Script Writing and the Commissioning Process by Max Rogan
“The screenplay provides a written blueprint for the entire filmmaking process. The script development process starts either with aScreenwriter writing a spec (self-financed) screenplay for sale to aproduction company, or with a Producer commissioning aScreenwriter to write a screenplay based on a concept, a true story,an existing screen work (for example a cartoon or TV series), oranother literary work (such as a story, novel, poem or play)”.(ONLINE) The Script Department There are different ways in which the start of script development comes around with either a spec [self financed] screenplay to be sold to a production company, or a producer will commission a screen write a script on what he wants e.g. a true story a cartoon or a series i read about this on the script departments website and the process of making a script and selling it on seems quite hard.
‘Each offer sent to the BBC Commissioning team is automatically and securely logged with a unique reference number for your records following your submission. e-Commissioning enables the BBC to handle the huge volume of proposals it receives faster and more effectively so producers submitting proposals to the BBC receive a quicker response.’ This a basic system that has been put in place to effectively to sort and log all the scripts sent in. This process will then speed up the time in which the writer finds out whether they have been selected and this will also help
Step 1 - Send script to writers room This is a basic step by stepWe will only consider scripts that meet our guidelines, so please ensure that you89have run through our submissions checklist before you submit your script. guide on how to submit a scriptStep 2 - Script logging and what sort of process it willWhen your script is received we log it on our database and send anacknowledgement card to you. If you havent received an acknowledgement card go through to be selected as thewithin one month of sending your script, please contact us so that we can check best one it is now very hard forif it has arrived. a writer to get work as theStep 3 - Script siftOur readers sift all eligible scripts by reading the first ten pages. If the script process of deduction is extremelyshows potential, it will be given a full read. If not, it will be returned to thewriter without any comments - this tends to be the case with the majority of picky firstly you must send aunsolicited scripts. hard copy of your script then theAfter a script has been returned we cannot enter into further discussion with thewriter. script will be logged and siftedStep 4 - Script read through, if it selected it willAt this stage a script is read in full, and assessed by our readers for the potentialof the writer. If a script doesnt merit further attention at this stage, it is be then read fully, if the scriptreturned to the writer along with the readers comments. is what there looking for thenStep 5 - Invite Next / Second Read they will ask you to meet forWhen a script shows promise but the writer isnt yet ready for furtherdevelopment, we may ask the writer to send in their next original script and development. You are only aloudmonitor their progress.If a script shows real talent and potential, it will be given to another reader for to send in one piece of work asa second opinion. If the second reader feels the writer isnt yet ready for further there would be two many for themdevelopment, they will be invited to send in their next work. If the second readerfeels the writer is ready, the script will be passed to the Development Manager. to go through if you send moreStep 6 - Meet / Develop than one they wont even be readScripts that are championed by our readers are then assessed by theDevelopment Manager, who may meet with the writer, monitor their and will be sent straight backdevelopment, recommend their work to other BBC producers and departments, but what even is a script?.or place them on a development scheme. Only a small number of scripts andwriters progress to this stage.
“A script is a document that outlines every aural, visual,behavioural, and lingual element required to tell a story. Why"outlines"? Because film is a highly collaborative medium andthe director, cast, editor, and production crew will, based onyour "outline", interpret your story their way when it is filmed.They may consult you, or they may not. Other writers may bebrought in or you may be asked to re-write the entire thing.Thats life, in the world of screenwriting. But because so many A script boldly points what needspeople are involved in the making of a film, a script must to happen through out the film orconform to standards that all involved parties understand and show. It has key things that needthus has a specific format or layout, margins, notation, andother conventions. This document is intended to overview the to be followed like the narrativetypical elements used screenplay writing. and shot type. Also as there are so many people writing andIt is crucial to remember that film is a VISUAL medium. You following scripts there is onedont tell your audience your story, you SHOW them. You mustlearn to write a screenplay VISUALLY. Write what they will specific layout as it would beSEE and what they will HEAR. You might love your characters mayhem to try and understand 50and know what they are thinking, but the discipline of different ways of how they havescreenplay writing is how to show it on a screen. When it wrote a scripthappens, it may be just done with a look, often improvised onthe movie set. So just write the pictures, sounds, and speeches,and leave the rest for the filmmakers.’ (ONLINE)
This piece of information talkshow to connect with your audienceas a writer and the trueimportance of it a key way ofdoing this is the use of real lifeso the real average person athome can connect with emotionsand really get in to show. Whenpeople who are good at writingcreate a script that connects withaudience its generally becausethey them selves are moved by thetopic creating a more intensescript.
“When considering to pitch a script or ideafor a TV show that would be scripted(Sitcom, Movie, Drama Series, Mini- For script writers itSeries) its important to understand the is key to get into theprocess that an executive or TV Producer right mindset forundertakes in getting a television show writing there piece ofproduced. Knowing this process will help work as if they haveyou bring the most valuable elements better understandingwithin your script” of what is needed they will apply them selves to creating a better script
Following on from the last sidethis book helps to get a differentview on what producers areactually looking for and at onepoint says ‘The honest answer is: I dont know but when a goodscript comes across my desk boyyou certainly know it’. This puta different light on the mattershowing that really most of thetime its not something pacificthere looking for but just thatone script that stands out andgrabs there attention.
After conducting this research I have found out many thingsthey way in which scripts are developed and the way itcomes about . I have also learnt about script commissioningand the process they go through before beingselected, which is very long and picky. I also learnt thebasic aspects of most scripts and how they are all wrotein a set format. The key points I found in books stood outto me strongly as the spoke more clear and direct about thedifferent sections of script writing.