Script developing, commissioning and the writer’s role
Script Developing, Commissioning and the Writer’s role. By Sam Hill
The BBC Writer’s Room Page 1The BBC Writer’s Room is a web based submission site for script writers. The writers submitthey’re scripts the writer’s room . The scripts are assessed and if accepted later on would be usedin a BBC TV program. The BBC have a flow chart which tells the writers what happens to theirscript . These are the following steps; ‘Step 1 - Send script to writers room’ ‘Step 2 - Script logging’ ‘Step 3 - Script sift’ ‘Step 4 - Script read’ ‘Step 5 - Invite Next / Second Read’ ‘Step 6 - Meet / Develop’The website’s guideline have to be followed so that the Script can be accepted. When the BBCreceive the script they ‘log’ it to their data base and the writer would receive an‘Acknowledgement card’ to show that the script has been received safely. Next the script is‘sifted’. This is where the first ten pages of a script is read to see if it is suitable. ‘If the script showspotential, it will be given a full read’. After the reader would give a full assessment to see if itneeds improvements or changes. It is then returned to the writer. If when improved it shows realpotential, the reader asks for second opinion from someone more advanced. Then even moreimprovements would be needed. When the script has found to be outstanding the readers anddeveloper would employ the writer to write scripts for TV dramas and other types of programs.http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writing/writersroom_flow.shtml
The BBC Writer’s Room Page 2The BBC are very strict when it comes to accepting scripts . They look for the ones with mostpotential. The following is what BBC do and don’t accept... ‘What we acceptFull unsolicited scripts (or episodes) for film, TV drama, radio drama, TV and radio sitcom. Alsostage plays, but only as a calling card for a writers talent.’‘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 on screen.Scripts for short films.Adaptations of other peoples work.Work sent in from overseas.’The BBC stress that only serious script writers should submit their work so that time is not wasted.Fresh, new, original work should be submitted for the script to be accepted. Scripts that are similarto previous scripts wouldn’t be accepted either. In my opinion the script writers have to be verycareful and follow the guidelines accordingly so that they even have a chance of being accepted.http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writing/submissions_writersroom.shtml
The BBC Writer’s Room Page 3 ‘The copyright of all scripts sent to the BBC rests with the writer – you do not need to formally copyright work before you send it in to us. Writers are often anxious that their work may be stolen or plagiarised’The BBC make sure that all scripts are safe from copyright andmake sure the writer is told about the acceptance. The BBCWriter’s room is a trusted website.http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writing/terms_and_conditions.shtml
The Writer’s Vault‘Pitching your concepts to executives in the industry will also build relationships regardless ofwhether or not your idea for a TV shows is purchased. It is creating and building those directrelations that enable the creator of concepts to better understand how to pitch a TV show, aswell as what specifically the buyers are looking for. Most importantly, you will learn to refineyour ideas into a language that the executive can sell because they better understand itspotential.’In this quote The Writer’s Vault talks about how a writer would submit a script to a group ofpeople or judges. When selling your script to the executives a relationship would grow and thiswould show your ability to be confident, which shows you have passion about your writing. Talkingto the buyer one to one helps you show that your script has potential in detail.‘The TV Writers Vault is currently used by over 300 leading television production companies,networks, agencies and studios. To date, the TV Writers Vault has been responsible for providingthousands of official reviews of writers works by leaders in the Industry, along with hundreds ofWriters making personal contact with Producers, resulting in numerous project sales to NetworkStudios and Production Companies.’Unlike the BBC Writer’s Room, The Writer’s Vault find scripts for production companies to use. TheBBC only use the scripts for themselves. This website can help new script writers to become wellknown.http://www.tvwritersvault.com/companyinfo/aboutus.asp
Screenwriting Pages 4-5A producer would give the writer notes on how toimprove their script, this is so it is adapted for what theproducer wants. Many people involved in the pre-production can have their input so that they can workaround it. When it is being shot the script would beshaped so that the production could keep to it’s lowbudget. Scenes would possibly be cut if the film, shortfilm or program is too long.
Screenwriting Pages 6-7 Part 1 When writing a script and then producing a film you would have to consider what makes a film entertaining for the viewer. You would have to consider this through out the process . You would have to consider how the audience can relate to the characters and you would have to make sure that they would understand the point you are trying to get across.
Screenwriting Pages 6-7 Part 2 There is a very common way of writing a script in which a character is introduced and then this person encounters a problem. They then try to solve or stop the problem. Usually the character is relatable so that audiences understand their characteristics.
Screenwriting Pages 204-205This extract from ‘Screenwriting’tells us how to tackle the writing of ascript. When writing a script youwould have to make sure that you‘show, don’t tell’. The script must beable to paint a picture in the readershead. This is so when in productionthe producer can create a film inwhich the writer wanted.
Screenwriting Pages 262-263 When you meet up with the person you are going to calibrate with, you would have to decide if this person understands your way off thinking and is open to discussion about your script, so that you can get the full potential out of your work.This extract talks about when the producer offers you money for your script or work. Thescript writer has to consider if the money offered is appropriate for the script that hasbeen made. The writer would receive a large amount of money when the project hasstarted shooting and you would receive money when the project has been sold.
Screenwriting Pages 266-267 The book continues to tell us about how you would market yourself and how to present your self as a writer. When writing a story you should know everything about your subject. You should also know what is going on in the news and around the world.
Screenwriting.info‘What exactly is a script?’Why would write a script? ‘Because film is a highly collaborativemedium and the director, cast, editor, and production crew will,based on your "outline", interpret your story their way when it isfilmed.’ The script is basically the core of a film and everyone involvedin the project would work around it. Making your script clear and easyto understand would help the production team create a film that isexactly like your script.‘So just write the pictures, sounds, and speeches, and leave the restfor the filmmakers.’ This quote means that the script is different froma story, the script tells the reader what is happening and doesn’tdescribe it like books.http://www.screenwriting.info/01.php
How to Write a Script - Story Structure The problem is resolved afterThe first 30 minutes of the script The next hour reveals a problem tackling it in aintroduces the or an inconvenience in which the heroic way in thecharacter/characters. This 30 character has to solve. last 30 minutes.minutes usually sets the scene aswell. http://youtu.be/N0yqUmedyOM
Conclusion Script writing, Development and commissioning is a very complicated process.Script writing is not only a hard task, getting the work commissioned is even harder. Frommy research I have learnt that when submitting a script to a writers room or presenting ascript the writer must follow very many guide lines and rules. Writers must make sure that their script is unique and is at professionalstandards. A basic script has a beginning, middle and end which introduces characters,introduces a problem and then at the end the problem is resolved. The Script has to beeasy to understand and interpret, so that producers and directors can understand how toproduce the script as a film or television program. When submitting the script to a websitethe script writer would have to follow the rules of the website such as; having the rightamount of pages and not copying work that has already been made. When pitching thescript, the writers must be confident and enthusiastic to keep the buyer interested. When commissioned the script would under-go a few procedures that help thereaders assess the script in a way that is fair and accurate. The script is read and then readagain. If accepted the writer would be asked to have a meeting with the producer and thewould discuss how the writer could improve and how the producer could work around thescript. Then the script would go into production. In my opinion this process would be stressful for a writer and takes a lot of time.Many people use websites so that there name can known by producers and their scriptscould be used.