Every now and then I run into a Film Producer who has been to a Hollywood style seminar on screenwriting and they will begin telling me what makes a great film script. Before Page 12 there must be an Inciting Incident; at page 25 there be a first act turning pointing and the final act can be no longer than 25 pages in length. Rules, rules, rules… no reasons just rules.
I’m for principles more than rules; rules stifle creativity and when it comes to story telling they make us “predictable.” Principles (the reasons behind the rules) however are crucial and must be understood if you wish to engage with your audience.
It’s not about page 12, it’s about not being boring and respecting your audience’s attention span. The end doesn’t have to be a specific length… it’s all about not going on and on and on.