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.

7 thoughts on “Reformatted your script to get the page length down”
  1. So he says “If it is over 110 pages, u have done something wrong.” and of course, that is the ever annoying refrain. well, i got mine down to 109, just to be extra ‘professional’. but then again, i remember all the greatest of movies that i have seen over the years, and pert nearly NONE OF THEM subscribe to only 110 pages. they nearly all go on much longer. and to be so anal about the details has become epidemic. a great story, like most truly great things, simply may not come ‘professional’, the world offers many good examples of this, such as: abe lincoln as president and jesus christ as the son of god. shit on a silver tray is still shit and a diamond in the mud is still a diamond. i think it has become a problem that ‘hollywood’ has become so anal about the page numbers and the margins. i just wish there were a viable competitior beyond the indy market to take away the ‘unprofessional’ scripts and make the great movies possible from them. if their program of sticking to a tough professionalism worked so well, we would not be inundated with so many bad movies. evidently t heir program needs a reasonable overhaul of some sorts.

  2. I am a journalist. I stArted writing my first ever screenplay loosely bsed on ecent I followed. I must tell you thAt Ashley has been an enormouis helped me with all my questions and apprehensions. I found him to be honest and forthcoming. He Also consistently got back to me in a timely manner. For all that and his emparhy I am forever grateful.

  3. Mrs. Myers, I’m sure this question has been asked before and I probably missed the answer but it has to do with properly formatting your script. ie how dialog is written, etc. Need a little more insight on this. Thanks

    1. Any screen writing software like Final Draft will do this automatically for you. You should use a program like Final Draft because there are lots of other small things (like not breaking dialogue from one page to another without repeating the actor’s lines) that you will never get correct if you tried to do them all manually.

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