I have this really great idea for a short that I am psyched to start work on. From the research that I have done, I've learned that shorter is better. So is there any way that I can sort of 'compress' the length of the screenplay without it seeming like there are gaps in it?

    Joke Tax

    What does a dark joke have in common with a kid afflicted with cancer?
    Neither of them get old.

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    John P. Hess

    Okay that was a worthy joke in the joke tax. I’m going to award you 500 points for that.

    So first thing to do is to write out your idea for a short fully – don’t try to trim it down first – just get down on paper and let it be as long as you want it to be.

    With that down you can look at ways to compress by looking at what doesn’t need to be there. There’s an old saying that you pick up a scene after you said hello and leave before you say goodbye. Notice that in movies, telephone conversations never have the usual hellos and goodbyes.

    If your goal is to get it as short as possible you need to be ruthless with every scene and every line. Do I really need this plot point? Do I really need this line? Do I even need this character?

    Really you should be doing that for a feature film too razz

    I will note that not every short needs to be as short as possible. There is something to be said about letting scenes “breathe” and take their time to affect you. So don’t hold the mantra that short is better too blindly.

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