Notes From Scriptwriting Evening.

‘From Script to Screen’- Writing for Film and Television
Thursday 12th April 2007

Jane Gogan (RTE’s Commissioning Editor, Drama)
RTE commission about 8 projects a year. RTE1: very general audience, so they want stuff to suit that, while RTE 2 is aimed at the 15-34 age group.
RTE seek an original voice. A good story, maybe set in contemporary culture.
Keep concepts as focused as possible, and show
Story (and how it will motivate the characters)
The world in which the story is set
Should be able to explain the idea in two sentences.
RTE will accept ideas of 3/4pages in length
A big mistake that many people make is that they don’t look for where that script is scheduled for. So know what channel/schedule RTE have it planned for. e.g. if they looking for Sunday evening family drama, only submit suitable scripts
You must know what RTE is looking for – in length, frequency, audience, etc.
All their info is online, so no excuse not to know.
If RTE like your idea, then the process is:
First Draft
Second Draft
RTE do like if you have a producer attached to the project, but it is not essential

Brian Gallagher: (playwright and TV writer)
Cons of writing for TV:
Loss of control it’s a team effort
Writing for order, more controlled, timed
No single vision (producers, writers etc all work together)
More pressure than a novel
Pros for writing for TV:
Your work will be seen by a huge amount of people
Pay is good
Standards are high

Ferdia Mac Anna:
The difference in writing for TV/film than books, is that in film/TV its all abut visualisation, rather then internal dialogue/narrative so you must be able to write visually.
Books and film are so different, film all about pictures
Novelistic writing will get you nowhere in scriptwriting

Suggested Resources:
Screen Writing by Syd Filed
Final Draft software for scripts etc
Simple Scripts and Drews Scrip-o-Rama for good websites
BBC/NBC have TV scripts online

Andrew Meehan: (Development Executive at the Irish Film Board.)
They accept monthly submissions for their First Draft Development Funds. This is for writers, and they can receive a € 12,000 loan.
They will accept a treatment which can be 12pages approx.
1-2 log line
Synopsis 1/2pg
6-10pg story outline
Writers Notes : sample scenes, or why you want to write this project etc

If you get funding from the board they like you to work with a script editor that they might recommend and you pay that cost.

They are looking work that is:
Where the writer is in control of the work, know what they want

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *