Writers Wanted! MovieBytes is looking for articles. Call for Submissions
From what I understand (and I'm no expert on script format) the format of a TV script varies depending on wether it's a 1/2 hour sitcom or 1 hour drama (soaps also vary).
Generally anything that is a spec should not contain scene numbers. That's something that comes into play when it's time to shoot. If it's 1/2 hour drama ACTION SHOULD BE CAPITALIZED and dialogue double spaced. New acts start on a separate page.
A 1 hour drama is pretty much exactly like a spec for a 120-paged screenplay. The only difference is that it's written in acts.
If you're writing for a show that is currently airing, try getting a copy of a script to see how they format. Some shows have a teaser, some don't and others may have used a teaser in (for example) their first 2 seasons, but have since stopped.
Hope this helped.
Oh yeah, a 1/2 hour sitcom runs anywhere from 30-45 pages and a 1 hour drama 60-70 pages (plus or minus a few pages due to commercials). This may be intuitive, but just in case you didn't know. (most competetion post the number of pages they would like anyway)
I can write a screenplay in 24 hours but it's going to take at least 24 days for me to polish it.
Make that 24 none consecutive days...
The first thing that came to my mind was, 'huh?'
I'm doing TV as well.
Go to writersstore.com and order the 2004 Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producer's. It's $59.95
I would rather enter the features division but I'm doing TV because the feature I'm working on is not complete. I hadn't heard a thing about there being less entries in the television division.
Speaking of the Disney Fellow, you know the biography portion of the application? How did you guys write it? Was it in the first person, an autobiography or the third person a biography?
On one hand I feel really proud and inspired by those first time newcomers who manage to sell a script.
On the other, I get terribly jealous...
"i've realized that the problem is we have eyes in the front of our heads, not in the back.
so where we can see the handful of people who are way ahead of us, we can't see the thousands of people who are way behind us, unless we stop and look around."
Very nice. Now I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :)
Has anyone around here been in the top 40? (or even better the top 12)
What kind of questions did they ask you during the phone interview?
Well, I entered this year for the drama workshop. Speaking of, has anyone started to hear back from WB yet?
I use it. For the most part it's pretty decent. Most of the reviews for the work I've posted have been very helpful. But like someone else said, it's very time consuming and some ppl you'll review may not be able to handle constructive criticism.
So, Disney is only going to take on 8 instead of 12 for 2005?
"Might have been when I referred to Mickey Mouse as the anti-Christ, not sure."
Tee hee hee! :)
Did anyone else who applied for the drama workshops recieve a letter like this? (I'm leaving out some specific details)
December 1, 2004
Dear Workshop Applicant,
Thank you for applying to the 2005 Warner Bros. Television Drama Writers Workshop. After careful evaluation and consideration of the scripts we received, we are unable to include your submission in the final round.
We would, however, like to invite you to an evening workshop seminar focusing specifically on Drama TV spec writing. It will be held on_______ at______ in______ on the______ in ______. We will be addressing some helpful tips and tricks on Drama TV spec writing, as well as answering some questions about the workshop. This lecture is only being offered to this year's Workshop applicants (no guests, please) and there is no admission fee.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP ______________. As seating is limited, _______________.
We wish you well on all of your future writing endeavors and thank you again for your interest in the Warner Bros. Television Workshop.
I applied for the WB's drama workshop and I just recieved a letter today. It's posted under the thread "I got a letter from Warner Bros..." Have you recieved anything of the sort from them yet?
Yeah, I'm going.
I didn't recieve the call, but I did get a rejection letter coupled with an invite to a workshop/seminar.
Are you going to attend? I am.
I triple that motion. I recieved the same e-mail.
Got my official rejection letter today. They wrote it on some very nice silver and white stationary. It scared me for a moment. I thought for a second that maybe the sky had fallen and I got in. It's free, so I'll be applying again next year.
I went to that WB writer's workshop event on Jan. 11 and it was very informative. Basically, there were 350 entries and they chose 10 ppl for the workshop. Out of those 10, maybe 5 or 6 of them had applied to the work shop more than once. Debbie P. said that it was far more common for someone to apply more than once and get in than for someone to get in on the first try.
She didn't mention anything about the comedy workshop, but she did mention how the woprkshop works.
She stated that after going through the workshop the WB sort of acts like an impromtu agent for 3 months. If you suceed in the workshop, they'll find writing assignments for you and pay 50% of your salary to the show that hires you. She also talked about the pros and cons of other training programs and she told us we could contact her and get feedback on our submissions. She said that they love it when a person applies and dosen't get in the first time, then re-applies and shows improvement.
These were the most common mistakes she found in the scripts (and yes she and 2 others read each and every single submission):
1.) story inappropriate for the show
2.) story not serving main characters well
3.) stories not logical
4.) stories are similar to something the show has already done in the past.
5.) conflict not strong enough.
6.) main characters are not utilized enough.
7.) No undersatnding of the show's structure and not enough research. (I.e. all of Nip Tuck's episodes titles are the names of patients and shows that air on abc follow the 5-act structure)
9.) Choopy dialogue.
She also made some suggestions on what scripts we should steer clear of. They were Smallville and procedural dramas. She said only write for these types of shows if they are your absolute favorites, you've done extensive research and you know you can blow them away with your writing. And out of the 350 submissions, she said there were about 60 that caught their eyes. Hummm... she covered alot more but I can't think of it right now.
Oh yeah, and Debbie P. is not a writer, but she has much respect for writers. She belives without writers there would be nothing. Directors, actors and others are nothing if there are no good writers.
I e-mailed them last year with that very question. They e-mailed back and basically said to do whatever floats my boat, but to keep it short, sweet and readable.
The Expo is only worth it, if you make it worth it. Don't go into it without a plan of attack or you may find yourself wasting your time and money. I went back in 2009 solely for the classes/seminars. I wanted to get the most bang for my buck so I did not buy the gold pass. I looked over every single class they were offering, picked out the ones I would benefit from (as well as back ups in case a class was full), arranged a schedule in Excel and dove in. I ended up going to about 10 classes over 2 days. I also sat in on the William Goldman and the Roberto Orci/Alex Kurtzman panel. Including the basic pass I paid $150 and I was completely satisfied. I still reference some notes I took in a couple of the seminars.
Have you heard anything from either of the yet?
I agree with Nicholl's but I also think in-house training programs like WB Writer's Workshop, Disney's Writer's program, NBC Writer's on the Verge, Nick, CBS Diversity, etc. are worth their weight in gold. They basically train you to work in a group setting, help you with any rough edges, then get you staffed on shows (which can lead to you becoming a future show runner). I always thought these programs were like finding a needle in a haystack but I'm a semi-finalist in one of the above (just had my meet and greet with studio execs today and yes I'm purposely not saying which program it is yet). These programs can really put a jump start to your career. They are aimed @ TV, but look at people like Alan Ball. He writes TV and features. And lets face it shows like Fringe, Boardwalk Empire, and Game of Thrones are like mini movies in themselves. If you can sneak in through TV and make a name for yourself, people will be more willing to read your original stuff. As a matter of fact today the studio execs requested the log lines to my original work and as a result, they want to read some of my scripts (they even want to see some of my comedy work and that wasn't the category I applied to). In other words, don't rule out TV.
Austin and Scriptaplooza are good contests too.
Register here to receive MovieBytes' FREE email newsletter featuring contest deadline reminders, news, articles, and much more. Choose a password to access the MovieBytes bulletin board and other great features.