Script Writing Script Writing is where people write or create a script for a programme, film or video game. No education is required to become a professional script writer it is a free lance profession. But good story telling and creativity abilities are required. Script writers are not hired employees, they are contacted free lances. A great percentage of script writers start their careers writing without being hired or paid to. When a script is sold, it is called a spec script. The thing that separates a professional script writer from an amateur script writer is that professional script writers are usually represented by a talent agency. Most professional script writers in the us are unionized and are represented by organizations such as The Writers Guild of America. Although membership in the WGA is recommended, it is not required of a screen writer to join. The WGA is the final arbiter on awarding writing credit for projects under its jurisdiction. However this is different in England you don’t need a talent agent you just need to write a decent script and send it in and if they call you back then your lucky.
Writing the script You must have a good few samples of scripts written for the TV programme you would like to write for. And they need to see that you can create a story idea within the parameters of a current show. Its important to know your market and audience your writing for. It may be important to be interested in the genre you are going to write for. A script for a 30 minute programme is usually 22-27 pages long. ‘One of the critical devices a new writer must have when entering the television writing world is a good slate of sample scripts written for a current TV series’. - http://www.tvwritersvault.com/tvspecscripts/tvspecscripts.asp
Freelancer A free lancer is a writer currently not working at a specific company. Who is hired to write an episode or an episode for a television series . In the 1960’s when a full season ran 39 episodes free lancers tended to dominate the television market. Free lancers are paid per script unlike ‘in house’ writers who are paid a salary in addition to script fees. But first time staff writers are the exception. Based on information from- http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/ep1.pdf
The commissioning process The first stage in the commissioning process is, to write a good script that shows your full abilities you must then send it of the company that you wish to right for make you have a spare copy of the script. The company will send you card to let you no they have received your script. They will read the first 10 pages of your script and if they get hooked and find it interesting they will read more of it. If they like your script and are interested in it they will pass it on to someone else to read and if there impressed with it to then they will call you in for a meeting to discuss your script and what could become of it. Picture taken from- http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writing/writersroom_ flow.shtml
Script commissioning process inthe USA. In the USA to be able to submit a script to a media production company you need to have an agent or be a member of the Writers Guild Of America. Each agency has its own submission rules.
A quote from- How to Write for TelevisionWilliam SmethurstPage 130ISBN 1-85703-045-1