How long should chapters be in a feature? at DVinfo.net

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Old September 11th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #1
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How long should chapters be in a feature?

Since I'm still fairly new to DVD production, how long should chapters be on my feature? 10, 15 or 20 minutes? I think 15 are good, around that time frame (depending on when a scene or sequence).

Any thoughts?

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Old September 11th, 2003, 07:40 PM   #2
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Chapters should not have an arbitrary length. They should be based upon scenes or thematic breaks in your story.
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Old September 11th, 2003, 07:42 PM   #3
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I've seen some movies with 15 chapters, others with 40 (two hour films, usually).

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Old September 12th, 2003, 10:15 AM   #4
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Not sure what you mean by "chapters". Feature films usually have three acts or more. Each act is composed of sequences which are made up of scenes. I'm thinking you mean sequences.

Never write a story based on screen time. Though there are restraints on what you should do, no one movie uses the same time limitations. As Keith said, your story determines the length.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 12:14 PM   #5
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Nope, Heath meant chapters. Chapters are on a dvd and allow you to skip sections of footage(well actually bring a lot more to the table than that but anyway) or even jump straight to a part of a film from a submenu for scene selection.

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Old September 12th, 2003, 12:23 PM   #6
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yeah. I own MEETING PEOPLE IS EASY on DVD (Radiohead doc) with NO chapters. What a bitch to navigate through to my favorite spots! God Bless chapters!

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Old September 12th, 2003, 02:45 PM   #7
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Wait till you get some David Lynch DVD's (I have Mulholland Drive).
He never ever has scene selection because he believes a movie
should be seen from beginning to end, not in pieces. I think he
also never has any commentary tracks because he wants people
to see the movie with their own eyes and heart, not through his.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 02:48 PM   #8
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Hmmm, interesting. But what if you want to watch your favorite scene? What a pain to search through it.

I can understand that with commentary, but I still enjoyed giving out little trivia things and laughing it up with our co-writer and actress.

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Old September 12th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #9
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Well, most players & discs allow you to jump to a specific moment
in time. So if you know the hour:minute:second you can enter
that on your remote and jump there (check your players manual)
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Old September 12th, 2003, 03:35 PM   #10
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Russian Ark DVD has chapters

I was amused to find that my Russian Ark DVD (released this week) has chapters.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 02:53 PM   #11
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Re: Russian Ark DVD has chapters

<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Loh : I was amused to find that my Russian Ark DVD (released this week) has chapters. -->>>

Of course, so you can skip to the start of the take, the middle of the take, or the end of the take ;)

I'll have to pick that up some time, I have yet to see Russian Ark.
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Old September 29th, 2003, 07:33 AM   #12
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Here's a tip:

Divide the chapters based on what you would entitle them. In other words if the chapter has a good, logical title, then it should be a chapter. If different things happen within the "x"-minute sequence you were thinking of making a chapter, maybe you should divide it up.

Typically, though not always, a chapter mark would occur only at a scene break in a movie, so you can use that as your starting point.
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Old September 29th, 2003, 09:45 AM   #13
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I did sequences, but one was so long (about 14 minutes), I cut it off at 9 minutes, ie, the end of one scene.

I also am not entitling them, because I think it would ruin it for those who haven't seen the movie yet.

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Old October 6th, 2003, 05:32 AM   #14
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Well, people shouldn't be going into chapter screens if they
haven't seen the movie yet. Just hit play. I tend to never read
the backside of a movie when I rent it either. Also don't make
a spoilery menu like some discs I've seen.

A chapter of 14 minutes doesn't necessarely have to be a
bad thing, depending on feature length and the kind of scene.

How many times did you actually use chapters on a DVD? I
know I did a couple of times to get watch a certain point, but
mostly I watch the whole movie or the behind the scenes
stuff.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 02:12 PM   #15
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Re: Russian Ark DVD has chapters

<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Loh : I was amused to find that my Russian Ark DVD (released this week) has chapters. -->>>

When I just read that, it made my day. I am very amused as well :)

I didn't know it was out on DVD already, it's a good thing I stumbled upon this older post. It never played here in Vegas, so I couldn't see it, but I did watch the trailer about 11 times. I think I'm going to go buy that on DVD today, now knowing that it's out.
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