Clare Alan is a tutor on our Writing an Original TV Drama Serial course, and an experienced script editor and producer who has worked on a range of TV and film projects in the UK and Ireland, including Solomon & Gaenor, factual drama The Investigator, Dangerfield, Silent Witness and The Vice.
As the deadline for applications for our TV drama course draws near, Clare gives us her top five tips for polishing your script and synopsis ready for submission …
Make sure you submit a script in an industry standard format
Your script will act like a map for all sorts of people during the development and production process, so it’s important you sell your idea here. Be sure to check spelling and grammar before you send it off – if your work is riddled with typos it looks careless. And don’t forget a title page!
You might want to check out this handy guide to formatting a TV script.
Cliffhangers are good
Even though we’re asking for fifteen pages of script, don’t worry if this page count leaves a scene midway. It builds suspense and intrigue for your drama.
Focus your idea
The 300-word episode summary should act as an excellent exercise to help focus in on the essence of your drama. Use this as an opportunity to hone your idea down and get to the heart of what your story is about.
What’s your end destination?
Know how you’ll end your story. You should have this finalised in your 300-word synopsis for the rest of your serial. The journey may change during development – and sometimes the finale too – but if you write down the destination now it will serve as a touchstone if you ever feel lost at sea.
Proofread your dialogue
One of the simplest mistakes to make is attributing dialogue to the wrong character – have a thorough read before you press send.
Good luck and we look forward to reading your submission!
Don’t forget! You’ll need to submit the following alongside your application:
- The opening of your pilot script (up to fifteen pages – maximum 2,200 words) in industry standard format.
- 300 words synopsising the rest of your pilot episode.
- 300 words synopsising the rest of your serial.
All of these materials need to be in the same document, as you can only upload ONE PDF file.
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