I just had a quick and simple questions about how you actually read the Pace Graph. Chalk it up to inexperience or whatever, but there's no clear explanation that I can find in any of the help files that explains how to read it or what is the appropriate pace for certain projects. I personally use Story to write scripts for motion graphics projects, commercials, etc. so I know the pace of my graph will be different from the pace of a movie... or will it?
If anyone can shed some light on this matter for me, I would be greatly appreciative.
Here<http://help.adobe.com/en_US/story/cs/using/WS5fb9ece1811c8ac92810a4361 307861d44c-8000.html#WSe345b55e68208f7a-45de7843134eb9ca961-8000> you will find some documentation related to pace graph.
Basically it’s graphical representation of pace of the script and the granularity is at the scene level.
You can click on any node in the graph and it will take you to the scene in the script and you can see where are the peak points in story and which ones are normal.
Please do share your experiences with pace graph.
Saying "Basically it’s graphical representation of pace of the script and the granularity is at the scene level." and linking to "a graphical representation of the pace of the script" doesn't answer "how do you read it?". It's called a Pace Graph, which pretty much means "a graphical representation of the pace of the script" just in the name. But how do you read it. I think the confusion, if any, come from that fact that there's no such thing as a unit of pace. One assumes that a higher pace number is better but ... is it? Could it be that higher numbers show where your script is bogged down? Probably not but nowhere is there an explanation. Why does the example of the pace for Babel that you link to max out at 70 "units of pace". With an arbitrary unit such as this why not make the scale 0 to 100? The pace scale on the script I justr started maxes out at 50. Do the graphs just go to whatever the max pace in your script is and just not show the rest of the chart above your max pace? What is the max pace then? 70? 100? 1200
So I assume higher pace numbers are better - yes?
I assume of you look at the graph riding along the top of your page numbers you can detect fast paced stretches (where the graph line flows consistiently high), low pace stretches (where the graph line travels along lower numbers), and varied pace sections which would look like spikes and valleys - yes?
Why doesn't your scale go to 100 since the units are arbitrary in the first place? (Actually I assume it does go to 100 - you just don't show the rest of the scale unless the script's pace rates high enough, right?)
There should probably be a definition and some tips like the above beyond just a definition which is basically the definition of any graph - "A visual representation of X, based on analysis of X" Especially since "Pace" is not a real unit like miles or MPH, etc.
Thanks for the reply and I appreciate the response, but I still have questions that "jdanstan" mentions below. You use words like "peak points" and "normal", but there is no documentation that tells you what "normal" actually is and what "peak points" are acceptable.
If you want a fast paced intro to your script or a build up to the climax of the story, I imagine you would want the beginning higher than the rest of the script and a steady build up to the scene in the script that is the climax, but what is acceptable as a good pace for slow, fast paced, and what's just way too fast? Is this personal preference?
I just assumed that because Adobe went through (or is going through) the process of creating an algorthym that calculates the pace of your script, but they don't provide any documentation on how to read it beyond what you wrote here. I guess I was wrong.
Please find below some more info related to pace graph.
“Pace graph is generated by analyzing script-text using a proprietary natural language processing algorithm designed by Adobe. Script writers are the best judge of what kind of pacing is appropriate for a given project. The pace graph provides an additional tool to see if the intended pacing is actually reflected in the script text.
The graph generated, is not relative (local) to the script but rather global i.e. you can take the output of two scripts and compare them. For example you might be working on daily soap scripts and you might want to compare the pace of two different day’s shows. In the future we can provide a button for making the pace graph “local” as well i.e. the peak point’s weight becomes 100 and rest of the scenes are plotted relative to the peak.
The theoretical maximum pace value is 678, but this value would never be attained by a real script.”
Are there examples of known scripts that have had a pace graph done? It would be good to see how one's script compares "pace-wise" to a well known script of a similar genre etc.
That way if I'm writing a romantic comedy - I might be able to see how my script compares from a pace perspective to "When Harry Met Sally", or for a Horror - I might want to see my pacing against "The Shining".
Otherwise with the exeption of pacing TV series episodes next to each other - I kind of don't see the point.
I've tried the pace function on a script I'm working on - and it vaguely represents the pace that I think is there - but without some more detail about what exactly the algorithm looks at, I'm not convinced it's of any benefit - rather is perhaps making me second guess things where the pace doesn't seem to match what I'm going for.
You state that the theoretical maximum pace value is 678 - although not attainable in a real script - what value would then be considered fast paced - and what would be considered slow?
For comparing scripts, one could try to import some scripts available in the public domain (for example at IMSDB) and see its pacing graph. Word level features are an important input to the algorithm and hence the choice of words used may have some impact on the pace value. Since pace of a script is to some extent subjective, we do not want to state what value of pace is high or low. We feel it is best calibrated by each individual script writers based on their experience. In the future we will seriously consider adding a “local” pace graph (where pace values are plotted relative to the peak value), which could solve some of these issues.
I ran several scripts through the 'pace' function and the results were inconclusive. A movie like 'The Fifth Element' never went above 40, while '2001' was peaking in the 70's. Without a clear and concise methodology a user can not quantify the results, therefore making them meaningless. Are the higher number generated by physical action, or how quickly the script moves from scene to scene? Does it take into consideration suspense or the quality of the dialogue on the page. If so how is that evaluated? Many of the scripts I ran through the process had their highest peaks at quite banal dialogue. Without a tangible definition of how high numbers are calculated I'm afraid this function is quite impractical.