I would like to take a part in screenplay competition. The main goal is a script for a short film (8 - 10 minutes).

I have several questions about it:

  1. How long should the script be?
  2. How many elements it should consist of? (It is a writer's competition, so, the director(s) will ask the writer details if necessary, not sure).
  3. Are there any examples of scripts of this length of short films?
  4. Should I worry about time metrics at the end of editing? (Dialogs could take a lot of time, for example, while action scenes are very quick).
  • 3
    This might be a little too broad, as you're asking four questions at once. Feel free to break this up into multiple posts.
    – F1Krazy
    Jan 24, 2018 at 9:46
  • 2
    The rule of thumb is that 1 page of script equals 1 minute of screentime - a little less for dialog scenes, a little more for action scenes.
    – FraEnrico
    Jan 24, 2018 at 10:50
  • @F1Krazy could you advise a separation of this question? I could split it into two ( examples and duration ), maybe one more question about details ( should I worry about them ) Jan 24, 2018 at 13:44
  • Yeah, this is really way too broad. #1 is a fine question, but has probably been asked here (check). #2 depends on the contest guidelines, which you might want to put a link to. If the guidelines aren't clear, it makes a good question. #3 is off topic for here. #4 can be folded into #1 and I'll say that's why they gave you a range.
    – Cyn
    Feb 12, 2019 at 2:27
  • I edited your question for tags and content, but I still say it's too broad and I would like to see you ask part of the question (say #1 + #4, if not a duplicate).
    – Cyn
    Feb 12, 2019 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


There is a very strict standard format for screenplays, designed so that each written page of the script will take approximately 1 minute of screen time. The formatting is different for action and dialog in order to maintain the page/time ratio no matter what the content. So, if you follow the format, a script for an 8 minute movie will "magically" be 8 pages long.


This is not long, so your story should probably be simple and to-the-point rather than detailed and complex. The following link is to a site that posts examples of scripts for short films:


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