How Long is “Then the Phone Rang”?

Someone who read my script Then the Phone Rang, told me they thought the script was too short to be a feature. I planned to get some actors to do a read through sometime to get a better idea.

This week I decided to try Natural Reader,  a text to audio program ( to time it. The paid version allows you to create an mp3 file, but not the free version I have. After a little trial and error, I found I could record the audio with Audacity .

The audio file came in at 83 minutes. I didn’t clean up the script to remove things like the names of which characters were talking, so an actual film based on the script would be somewhat shorter. Still, I think it still comes to about a minute a page. At 71 pages, it is still on the short side for a feature.

One thing that caught my attention was that it was much easier to catch typos while listening. I had a character named Brian, and everyone else in the script kept calling him Brain. I didn’t try to make any corrections this time, but I want to go back to do that.

I would still like to make a trial version of the film with Xtranormal’s text-to-movie software. I think that would give me a better idea how my script will translate to the screen. It might also help me come up with a more visual approach to the script.

I feel I should buy the paid versions of Xtranormal and Natural Reader, but I am not quite ready to do that.

Note 2022 September 5: Xtranormal is now available as NAWMAL

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