The old adage about movie script length was under 120 pages for a feature-length film. And while that is true, I believe that 90 pages in the new 120. Think about it like this. If your movie is 90 minutes long, it can screen one additional time per day. If the film is released in 400 theaters, that’s x 7 = 2800 more showings of your film per week.  2800 additional screenings means there is an increased chance to sell more tickets.

Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino can make 3 hour movies because they are established brands with massive box office track records. As a new or even working writer, you should think about increasing every aspect you can to get your movie made. Producers are looking for projects that will make money, so take every opportunity and write scripts that are 90 pages.

Will Producers Read Scripts Over 120 Pages

The answer is, will they read a script over 120 pages?  No. They will most likely not read it. The assumption will be that you are a novice and don’t know what you are doing. Sure, some in Hollywood will read your script over 120 pages, but you greatly reduce your chances of making the film.

Also, think about agents and managers. Both agents and managers are more likely to work with you if you respect the 120 page rule. The same thing applies to them as script readers and producers. You increase your odds of them reading your script if it’s closer to 90 pages.

The Most Important Page In Your Script

 

The most important page in the entire script is the first page. Producers, agents, managers, and experienced Hollywood professionals will read the first page. They are looking for reasons not to read it. They get hundreds of scripts every week and need a way to get through the never-ending pile of stories. The easiest thing to do is read the first page, looking for signs that it’s from a novice. They are looking for reasons not to read it to get on to the other 99 other scripts in the pile.  The first page needs to have no errors. It has to be written perfectly.  It’s safe to assume that if the first page is not great or average, everything that follows will worsen.

First Ten Pages

Everything about the first page applies to the first ten pages. In addition, you want to make sure the first ten pages of the story suck the reader into the story so they don’t put it down. The first ten pages need to be good enough that they keep reading. Just because you passed the page one criteria doesn’t mean they can’t scrap your story at page ten.

Why are 90 page scripts better?

The other thing you should think about is production cost. A movie that is 30 minutes longer will cost a lot more to film. For arguments sack, let’s say you want to sell your first movie script. You wrote a small-budget film. This would be a film that could be paid for $5 million dollars. Sure, there are plenty of 2-hour small-budget films, but it was tougher to produce. The production took extra days. Filming those extra 30 minutes costs extra money or they have to squeeze limited resources into more pages. The post-production is more complicated and will take longer.