John asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 9 years ago

Comedy Screenplay Question?

My screenplay is a double feature comedy. I don't want to give my idea away, but it needs to be a double feature, and it works. However, it's 161 pages. Most of it is quick, witty banter like Pineapple Express or Superbad, so I don't anticipate that it'd be longer than 130-140 minutes without credits, but what suggestions do you have for me to cut it down a little? BTW, I didn't put too many silly gags in that could be taken out.

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Even 121 pages is pushing it for a first-timer...

    It's hard to say without seeing the script - you may already be doing most of this stuff - but try the following:

    - Make sure you have no production detail or over-description of sets/costumes/people.

    - Omit all CUT TOs or other transitions and ALL camera angles. They are not needed, they're intrusive, and they waste lines.

    - Make sure your characters never make pointless small-talk. Make sure they never state the obvious (unless for important comic effect of course).

    - Analyse each scene. Each should have conflict AND character development AND plot development. Cut (or combine) any with missing elements.

    - Check that you're getting into each scene as late as possible and leaving as early as possible.

    - Make sure you have no repetition (especially characters telling us things we already know).

    - Omit wrylies/parenthetical lines unless they're ABSOLUTELY VITAL. Most are not needed. Actors know how to act. Directors know how to interpret a scene and play it to its best potential. They are usually only required when the character's meaning is opposite to what one might expect, e.g. (lying) or (sarcastic).

    - Put (V.O.)s and (O.C.)s etc., if used, right after the character name, never on a separate line.

    - Make sure you only include 'stage directions' which are really important. People turning round or crossing the room usually don't affect the story, they add clutter, and they step on the director's toes.

    - Wherever you have text that wraps onto the next line by just a word or two, see if you can reword the line more efficiently to make it shorter. You can lose a good page or three by doing this if you haven't already written very carefully!

    Good luck. Hope this helps!

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  • 3 years ago

    Been writing for virtually eight years, written a couple of scripts. one million- Watch a movie referred to as "Big Nothing". It handles the identical "gritty" grain you are kind of speakme approximately. two- Watch the Dave Chapplle cartoon with him and Wayne Brady drving round. The purpose I point out those 2 matters is considering they each manage 2 characters, considered one of that is dragged alongside in a quandary her does not wish to be in by way of a darker individual (on your case, the buddy being delivered to prison and stuff like that). three- It's now not quite an thought. It's exciting, however the thought might be the critical middle of the complete factor. Think: What gave you this thought? Is it a individual looking to get residence? Is it the 2 characters looking to do their possess factor, however want every different? Learn to pitch the movie. If different men and women realise the thought, then YOU realise the thought. Break the thought till you get a one sentence pitch. "It's a [style] approximately [characters][quandary]." four-Comedy is all approximately soreness and tragedy. Have insults, have awkward occasions, have fights, have witty banter, have the humor the characters might say (i.e. the stoner simply says homophobic stuff to the opposite man, the opposite man mocks the stoners intelligence). The funniest scenes are constantly while characters combat or are uncomfortable. Stupidity is the maximum sort of concept. five-Think, what might move incorrect. Then, what SHOULD move incorrect. I had a homosexual konga-line in the back of me as soon as. I received chased by way of a peadophile as soon as. I've had my dick fall out of my trousers in entrance of my father as soon as. These are all humorous, considering they are unlucky. It's sounds well guy, only one factor. Never say "he then spends the leisure of the film looking to get residence". It on no account does your thought any favours considering men and women will simply assume what u mentioned phrase for phrase. They will photograph him simply going for walks. Imagine if any one explains Batman as "oh, he fights crime". Imagine Die Hard as "oh, its a man capturing terrorists". Imagine Harry Potter as "oh, its a child who is going to wizard tuition". All actual, however are not anything in comparison to: "A guy avanges his mother or father's dying by way of combating crime in a town full of psychopaths, criminals, and ethical temptation." "A guy have got to unmarried handedly defeat beat a institution of proficient killers with out the aid of the police earlier than they harm his love." "A younger boy have got to satisfy his fate of fitting the finest wizard ever so as to retailer the sector from his dad and mom' killer." Hope this helped :)

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Maybe take out a bit of detail.

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