What's the minimum running time for a feature-length film? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 13th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #1
MPS Digital Studios
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
What's the minimum running time for a feature-length film?

I'm trying to remember, but I can't. I think it's at least 72 minutes to be officially considered a feature film. Anyone have an idea and/or a link?

heath
__________________
My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
The answer will depend on who you ask. If you check the WGA minimums, they will dictate the running length for Feature payment schedules. Film festivals will have their own length for 'feature' and 'short'... which will often vary from Documentary 'feature' length.

But if you want an answer from somebody, I'll give you a quick one. A 'feature' narrative must be ninety minutes in length.

There, THAT should stir up a hornets nest. Some will say 'eighty', no doubt. I forget what the Academy sets as feature length... that should probably be the answer your looking for. Those are minimums, by the way. With 120 being the optimal 'maximum'... though films are tending a little longer these days.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2006, 04:47 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangkok, Thailand (work in US in the summers)
Posts: 89
The shortest I've seen widely released as a feature in a long time had to be the movie phone booth or whatever that was with the over-rated Irish actor that's never Irish in anything he's in :)

Paul
Paul Cypert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2006, 07:22 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Croydon, England
Posts: 277
"Men In Black II" runs at 88mins according to imdb
Paul Jefferies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #5
MPS Digital Studios
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
Paul C,

Except for Daredevil! BTW, wasn't there a Woody Allen movie that was 74 minutes or so? And I think Jurassic Park 3 was around 80+ minutes.

heath
__________________
My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
I don't think anything under eighty these days would cut it... Again, we might be looking for the Academy's definition. What does the Academy ask for in "Feature Length" submissions for award consideration?
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #7
MPS Digital Studios
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
It seems these days the movies that clock in at 2:30 to 3 hours seem to win all the awards. Titanic, The English Patient, Return of the King, etc.

heath
__________________
My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2006, 06:19 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
The Hawaii International Film Festival seems to just separate short from feature by the 60-minute mark. Of course, shorts are usually only 15-20 minutes and features are usually 90 minutes or more. I'm guessing that you don't want to fall between about 40 and 80 as your movie would be too long for a short and too short for a feature. I think the 60-minute mark is exactly the wrong amount of time for a movie as it is too much for a simple short movie and not enough time to develop a feature-style story.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2006, 07:44 PM   #9
MPS Digital Studios
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
60 minutes is a featurette. I really think it's 72 minutes or so.

heath
__________________
My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Posts: 611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cypert
The shortest I've seen widely released as a feature in a long time had to be the movie phone booth or whatever that was with the over-rated Irish actor that's never Irish in anything he's in :)

Paul
David Cronenberg's first "feature" Stereo is 65 minutes long.

Really a feature film is anything that gets a released as a standalone film. I think really anything over an hour gets considered a feature and anything under a short. I've seen "short" films that are an hour long. Festivals don't like short films longer that 30 minutes (and some less) because they are hard to programme. It's tricky to put them with a bunch of shorter films and not long enough to warrant it's own slot. A ot of documentaries that aim for broadcast rather than theatrical fall into the 45minute-1hour time slot and it can be tricky for festival prgrammers.
__________________
Shorts::Cut - www.shortscut.org.uk
The Short Film Festival for Portsmouth & Southsea.
Dylan Pank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Kempner, Texas
Posts: 70
Why does 87 minutes stick in my head?
Daniel J. Wojcik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2006, 08:58 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Well as a screenwriter, a 'feature' length will be considered 80 to 120 pages, with one page roughly one minute of screentime.

My documentary "American Jouster" www.americanjouster.com is 57 minutes long. I entered it in probably two dozen film festivals. About half of them considered it a 'feature' length Doc, and half of them considered it a short. Again, I think Docs are a different breed from narratives in this respect.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2007, 11:38 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Los Angeles, california
Posts: 228
I know this - distributors want 90 minutes

and lately, they've been complaining that they're having a hard time getting that from most indie filmmakers. I've met a handful of filmmakers that have had to re-edit to hit the 90 minute mark or the distributors wouldn't take it.
Lori Starfelt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #14
MPS Digital Studios
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
I've seen 80 minute movies in the past couple of years. I think this may depend on the distributor. I'm a big fan of 90-110 minute movies; not too short, not too long.

Miami Vice's running time was almost 2 1/2 hours, but around 10 minutes or more of that was END CREDITS!

Heath
__________________
My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 01:32 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,063
Yep - end credits count too! So, if you have a movie that's say, 70-odd minutes long, you can legitmately extend it out with a long end credit sequence. I had to do this with my first feature DEADEYE, which was around 75 minutes long without credits.

We made up many, many funny, fake names to beef up the end credits. I talked with a couple of distributors who said this was fine and in the end it did get picked up.

As for the 90 minutes or more thing, remember that if it's going to be shown on commercial TV to subtract 12 minutes per hour of footage - ie - 12 mintues of commercials per hour.

The reality is, the network will chop down your flick to fit its needs in any event. So, in my mind, even a 75 minute long flick is feature length, at least as far as TV goes...

john
evilgeniusentertainment.com
John Vincent is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:39 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network