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Role of the Writer. Hayden Collins 13p1. Overview of a writers role - getting starting. Within the media industry filmmakers need scripts and any body could potentially write a script. However while anyone can write a script they need to know how to get their work noticed .

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role of the writer

Role of the Writer

Hayden Collins 13p1

overview of a writers role getting starting
Overview of a writers role - getting starting
  • Within the media industry filmmakers need scripts and any body could potentially write a script. However while anyone can write a script they need to know how to get their work noticed.
  • Many screenwriters begin by creating their own scripts ‘on spec’ (Freelance) and sending them out to agents and producers, which may purchase them for a set payment and offer employment for the duration of the project. More experienced scriptwriters can merely pitch to an executive producer through their agent and they will decide whether or not to buy the rights to the idea.
  • Sometimes they will even hire the screenwriter to finish the script. Screen writing has a very variable rate of pay especially if they are producing ‘on spec’ scripts which can be hotly contested for and sell for insane amounts of money. Recently the film Safe House caused a bidding frenzy in Hollywood. Universal Pictures producer Scott Stuber with a mid-six-figure offer won the script.
the two ways of promoting the film script
The two ways of promoting the film script

Writing an unsolicitedscript – This is simply when you create a script of your own back and you have not been asked to write a script for a company or client. This type of script is the final draft of the idea and its what you want to see on screen, after that an agent has to approach you and then try to sell the script to film and television companies.

Problems - You are responsible for all your finances and you are not going to get paid until a script is sold, assuming one ever gets past the script reader. You need to have some financial preparations like a job you can work while trying to get your script solicited. 

Commissioning -Getting your script commissioned by getting hired by a producer but you need have been ‘discovered’. In order to get noticed you need to engage in the practice of networking which is getting to know the right peoples in the right circles, this is made easier by today's social technology like Facebook.

Problems– you are only paid once, your discovered and then its paid in to parts (when commissioned and then when its being filmed.

people involved in the script writing process
People involved in the script writing process

Agent:It is the job of the Agent is to ‘sell’ both the script and script writer to an interested party, they don’t eat if your script and talents are not sold because they take a percentage of the money that you make from your script work.

Script Reader:This person’s job is quite self-explanatory, it is also a script readers job to analyses the strengths and weaknesses then provide a detailed report to the development executive. Their opinion is highly valued by the development executive.

Script Editor: It is the job of the editor to provide a critical perspective on a script as it is written and re-written. The editor will analyze the script and provide feedback to writer on what works, doesn’t work, and could be altered or change.

Development Executive: This person’s job is to work with researchers to figure what is popular with the audiences and give ideas for programming to take advantage of the changing formats and trends. The executives will analyze scripts and determine whether the script writer (that means YOU) is worth hiring or not.

the main process of the script writing pt1
The main process of the Script Writing Pt1

Script reader and the start of the process

  • When you have a script that has found its way into the hands of a potential buyer the first challenge comes to light and that is getting past the reading of the first 10-pages. Before a script reaches its final destination it must first get past a script reader who will decide whether the script is worth looking at by reading the first 10-pages. If your work succeeds in impressing the reader it will move to the next stage, if not it’s game over for that script.
  • You will need to establish a lot of things in your script within the first ten pages such as characters, settings and themes. The script will need to be proof read before submission to check for grammar and spelling errors otherwise the reader will not bother with your script if it is full of spelling errors and poor grammar.

The Development Executives – (learns the audience and aims to see it as a blockbuster or a mainstream piece)

  • Afterwards the executive, contacts your agent and you, it’s the time to see if the scripts made it and if your going to get paid. The first day of filming will commence before your paid anything.
the main process of the script writing pt2
The main process of the Script Writing Pt2

Side notes

  • Some producers work independently and actively seek out scripts and pitch them to interested studios who are willing to fund the project. An example of this would be Matthew Vaughn who is a director and producer famous for such films as “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”, “Snatch”, “Kick Ass” and ”Stardust”. After being rejected by every studio they approached, Matthew Vaughn raised the budget at a dinner party and made the movie independently. Vaughn ultimately sold the movie to Universal for more than he had originally asked them for .
  • Sometimes during filming the producer will call upon the aid or additional screenwriters to re-write any scenes that they are unsatisfied with. case and point “World war Z” producers have hired “Prometheus” screenwriter Damon Lindelof to re-write sections of the upcoming zombie epic which has now been delayed until June 2013 However during the filming process the script (or at least parts of it) can become subject to what is called page lock-down this mans that they cannot be re-shot or re-written