There’s a golden rule to writing movies for me; ONE PAGE EQUALS ONE MINUTE. Off-course, I’m not talking about one page of Chimamanda’s Half of A Yellow Sun novel equaling one minute. That’s crap. Does that mean that if i wrote movie script, the 543 pages becomes 543 minutes? Nah. Who wants to sit and watch a 9-hour movie? Not me. I’m talking about one page of FORMATTED screenplay equaling one minute.
Same with dramas, which, unfortunately, have an unfairly conservative page count. Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel (64-75pages) would need some fleshing out if I were to write it.
Certainly, it can’t be acted out as a movie the way it’s done on stage, filming is quite different, and requires much more. It is important to take note of this fact always.
So here’s the deal, you, as the screenwriter, ideally do about 120 pages of that 543 or 64-75pages, so that the book can be seen in 120 minutes (2 hours) of your script. This is also why all those beautiful movies we watch have a perfect timing. Did you ever wonder?
I’d like to point out here that there’s more to this, but this is just about all you need to know if you’re just a movie watcher, and not a screenwriter.
Featuring in this post is a sample of FORMATTED script I collected. This script should run into about 120 pages (more or less). Notice how this movie script is on the 102nd page (minute); clearly coming to an end.
More details on script formatting can be seen in other posts HERE.
Isedehi Aigbogun, also known as ISD, is a staunch academic, holding a B.A., M.A., and PhD (in view) in English Language.
She’s a Screenwriter, Screenplay Analyst, Consultant, and Film Scriptic.