STOP PRESS! We have a new script system

Tuesday 13 March 2012, 14:28

Paul Ashton Paul Ashton

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caution.jpg Caution


Welcome to our brand spanking new website. And welcome to the Script Room. We’ve been saying for a while that a new improved system is on the way, and here it is: the Script Room.

First things first – what WON’T change about how you can submit scripts outside of one-off talent searches?

  • Script Room will still accept full scripts for TV, film, radio and theatre
  • Script Room will still be open to any writer in the UK and Eire
  • Script Room will still assess all scripts by sifting the first ten pages in the first instance
  • A limited proportion of scripts will still receive script reports/feedback from the Script Room
  • We will still look for the same strengths we ever have – anauthentic writer'svoice, powerful ideas, vivid worlds, well-told stories, engaging characters, memorable scripts- and talent and potential in the writer
  • Specific one-off talent searches and competitions will still run alongside the Script Room

So far, so good. What, then, has been IMPROVED about what we do?

  • Script Room won’t be open year-round in a rolling system; we will instead make three calls for scripts each year - in the Spring, Autumn and New Year - and each call will have a window for submissions and a deadline. The first window will open in the last week of March 2012 and the deadline will close on May 21st 2012. Watch the Send a Script and Opportunities pages, and this Blog and Twitter, for more information when the door opens.
  • Script Room will log all submissions together and assess all scripts together intensively. A proportion of writers who progress well and show promise but do not reach the final selection will be offered feedback on their script. And most importantly, a group of writers who do progress right the way through the system will form the Script Room Selection - where they will have access to masterclasses/workshops, and direct contact with the writersroom team.
  • Writers will need to complete a Cover Sheet with their script - and will need to make sure their script meets the guidelines. If you don't complete one, and if we can't easily contact you to get one for the deadline, then your script will not be accepted. The Cover Sheet will be available to download when the window opens later in March
  • Writers will not be able to resubmit any script which has previously been considered - whether that’s in the old unsolicited system, any previous talent search or competition, or any previous call from the Script Room
  • In line with BBC Environment Policy, we will wherever possible recycle all scripts received as a matter of usual practice, and contact writers via email. If you want your script returned or do not have regular access to email/internet, then you mustenclose an SAE

So a lot has stayed the same regarding what you can send - but how we receive, process and follow-through will, we think, be much improved. It will be a leaner, more efficient system to run - and we reckon writers will get a response/decision on their submission quicker than they do now.

The main reason for doing this is to focus as much as we can on the small proportion of writers we are excited about- along the lines of the talent searches we already run. Writersroom, like every other part of the BBC, has been looking at how to make what we do more efficient and cost-effective, and we think the Script Room will do just that - while continuing to offer the same open door to writers.

Please look at the relevant sections, and the website as a whole, before asking questions that already have answers provided elsewhere . You have some time before the first window opens – and plenty of time before the first deadline looms.

Look forward to seeing your work in the Script Room!

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    Comment number 26.

    There's no need for that, whoever you are. Obviously, there'd be recognition of the recording taking place, with some information being withheld and behaviour being moderated, but I think it would be helpful for those submitting to be given a stronger sense of the process.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Hey Paul,

    I had a sniff around the site and I'd like to clear up a few things so I can ruthlessly take advantage of the new system as far as possible. ;-)

    I've got six thirty minute episodes of a comedy series... . I understand that I have to wait for a form to appear on this site to write a precis of it. Okidoki. Do I then post in the whole lot, or the first ten pages? Before I go nuts with the printer, how much better would it be to rework it with the template I've seen mentioned in this thread? Further, would sellotaping myself to the railings at Portland Place and shouting "oh dear god, please look at my script, I'm desperate" on the 26th get me any nearer the front of the queue? And finally... which part of the railings gets the most sun? Just in case I'm not the only one.

    Looking forward to finding out.


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    Comment number 28.

    Vericacious - no, we have no such videos - it wouldn't make for terribly gripping viewing, I have to say - readers sitting reading, mostly quietly, with sporadic conversation, and then regular catch ups about which scripts they like the most. We could make an exciting 'trailer' kind of thing - but then it would only show a kind of sexed up version of reality ...

    Pretzki - we aren't allowed to name any specific shop in case we're seen to be recommending any - sorry, you'll just have to stalk the aisles guessing wildly about whether it's one of us...

    Alex - we won't want a precis, just a cover sheet of info, don't send the whole thing, just the first episode. Sellotape away - but we have special BBC earmuffs that block out the screams ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Hello Paul,
    In FAQ - Can I send in more than one script?
    We only accept one script at a time from writers.

    I have a film and a radio play I'd like to submit. Can I send two scripts of different formats?

    Cheers, Rachel

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Paul, you have a startling resemblance to Nigel Winterburn, Is it safe to say that the rest of the team would resemble the Old Arsenal rear guard as well.


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