Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Getting your script read

There may be some folk reading this blog who wonder just what happens when they send their script to the BBC. Here's what, according to BBC Writers Room.

Naturally the BBC need a system to cope with the thousands of scripts they are sent everywhere. Being a licence funded system, there has to be transparency, feedback and all that.

My advice would be to send your work to a producer who makes programmes that you like. Actually like. Not pretend to like. Someone that you think would 'get' what you're doing. (If that producer is Armando Ianucci or Chris Morris, I wouldn't bother. They're pretty busy.) But take a show you like, find the producer's name at the end, and send it to them, with a covering letter (correctly spelled and politely written) and show that you appreciate your work and that they might possibly appreciate yours. They have to be fairly hard hearted to toss your script in the bin without looking (as is their right).

Then all you have to do then is make sure the first five pages are sparkling and really demonstrate what the show is and why its funny. Not just people saying funny things. Characters being funny. Then make sure the rest is also funny, well put-together and original.

If there is the smallest shred if talent there, they may well invite you in for a meeting. My advice then is: Turn up and don't be weird. The odds are you'll end up putting the script you've written to one side for a variety of reason, but you know have a link, and it's a start. I think that's more likely to succeed than lobbing your script onto a pile of 7000 other scripts. But the choice, of course, is yours.

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