SCREENWRITING

 

We run workshops in writing scripts for both television and feature films. We help you to master the key skills of visual storytelling, plotting, dialogue and viewer engagement so you can deliver the stories you want to tell in the most engaging way possible. As well as script writing, we also talk about engaging with the industry.

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​The TV Script Room

 

Course runs at weekends over 6 months January to June 2020

Freelance/Individuals: £595.00

Industry employees: £1850.00

THIS COURSE IS ELEGIBLE FOR INDUSTRY SUPPORT. ATTENDEES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR BURSARY FROM EITHER:

ScreenSkills Training Fund 

Screen Scotland Professional Development Fund 

TV series, serials and soaps are the biggest market for working scriptwriters in the UK. They need powerful stories and great storytelling to work for an audience. American high end TV works on the model of the 'Writers Room' where groups of writers and producers develop and plot storylines for a TV series, then collaboratively produce scripts. The model is coming more and more into UK TV too - but it is new territory for many British screenwriters, particularly those at the start of their careers.

 

But how do you get experience of the unique way episodic TV needs to be written? How do you get a chance to prove you can work this way and produce the goods? 

This intensive workshop programme has been developed to exactly replicate the collaborative story development and scriptwriting environment of a TV series production. If you are interested in making it as a scriptwriter, script editor or storyliner in TV, this is a must-attend course. Want to learn how episodic TV works? Need to know how to develop and present ideas in an accepted industry format? Want to write better TV scripts? Want to pitch your ideas better at Story Conferences? Using the detailed outline for a fictitious series (created entirely for this workshop), this highly practical workshop programme will give you hands-on experience of how to storyline and script a long running series. The workshop is run like a real TV series production, with real demands and deadlines - the only difference is, we won't make the programme at the end of it!

At the start of the course, each participant will be given the series bible and asked to come up with their own storyline ideas for the characters and concept. We will collaboratively brainstorm and develop storylines for a whole series of episodes and plot them across the series. All writers attending will be asked to write a complete scene-by-scene plot for one episode of this series, then work on drafting and re-drafting a complete episode.

As much as possible, this workshop will uniquely mimic a real TV production and story conference setup, where the participants are the contributing writers and workshop leader is the Senior Script Executive whose job it is to oversee the process of story creation and plotting.

Course runs at weekends from January to June 2020. Each day in the script room runs from 10.00am to 4.00pm (with a break for lunch).

COURSE SCHEDULE (please note that attendees are expected to be at every event)

Session 1: Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th January 2020:

  • Induction

  • Introduction to how episodic TV works

  • Introduction to our TV series

  • At the end of this initial weekend, writers will be tasked with coming up with storyline ideas for our series

 

Session 2: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th February 2020

  • Storylining

  • Story Conference #1: Everyone pitches ideas for stories

  • We will plot long-term and short-term stories for our series on the whiteboard

  • We plot the arc of an entire series of episodes

 

Session 3: Saturday 14th March 2020

  • Working with storyline documents

  • How to shape an episode of television: handling multiple storylines

  • Every writer will be allocated one episode of the series to write

  • Writers tasked with plotting series and serial storylines in a scene-by-scene treatment

 

Session 4: Saturday 18th April 2020

  • Story Conference #2: we workshop everyone's episode treatments

  • The fundamentals of TV scriptwriting: the scene mix, dialogue, visuals

  • The key ingredients you need to write into your episode

  • At the end of this session, each writer will be tasked to go and write their first draft script

 

Session 5: Saturday 30 May 2020

  • First draft scripts feedback

  • At the end of this session, writers will be given notes and tasked with working on rewrites

 

Session 6: Saturday 27 June 2020

  • Re-drafts & readthroughs

  • Story Conference #3: how is our series shaping up

  • Taking stock

  • Next steps into the industry and a career as a TV writer

 

By the end of this course, participants will have got a real taste of what it is like working on a TV series, taking part in story conferences, drafting and rewriting scripts. All real world experience they can take into TV production work.

Workshop Leader:  Douglas Dougan began his career writing for series television at BBC, Channel Five & ITV (Casualty, Family Affairs, Doctors, River City, The Bill, Kingdom). In 2006, he set up his own independent production company based in Edinburgh. Among their credits are the BAFTA award-winning Run, Tony, Run! and BBC Three Award winner Mono. Douglas works regularly as a script editor and script consultant on UK film and television productions including the multi-BAFTA award winning dramas Margaret, Small Island, Five Minutes of Heaven, Occupation, Sex ‘n’ Drugs ‘n’ Rock & Roll and '71

Guest speakers to be confirmed.

Who’s the course for?  This is not a course complete beginners; you should have some knowledge of scriptwriting already either from courses, books and writing your own scripts. This would best suit writers keen to learn the craft of telling stories over more than one episode; TV writers keen to polish their story skills to pitch better at Story Conference; Script Editors & Script Developers interested in understanding how stories are created and strapped across a TV series length; anyone working in the industry that needs to know more about TV storytelling and how to structure story ideas. 

Widening Access, Inclusion and Representation

Skriva aims to assist the industry as they work towards best practice by encouraging inclusion and better representation of our society in its creative practitioners. Applications are therefore particularly encouraged from talented people from groups under-represented in Film and TV, which can include:

 

  • People from a BAME background

  • People with mental health issues

  • LGBTI people and communities

  • People who have no Higher Education Degree but whose work experience can transfer well

  • People who are the first person in their family and friends of family to enter the industry

 
​Scriptwriter Mentoring 

 

Want support with your scriptwriting but don't want the commitment of a workshop? We run one-to-one mentoring, script development and script editing.

CLICK HERE for full details.

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Skriva Writing School, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, 25 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AP

 

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