Commissioning scripts and script structure by Harrison Reed Delve
BBC Writers Room‘BBC writersroom is the first point of call at the BBC for all unsolicited scripts andwriters. All work is assessed primarily for the talent of the writer, and in addition forthe scripts suitability for further development.’ What this tells us is where to send scripts that have been written, what types of scripts to send and also how the work is assessed and its suitability, what this does is that it helps a writer who is thinking of sending their work in hoping for it to be commissioned some of the information they will need when preparing their work.
BBC Writers Room pt.2‘What we dont acceptSpec scripts for existing shows – we want to see your original work.Script samples, short stories, novels, sketches, or ideas/treatments for programmes.Scripts sent by email - we dont have the resources to print them or assess them onscreen.Scripts for short films.Adaptations of other peoples work.Work sent in from overseas’This also helps us to understand in a short way what they will not accept, without givingreasons rather just to give a brief overview of what is not acceptable. This means thatinstead of just sending the work in without doing the actual work what this means is thatit helps the writer making sure they know what is needed and what isn’t therefore makingthings easier for everyone involved.
BBC Writers Room pt.3‘Formats are similar to that of a screenplay (action and character descriptions, and dialogue), butstructure will vary depending on the length of show and genre. 30 minute series for network are 22-27 pages (allowing for commercial breaks), while the same length show for cable (uninterrupted)can be 30-45 pages, depending on the content and pacing. The same ratio applies for 60 minuteepisodes. One-hour Network series are typically 45-50 pages, and one-hour cable network series(often single camera productions) can be upwards of 70 pages.’This helps the writer discover the direction they are going to go in with theirscript, what this means is that it will help them work out the time space between theamount of pages they write. And also it will help them because of the fact it hasexamples of these, such as network series having 45-50 pages.
Screenwriting‘Hollywood buys genres. Agents, managers, and producers are drawn to andspecialize in specific genres so approaching them with something they canrecognize is a good idea. Successful stories have a fresh face but are identifiable.You know what makes your idea unique, but can you describe it quickly to others?Is it a fast-paced thriller, romantic comedy, action adventure?’ This quote is a useful quote for explaining commissioning, it seems the writer is giving advice about submitting scripts, explaining that even though the writer may know why the script is a good one and why it is unique, this does not mean the people they are submitting it to does, and therefore they have to be able to describe this to them in terms that can be easily understood. The reason for this is that if they cannot even understand what the script is, why they would commission a script they cannot make sense of.
YouTube- How to write a script-Story Structurehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0yqUmedyOM This video is used as a way to help writers structure their scripts, the way it does this is that it gives them a basic idea of the story, the beginning, the middle and the end. It tells the basics of the beginning and how this is used in the story to introduce characters and give background, giving the viewer a chance to understand who they are. The middle where the conflict of the story is introduced, which leads to the end of the story where the conflict is resolved, Personally I do not think this goes into as much detail as it could, as it only tells the basics of the story and not about other more detailed parts of this. Although as I think the aim of this was to tell as much as they could in the short amount of time they had I believe they gave enough information for a writer to start out also.
E-Commissioning‘Our process for responding to proposals is set out in the BBC Code of Practice. In brief:•After submission, all proposals receive an acknowledgement of their proposal within oneweek of receipt.•The relevant Commissioning Editor will either reject or progress proposals for furtherconsideration within six weeks of receipt.•Proposals may be provided with funded development, in which case the timetable tocommission will be subject to negotiation between the external supplier and the BBC anddetermined by the development contract.•In all other instances, the final decision will be no later than 20 weeks from receipt of theproposal. A successful proposal will be given approval by the relevant Commissioning Editor.•Projects may be held over in exceptional circumstances but only with the formal agreementof the supplier. For further clarification on exceptions by genre, please read the Code ofPractice.’ This quote is a good example of what happens when a proposal is submitted in the hope of being commissioned for a full length script. I think that it is important to outline what happens so the candidate knows what to include, who his target audience (the editor) is and also how long it is going to take, and how much work they should do. Furthermore another reason I like it is that it also helps to keep a lot of information from the potential writer which means they have to work hard to impress the editor.
Story-telling in Film and Television Pages 36-37It is giving advice on the narratives on stories and how manuals can help but some cannot as they are for beginners and if it is a seasoned writer it wouldBe of no use to them. Furthermore it explains why and that by giving this advice the author is aware that the people reading this will also read other booksAnd manuals and he is giving tips on what to read and what not to read.
Understanding Film Texts Meaning and Experiences In this source it is helpful to a potential writer on how to Write a good script and how it is structured because with the Example of Pulp Fiction whose chronology is completely Different and seems to randomly jump from one event to the Next. Furthermore by doing this the author is showing that Not all scripts will have simple beginning middle and ends. I think This source is a good source because of how it is presented By giving an example and telling the potential writer that they do Not need to stick to the normal beginning middle and end, they Are helping them to be more creative, and also by doing this they Show that there is a difference between the story and the plot. Therefore helping to give the writer a more broad view while Helping for them to understand narrative structure.
ConclusionDuring my research I have learned that being a scriptwriter is not as easy as some people may think. Getting a script submitted is hardwork, while having to follow certain guidelines just to make it look professional and presentable. Furthermore I have learned that thestructuring of a script is not difficult to understand it is just how the story and plot are prepared. Whether this be chronologically or nonchronologically. Scripts that are too be submitted have certain rules they cannot breach and rules they must meet, that the script mustbe written in a certain format.Furthermore that the writer when submitting work has to be clear about what the script is about as not to confuse people, as peoplewill not want to commission a film they don’t understand as it is likely to confuse the audience. While also learning that manuals thatare there to help writers can sometimes not be as useful as they appear as they may be too simple or too complicated and that if thewriter wishes to use one they must find one which fits their experience.
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