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Saving to PDF

Discussion in 'Screenwriting' started by IAN M, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. IAN M

    IAN M Bronze Member

    Hi guys, quick question. I read recently, I think it was an article about submitting to a contest, that you should save your script to pdf in US letter size format. I just changed my Final Draft page setup to US letter from A4 and my page count has increased from 73 to 78. Now I work using the Blake Snyder Save the Cat 110 page format and changing to US letter size will throw everything I've written out of proportion. Is there a set size we should be saving our work as? Should I go with the US letter size and edit or stick with A4?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  2. ...

    ... Bronze Member

    Blake Snyder does not recommend that you finish at exactly 110 pages. That is just an around about figure. You can have a 90 page script or a 120 page script or a 150 page script.

    Also if it was a directive they would use the word 'must'. The word 'should' is ambiguous.
  3. IAN M

    IAN M Bronze Member

    As a new writer, we are always being told that when starting out you should stick to the rules. If a reader flips to page 25 expecting to read the end of act 1 and it doesn't happen and carries on till page 32 when it does end, they will think that I haven't followed the structure. Technically, if I write my screenplay in A4 page layout then change it to US letter, I have potentially written an extra 20 pages I didn't need to just because of the paper size. It's mad.
  4. ...

    ... Bronze Member

    I see the maximum potential as around 8 pages for an entire script. You got to 78 from 73. so you only gain 5 pages for every 73. Don't sweat it. Just let the story do the talking. Write it your way and then flip it afterwards. If you want to adjust some things to account for structure then do so. I wouldn't sweat it. The story and your talent will shine above all else.
  5. spinningdoc

    spinningdoc Bronze Member

    If they can spot the end of Act 1 without reading the script, they're some kind of genius.

    Others (like Holllywood Scribe, who's done some reading for studios) will know for sure, but I think you're better off making the story utterly compelling than fretting too much over page numbers. Those rules are for use in the service of good storytelling, not an algebraic ticklist. Take them with a pinch of salt.

    Templates don't dictate page count. Stories do. You either need those pages for the story or you don't. The dimensions of the piece of paper they're written on have nothing to do with it.

    FWIW, in the UK and Europe, people expect A4 (and never once has the concept of putting act breaks on particular pages come up in my experience). Maybe - maybe - in the US they're more bothered, but even then, I don't imagine anyone's going to say 'loved your story, but sadly your Act 1 break is two pages too late so I can't buy it'.
  6. IAN M

    IAN M Bronze Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. I'm sticking with good old A4 page setup. :)
  7. Jack

    Jack Bronze Member

    If you analyze just the act 1 to 2 turn in a 100 movies, you see a pattern.

    So this is completely possible. You really can see it.

    The other side of the coin is that a lot of people can't see act turns even when they read the whole thing or watch the movie. Which is why there's all this debate about the validity of three act structure.

    True.
  8. spinningdoc

    spinningdoc Bronze Member

    True, but that doesn't mean you can pick up a script at random, turn to page 25 and recognise whether there's an end of act or not.
  9. Jack

    Jack Bronze Member

    You certainly know what to look for.
  10. spinningdoc

    spinningdoc Bronze Member

    No, you really can't know what to look for if you just dip in without reading up to there, and actually some way past.

    Say, on page 25, somebody's dog gets run over. Is that the end of A1? You ought to be able to tell me, apparently.

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