Scriptwriting• The scriptwriter’s role in the film industry is to create the script for film, television and radio. The script is one of the most important tools in the film industry. A script consists of dialogue, the imagery on screen, shots and much more. Without a script their is no order on set. Only the very best scriptwriters have their work chose for the final draft of the production. Scriptwriters everywhere will send their work to film and production companies for their scripts to be used in the final production. Only very few scriptwriters are successful with this. In this book I found relevant information to the writers role and the commissioning process. A quote reads ‘I must warn you it is far from easy – some say almost – for an unknown writer to persuade a commissioning editor to accept a collection of his or her stories for publication in book form . Such anthologies don’t exist , but they are nearly all written by known authors whose names play a large part in promoting sales. This backs up the difficulty a scriptwriter has when trying to get his or her work published. It is very rare for a new, unknown scriptwriter to get their work out. The most likely scriptwriters to get their work published on a regular basis are the ones who have been successful before and can be relied on.
The commissioning Process• For an unknown scriptwriter it can be next to impossible for their work to be accepted as the main script for a production. Only very talented scriptwriters and known authors will be successful with this. Scriptwriters will continuously send their work out to different productions companies in the hope that their script is commissioned. If they are successful with this it can result in moderate wealth and their name being remembered for future productions and to other companies. However this is highly unlikely. There are many websites set up to help new scriptwriters improve their work for better standard and a higher possibility of their work being successful. The BBC Writersroom is very helpful for new and young scriptwriters. Instead of going through massive efforts to make what they feel is a very good script and having it turned down by company after company you can send your script to the BBC Writersroom. They will asses your work and give you feedback on what you can do to improve it for commissioning.
BBC Writersroom‘BBC writersroom is always on the lookout for fresh, new, talented writers for a changing Britain. When we find them, we do everything we can to get their voice heard and their work produced for BBC film, TV and radio – for drama, comedy, and children’s programmes. If you have talent, an original voice, and stories to tell, then BBC writersroom wants to know about you’. (online)The BBC Writersroom are looking for new and young talent. They take inthousands of scripts each year. Their readers analyse the script and asses thetalent of the scriptwriter. If a script catches their attention they will work with thewriter to improve the script and do their best to get the script published.
What the BBC Writersroom are looking for... ‘We look for the best new writers and best writers new to the BBC with the potential to be developed and produced for BBC broadcast. We look for what the script tells us about the writer. We see all scripts as a calling card of a writer’s talent, ability, and voice. We look for what a writer can deliver in script form rather than ideas to make.’ (online) Looking at this quote it is clear that the BBC Writersroom are only looking for new writers preferably young without a lot of experience. They are not interested in working with skilled and experienced writers. They are there to help new writers develop their skills and get a taste of what it is like in the scriptwriting and film industry.
What the BBC Writersroom accept.. ‘We accept full scripts. Scripts must be either a single drama/comedy or the full first episode of a proposed series or serial drama/comedy. Scripts must be a minimum of 30 pages in length. There are very few drama orcomedy slots shorter than 30 minutes in BBC programming, and we want to see how well you can handle narrative storytelling.’ (online)Reading this quote I learnt the BBC Writersroom only accept scripts over 30 pageslong. It is likely they will either recycle your copy or send it back to you withoutcomments if it fails to meet the minimum page requirements. The scripts genremust be either single drama/comedy or the full first episode of a proposed seriesseries or serial drama/comedy.
What the BBC Writersroom don’t accept... • ‘Spec 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 on screen. Scripts for short films. Adaptations of other peoples work. Work sent in from overseas.’ (online)
Sending your work to the BBC Writersroom..1. Send your final printed copy of your script to the BBC Writersroom.2. When the BBC Writers room receive your copy of the script they will log your information in their database and send you acknowledgement that they have received it.3. Next the scripts are sifted. The readers will briefly asses the script by reading the first ten pages. If the script shows potential the reader will then read the full script.4. If the script is successful in the sifting process it will be given a full read. The reader will read and asses the script further. If the script then fails to show further potential it will be sent back to the writer with comments. If the reader likes the full script it will be given a second read.5. If the script is successful in the sifting and first reading process it will be given to another reader for a s second read. If the second reader agrees with the first in that the script shows a lot of promise and potential it will be given to the development manager. However if the second reader thinks the writer is not yet ready for further development they will be invited to send in their next work.6. Scripts that are the most successful are given to the development manager, who from their will most likely meet the writer, monitor their development and recommend their work to other departments in the BBC.
Conclusion• In conclusion to my PowerPoint about scriptwriting and the commissioning process I have explained the difficulties a new writer faces when trying to get their work published or even just opened and read by a respected company. The BBC Writersroom is their to help these writers and work with them to help them achieve more and get their work to high quality standards which production companies will use.