Search This Blog

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Writing – market - BBC drama

The BBC’s Writersroom has opened its window for unsolicited TV and film drama script submissions. 

The window closes on 24 September 2015. UK residents only!
Wikipedia commons

In this link here see the sub-section ‘submission windows’

Do not submit a first draft or a work in progress. Make it the best you possibly can. This is a highly competitive market.
More details here

Episode series. Send the first full pilot episode of a series and a brief outline of 1-3 pages of future episodes.

Serial. Send the first episode and a brief outline of 1-3 pages of the remaining serial narrative.

Single drama. Send the complete script.

In the website’s ‘Terms and Conditions’ you will find a wealth of advice, for instance:

‘We accept scripts that are at least 30 minutes long, which is a fair length of time to assess a writer's work – it's extremely hard to judge a writer's abilities with a view to BBC broadcast slots if their work is shorter than this… The minute-to-a-page measure of classic screenplay format is a useful rule-of-thumb, but isn't a cast iron formula as it ultimately depends on the style of the piece. Generally speaking a half-hour sitcom would come in between 30 and 35 pages, an hour-long drama between 50-70 pages, and a feature film between 70-120 pages. The best way to judge the length of your script is to time yourself reading it, allowing extra space for action. A group reading or performance is even more useful since each reader, like an actor, may deliver their lines of dialogue at different paces...

Script Room reading process
‘BBC Writersroom employs professional script readers to assess all the submitted scripts. They sift the scripts by reading at least the first ten pages. All eligible scripts are considered in this way. If a script doesn't sufficiently hook our attention at the sift stage, it will not be considered further... If a script hooks our reader’s attention, it will progress to the second sift where the first 20-30 pages of scripts are read by another reader. If a script is long-listed it will progress to the full read and feedback stage of the process, where a third reader reads the script and provides feedback.  The reader may then recommend that the script is shortlisted, which means that it will be read and discussed by senior members of the BBC Writersroom team and the writer will be considered for further development.’

Also in the ‘Terms and Conditions’ is a comprehensive bullet point list showing what they do not accept, so make a point of reading this too. And one of the conditions is that they only accept scripts from those resident in the UK.

The website also contains a large library of scripts to browse, so you can see how they’re formatted and how the various writers deal with narrative and dialogue.

Good luck!



No comments: