Short Long Films

Even though you can't trust the validity of just about anything anymore, Abraham Lincoln is quoted as telling someone that a man's legs should be "just long enough to reach the ground." I'm assuming the same is true for a piece of writing.

I haven't talked too much about it because the process has been flying by, but I was writing a new script. My second first draft of this year and I finished it in less than a month. There's nothing humble about this bragging.

When I'd think about this script I was writing, I'd refer to it as "my Garden State" because that's what it feels like. It's small and personal and definitely intended to have the independent feel to it.

That's where the problem arises. The script, at the end of the first draft, is exactly 80 pages. For those not versed in screenwriting, a script is usually thought to be 120 pages. That's roughly a two hour movie, so not too suiting for the genre, but even 90 or 100 pages would seem more substantial.

But adding scenes or sequences to the script to fit what the length is "supposed to be" seems like an insane compromise. This movie would not have big explosions or long action sequences. Boiled down, it's two people talking.

I like that about it. I think this is the first time I've written a script and thought that I had the right amount of speaking characters. There aren't twenty characters who say one thing and are never seen again. It feels like growth for me as a writer.

It just still feels like too short of a script. And that brings me back to Honest Abe's quote. Is long enough long enough? Or need it fit in some kind of predetermined guideline?

And yes, I'm really asking. I want to know if a short feature length film is something you'd be okay with. Would you rather watch an 80 minute film, or one of a more acceptable length with a little fluff added?