I owe my career to Script Editing. Here at Script Advice I read scripts almost every day – no hardship for me – I love to do this work. I have learned, over the last 25 years; how to make a poor script better and a good script great. I garnered this information from a combination of instinct, obsession, and hard graft; working on the coal face of television drama production in various story departments across the ITV Network and the BBC Series Department.
The job that has given me this knowledge, and has nurtured the innate love I had of story into a career that I still enjoy, is Script Editing.
You are a lucky writer if you find yourself a script editor that not only helps you improve your craft, but also ‘gets’ you as a writer and a person who needs to write.
I recently asked Tony Jordan; CEO of Red Planet Pictures; a series drama power-house, about Script Editors he said this; “My relationship with a script editor is the most important creative relationship I have in television. The good ones make me a better writer.”
But not all writers are in the position (yet) to work with script editors. That is to a certain extent, where script consultants like me come in, but you can work for yourself in the script editor capacity too, if you follow this check list I have put together to make every script you write meet the bar you set for it.
The script you are writing should tick these boxes. If it doesn’t there’s a problem you need to fix early on. Write out the first draft in ‘splurge mode’ – just get the story down. Then go back and address these points below:
STORY IMPACT – Does this story tell me something? Does the world grip me? Do I want to continue to turn the pages?
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT – Are these people credible, relevant and engaging? What do they want? How are they going to get it? What is standing in their way?
VISUALISATION – Does the story translate visually? Can I ‘see’ this, unfolding on the page and therefore the screen?
AUDIENCE CONNECTION – Can I put myself here, in this story, with these characters? Can I connect with these people and their world, in a social, moral, psychological or emotional way?
This is a good start. If you want to learn more about Script Editing and tackle the craft head on, to not only improve your writing but also give you an alternative career in drama development, I am running this course in May in London. It is the first of its kind and supported by Creative Skillset and some key Industry figures.
Here is what Simon Harper; Executive Producer Holby City and Casualty had to say about the importance of Script Editors in the drama industry;
“Script Editors are the unsung heroes and heroines of our industry and absolutely critical in nurturing and supporting writers through the development process. We are always fighting to hire the best ones and at the same time, there’s always been a visible gap in the market to train the next generation, for whom finding a way in can be tough.”
Learn the craft, script edit professional writers and meet industry executives to help boost your career. There are limited spaces and over 50% have sold so do get in touch with me here to find out more. Or click this link to the course and apply directly.