How long should my scenes be?

I was asked this question the other day by a friend writing a spec script. Again, it should be somewhat similar to the length of scenes of the series so that it has the same rhythm.

Here’s a matrix of scene lengths for the Mad Men pilot. You should do a few to get a feel for both length and rhythm. You might well get quite a variation in page counts, but the ebb and flow of the show will become apparent.
As you can see there are a three 5 page scenes which means you are free to write long  scenes but just less than half the script is taken up with 1/2 – 1 1/4 page scenes. I don’t count non speaking establishing scenes.
Download the scene matrix here.

Scn 1/8th  1/4  1/2  3/4 1    1 1/8 1 1/4 1 1/2 2    2 1/4 2 1/2 2 3/4 3    3 1/2 4    5    Scene
1                                 1
2                                 2
3                                 3
4                   x             4
5     x                           5
6                 x               6
7         x                       7
8                                 8
9       x                         9
10     x                           10
11         x                       11
12                         x       12
13                 x               13
14                   x             14
15             x                   15
16               x                 16
17                 x               17
18                 x               18
19                         x       19
20         x                       20
21     x                           21
22             x                   22
23                               x 23
24                                 24
25                               x 25
26                             x   26
27                           x     27
28                           x     28
29                     x           29
34     x                           34
  0 0 4 1 4 0 3 1 4 3 1 1 2 2 1 3  
Scn 1/8th  1/4  1/2  3/4 1    1 1/8 1 1/4 1 1/2 2    2 1/4 2 1/2 2 3/4 3    3 1/2 4    5    Scene
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