time count


One usefull feature : time counting. If it would be possible to add a time to each file in the draft (manually taken chronos, not those false calculated times based on word count (dialogue and action don’t take equal time on screen)), it would be fantastic.

I use to chrono the sequences I write, but I have to recalculate total times everytime I change something. If a function could just calculate the sum of the whole draft (or files selected in it), I could be able to compare times in my scripts, evaluate which arc is too long (by selecting scenes of the same arc) and which one is too short. And, of course, it would indicate the progression of total time throught scripting.

It could be compilable if needed (for the most technical compile versions of the script).

Thanks for reading this. Bravo for Scrivener !


I’m not aware of any algorithm that can produce a good estimated production time based solely upon the screenplay, but I’ll admit to not having looked too deeply into it—probably because every solution I’ve come across is lacking. Speed of presentation is such a context dependent function, meaning the best we can do is use very general rules of thumb, like words and pages. If you know of something that actually works well and isn’t a proprietary technology that is obscured within another program, pass the links along. I can’t promise that’ll mean we do anything here, but it would at least elevate the idea from “impossible” to “feasible”.

No no, I totally agry with you : there is no algorythm working, because time in script is way too much dependent of context.

I use to take a chrono of my scenes by hand (with a reel chrono, or a soft or a watch… whatever).

I’m just talking here about the possibility of entering a chrono manually done in the info tab of a file in Srivener. What Scrivener could wonderfully do is to add times. If you select 3 files in the binder, then you have the summing of th times you entered. It’s SO helpfull when you progress in your script !

I never use automated chrono counting. It’s a non sense. I use to “act” my scenes, imagine movements, silences, blank times, playing dialogue… it’s the only way to achieve sort of an accurate timing.

Okay, we’re on the same page then. You might try the custom meta-data feature, which lets you create entry fields in the Inspector, which can also be displayed as columns in the Outliner. The only thing is these don’t do any kind of automated sum for you, so I’m not sure if that is terribly useful for what you are looking for.

Depending how frequently you need to sum different scenes, it might work to export the outline to a CSV file and open that in Excel or other spreadsheet program, then select the appropriate cells to do the calculation there.

Yes, that is what I do. I keep a sheet in Numbers (OSX Excel) up to date with auto summing. I used to do it with FileMaker before.

But Scrivener is so much at the cross of text and database that I think such a feature could perfectly fit into it.

But I will add custom meta-data, it’s a good advice. I will just have to do the summing externally…