Commissioning scripts and script structure


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Commissioning scripts and script structure

  1. 1. •••••••
  2. 2. ‘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 ofscripts to send and also how the work is assessed and its suitability, what thisdoes is that it helps a writer who is thinking of sending their work in hoping for itto be commissioned some of the information they will need when preparing theirwork.Also, the work that is sent in is always judged on the talent on the writer, this issaying that they will not be biased about them and judge them on whether theylike the story or not, they will always judge it on the writing ability of the writerand also by “suitability for further development” means that they will also takea look at the amount of development would be needed and also whether theybelieve that, if the script were to be developed that it would be somethingpopular and would become successful.BBC Writers Room
  3. 3. ‘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.It also outlines the basic principles in which the Writers Room operates, it wantsoriginality, not a rehash of someone elses work, or something so blatantly influenced bysomeone else that people would assume it was a retelling. Or give them the idea thatthe people behind the programmes were running out of ideas.BBC Writers Room pt.2
  4. 4. ‘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 their script,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.Also, it shows the direction that the BBC Writers Room wish for the script to take,the way in which it will be done for them. If they cannot do this and do somethingelse, then they will be less than inclined to use this as they cannot even do as theywish. Furthermore it is a very in depth look, at the way in which they wish things tobe set out, but also a good example of how they are willing to help the writer, andgive them a chance with the way in which they will ultimately create their script.BBC Writers Room pt.3
  5. 5. ‘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 isgiving advice about submitting scripts, explaining that even though the writer mayknow why the script is a good one and why it is unique, this does not mean thepeople they are submitting it to does, and therefore they have to be able todescribe this to them in terms that can be easily understood. The reason for this isthat if they cannot even understand what the script is, why they would commissiona script they cannot make sense of.Furthermore I would say that with this advice they are giving the reader a clearinsight into the industry they are getting in to, for example they mention thatthey need to be able to describe the work quickly, by doing this it shows that theidea is something that anybody can describe but also they have a clear vision ofwhat it is that they wish to do.Screenwriting
  6. 6. video is used as a way to help writers structure their scripts, the way it does thisis 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 introducecharacters and give background, giving the viewer a chance to understand who theyare. The middle where the conflict of the story is introduced, which leads to the endof the story where the conflict is resolved, Personally I do not think this goes into asmuch detail as it could, as it only tells the basics of the story and not about othermore detailed parts of this. Although as I think the aim of this was to tell as much asthey could in the short amount of time they had I believe they gave enoughinformation for a writer to start out also.YouTube- How to write a script-Story Structure
  7. 7. ‘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.’E-CommissioningThis quote is a good example of what happens when a proposal is submitted in the hope of beingcommissioned for a full length script. I think that it is important to outline what happens so thecandidate knows what to include, who his target audience (the editor) is and also how long it isgoing 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 thepotential writer which means they have to work hard to impress the editor.Furthermore I think that this is a very straight to the point way of saying what theymean, they are not going into extreme amount of detail, they are briefly stating eachand every thing that is a majorly important and standard thing that they want. Andstraying from this would result in the work not being looked at.
  8. 8. 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.Furthermore he also says that later on in the book he will explain more in depth about redundant and dispersed exposition later, as this makes it shownThat it is a brief overview of what he is talking about and also while doing this giving some advice.
  9. 9. Understanding Film Texts Meaning and ExperiencesIn this source it is helpful to a potential writer on how toWrite a good script and how it is structured because with theExample of Pulp Fiction whose chronology is completelyDifferent and seems to randomly jump from one event to theNext. Furthermore by doing this the author is showing thatNot all scripts will have simple beginning middle and ends. I thinkThis source is a good source because of how it is presentedBy giving an example and telling the potential writer that they doNot need to stick to the normal beginning middle and end, theyAre helping them to be more creative, and also by doing this theyShow that there is a difference between the story and the plot.Therefore helping to give the writer a more broad view whileHelping for them to understand narrative structure.
  10. 10. ConclusionDuring my research I have learned that being a scriptwriter is not as easy as some people may think. Getting a scriptsubmitted is hard work, while having to follow certain guidelines just to make it look professional and presentable.Furthermore I have learned that the structuring of a script is not difficult to understand it is just how the story andplot are prepared. Whether this be chronologically or non chronologically, and that, to be done right, you have toquestion yourself on certain aspects of the work so that you can develop your script and also to improve it so thatit makes sense. Scripts that are too be submitted have certain rules they cannot breach and rules they must meet,that the script must be written in a certain format. But that also these rules are there to show that if the work doesnot follow these rules in some ways, then this shows they cannot perform to the expected industry standard.Furthermore that the writer when submitting work has to be clear about what the script is about as not to confusepeople, as people will not want to commission a film they don’t understand as it is likely to confuse the audience.While also learning that manuals that are there to help writers can sometimes not be as useful as they appear asthey may be too simple or too complicated and that if the writer wishes to use one they must find one which fitstheir experience.