upwards of 5 pages (which will happen often in dialogue sections). But the actual number of scenes that go into a script, again is completely dependent on the story and it's locations as well as the length of the script its self.
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#7 Jorge Espinosa

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 02:33 AM

Thanks guys, much appreciated.

Happy New Year.
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#8 Paul Bruening

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 10:54 AM

Hello Jorge,

May I ask, are you asking your question from a producer's perspective or a writer's perspective?
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#9 Jorge Espinosa

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:32 AM

Writer´s perspective

My treatment is already including 35 scenes and the whole third act is missing. I'm guessing the script is going to be about 120 - 130 pages long and some scenes might be 1 1/2 - 3 pages long. From what you said, I'm within the average.

I really appreciate your replies.
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#10 Paul Bruening

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:57 PM

Writer´s perspective

My treatment is already including 35 scenes and the whole third act is missing. I'm guessing the script is going to be about 120 - 130 pages long and some scenes might be 1 1/2 - 3 pages long. From what you said, I'm within the average.

I really appreciate your replies.


This might be useful:

I call scenes that are one page or less, "plot bricks". A scene that short can't stand on its own very well so is usually used to add something necessary to the general plot development. An "invested scene" is a scene that can explore some of its own meaning with or without supporting the main plot. An invested scene will run in the neighborhood of three pages. Ironically, it may be the runtime of pop music that sets the practical length of an invested scene. Three minutes seems to be the average attention span of a modern human being. A "fully invested scene" runs about five pages or so. That's enough room for any basic topic to be talked-out as fully as a movie dares. An "over-invested scene" runs eight to infinity pages. That's when you're ready and willing to take your viewer on a deep ride into any topic or dynamic. Over-invested scenes are common in live theater but comparatively rare in movies. "Multi-invested scenes" are long scenes that break the subject matter up to make the scene more edible. That's a common trick in live theater, as well.
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#11 Jorge Espinosa

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:21 AM

That's very, very helpful, Paul. I really appreciate it.
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

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CineTape

Opal