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Reformatted your script to get the page length down

I got this question recently:

“My script is around 125 pages. Should I adjust the margins in Final Draft so that I get the length down to a more manageable 110 pages?”

I highly advise that you not mess with the default margins in Final Draft (or any other script writing program). People who read scripts for a living see dozens of scripts every day, hundreds per week, and thousands per year and will notice strange anomalies like wider dialogue or increased page margins. Theses sorts of grade school tricks will get your script labeled as amateurish.

Most importantly though, it won’t be the aesthetics of the new format that will trip up the readers it will be the flow of the script. One thing I can tell you from reading a lot of scripts is that a well written, professional script flows easily and quickly. You don’t have to labor through each page to get to the end. If your script is more than 110 properly formatted pages in Final Draft it means you’ve done something wrong. Maybe your descriptions are over written. Maybe you’ve got too many sub plots or characters. Maybe you’re characters are talking too much. What ever the case may be spend some time and edit your script down to 110 properly formatted pages. You’re script will be better off for it, I promise.