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Steve E

Pace Count.

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This is tricky. Unlike novels, all screenplays have to meet a specific time-limit. Usually this is estimated: X pages or Y number of words, or the writer reads the screenplay out loud with a stopwatch. So a pace counter (something that "reads" the screenplay to determine how long, in minutes, each scene is) isn't essential but it is useful. Normally this can be done by counting syllables in dialog and attributing a weight to each character's speaking style. A value must also be assigned to directions like "pause".

 

I wonder, though, if the Speech Service does something like this when reading a document. If so, a pace counter might not be too tricky, and save a lot of screenwriters sore throats. Perhaps, as an imperfect solution, Speech could be modified to recognize and read only dialog (and perhaps switch voices with each character). Then a simple timer could do the rest.

 

I know it's extravagant. I'm just throwing it out there.

 

Reaching for the moon but willing to settle for a rainbow,

-Thoth.

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Reaching for the moon but willing to settle for a rainbow,

 

Or what's at the end of the rainbow.

 

Sorry, off topic.

 

This sounds useful for estimating duration for a book on CD as well. If your abridging a novel to fit down to a small number of CDs, this could really come in handy.

 

IF

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This sounds useful for estimating duration for a book on CD as well. If your abridging a novel to fit down to a small number of CDs, this could really come in handy.

Thanks Isaac. I hadn't thought of that.

-Thoth.

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This sounds useful for estimating duration for a book on CD as well. If your abridging a novel to fit down to a small number of CDs, this could really come in handy.

 

Just what I was thinking as well.

 

- Callista

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Just what I was thinking as well. [Referring to Isaac's comment.]

Clearly great minds think alike. But what will be Steve's take on this?

-Thoth.

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This is tricky. Unlike novels, all screenplays have to meet a specific time-limit. Usually this is estimated: X pages or Y number of words, or the writer reads the screenplay out loud with a stopwatch. So a pace counter (something that "reads" the screenplay to determine how long, in minutes, each scene is) isn't essential but it is useful. Normally this can be done by counting syllables in dialog and attributing a weight to each character's speaking style. A value must also be assigned to directions like "pause".

 

This is indeed tricky.

 

The time-tested rule of thumb is that a page takes about 25 sec to read and takes (on average) a minute of screen time. Readers looking to estimate total running time start with the "rule" and mentally adjust for the content. And writers fiddle with their margins to make their script page out to whatever the current "right answer" happens to be.

 

In general, pages with a lot of dialog pass more quickly (especially if the writer is Aaron Sorkin), while pages with a lot of action can be all over the map. For instance, how would you estimate:

 

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO STREETS - DAY

 

SERIES OF SHOTS

 

A ) CAMERA FOLLOWS the Mach 5 as it tears down Lombard Street.

 

B ) A WOMAN with a stroller freezes at the intersection, caught like a deer in headlights.

 

C ) Speed pushes a BIG RED BUTTON on his dash.

 

D ) The Mach 5 lifts gently over the woman, a gust of wind ruffling her perfect "do".

 

It depends on how the director chooses to film the scene.

 

It might be interesting, though, to add a field for estimated running time in the scene sheets.

 

-Steve

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This sounds useful for estimating duration for a book on CD as well. If your abridging a novel to fit down to a small number of CDs, this could really come in handy.

 

Interesting idea. There must be some "rule of thumb" here too.

 

-Steve

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Interesting idea. There must be some "rule of thumb" here too.

It occurs to me that there are probably a whole mess of useful rules of thumb for writers. You obviously know a lot of them. Have you considered making a list for the Help file? And, once you have a list, consider which ones could be built in as Storyist options.

 

This could be significant.

-Thoth.

 

P.S. Do I need to make a Rules of Thumb feature request?

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