A picture is worth, or so they say. I did the math on this recently for an average feature film length of 88 minutes, and it comes to, wait for it, 126,720,000 words to describe a movie, if you were to take each frame separately. 24 frames per second, or fps, and you can do the rest of the math yourself.
The phrase comes from journalism, and if Mrs. Meiners taught me anything, it’s that sometimes, you don’t get a photo to go with your story. You might have to write the thousand words to describe the 1/24th of a second that you observe at any particular point.
That makes this, an opinion piece. Simply because I have one, and like the other thing that everyone has, yours may be different. Similar, yet different.
My goal for this piece of my opinion may or may not be limited to the aforementioned words numbering one thousand. That’s not the goal.
It’s simply this: to explain away the travesty that is my current state of mind. For those of you that don’t know, the Mind State lies somewhere between CA, NV, AZ, and quite possibly UT.
That’s right, you won’t find it on any map. Ever notice how most sites have a site map? Turns out, all it really is, is an outline of the hierarchy of your web pages. It’s a good thing to have one, so that the appropriate search engines can find things on your site.
Word pictures must be painted.
To continue, as opposed to moving forward in the same direction, it follows that in your average movie, and believe me, most are below average, the picture taken at any point a that is somewhat near point b will contain most if not all of the same information, or data.
Computer Science teaches this, actually. Everything boils downto zeroes and ones, and Moore’s Law is in full force at any particular time.
If this were to be a picture, at the beginning of this paragraph, I would have had six hundred and seventy seven words left to write. Fortunately, telling you this fact means that now I have somewhat less left to go.
Here’s some more math for you: A thousand words a day, times 365 in a year give or take, gives us 365,000 words, approximately. A simple division of 126,720,000/365,000 equals 347.18 years to create the average movie.
I don’t have that kind of time, and probably neither do you.
Of course, this precludes the collaborative process, and if you have roughly 348 people creating the thousand words a day, it may only take one year to bring your vision to the big screen. Or mine for that matter.
Given this fact, and several other variables that may or may not be predicted with any semblance of logic that may or may not be fuzzy, how does anyone get their vision to the big screen?
I’m reminded of an old joke: A guy drives up and asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice!” is the punchline. I heard that for the first time during the 60’s. Yes, I am that old if you’re a first time reader. Or even, the second time as I didn’t mention it last time, either.
Time is God’s provision for everything not happening at once, and space is His provision so that it doesn’t all happen in the same place. However, within your own life, or the life of any particular average movie, it may seem like a lot of things are taking place at the same time in the same place.
I sure do hope that last sentence parses.
And it won’t be the last sentence, either. Why the concern with word count, one may ask. If you don’t already know, this is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for those that do. 30 days, and fifty thousand words later, and you have your novel. That averages out to about 1700 words a day, give or take.
As I’m a filmmaker, I choose months that have 30 days in them to write a screenplay instead. In April, Script Frenzy, or Screnzy as some would call it, is all the rage. The goal in this case is to write 100 pages of screenplay in a month, and that divides out nicely to three and a third pages of screenplay a day.
I admit, I’m a little behind, as I’ve got 65 dynamite pages of a web series, however, only ten or eleven days left depending on when you read this, in order to get to the finish line, which ticks out to about 3.5 pages a day.
I once wrote on I believe this blog/site whatever it is this week, that it should be possible to write one great page of screenplay a day, at which point in a year you can create 3.65 screenplays if you stay on track.
I’m painfully behind on that one, as I have a life outside of writing as it turns out. Therefore, it follows that I’ve had to give up most if not all of my social media commitments. Ironically, you’ll probably see this missive posted about in one of three places first, Twitter, Facebook (or, the book of the face, OR Fakebook as I refer to it), or quite possibly Linked In.
I hope that those that read it out there, will leave comments there, as well as here. However, I know that most will simply gloss over it, and move on without so much as nary a thought.
So, to review: Word count, page count, and the like are probably not as important as the fact that you’ve read this far, and I’m dangerously close to reaching the artificial word count I established in the title, therefore, I should probably continue to put words in some semblance of order to form sentences to reach it.
The fact that I’m behind may be because I’ve lost my muse. However, that’s probably another post on an entirely different site for another time.
Why, you may ask? It’s, The Law!!!