The series of blogs about the readers’ responses to the scripts and the script-reading process from the 2022 Channel 4 Screenwriting Course will begin in my first newsletter after Christmas – on Friday January 7th 2022.
But this week I would like to tell you about a new page / venture on my website that I’m very excited to be launching.
This is a brand new script library. An online resource for you to read and learn from screenplays. This is a library of unproduced scripts. This initial collection comprises some of the scripts I have most enjoyed reading (and in some cases working on) over the last few years.
I would like to say a massive thank you to the writers of these scripts for so generously agreeing to share their work here.
While there are several script websites of produced scripts (the excellent BBC writers room, simplyscripts.com etc) I’m not sure there is a UK website / page of unproduced British screenplays to read.
I should stress that this is free to access and I’m not charging the writers for having their scripts here.
I had a couple of motivations for doing this –
First, I have read so many truly excellent, thoroughly enjoyable scripts over the years but, for whatever reason, have not been able to help the writers find a producer or home for these scripts. It is a frustration to me that so many wonderful scripts have been written on the Channel 4 screenwriting course, for instance, and while quite a few have been optioned by producers and offered to broadcasters, very few of them have actually been produced (so far).
So I’m delighted to be able to showcase the scripts and give people a chance to read these scripts that I have enjoyed so much. Some of these scripts are very new, some were written some time ago – what they all have in common is that they are scripts that have stuck with me, that I have remembered for all the right reasons.
Second, I hope that the opportunity for other screenwriters and dramatic writers to read these scripts will be educational, instructive, thought-provoking and inspiring. So often, when I give notes to writers via my script consultancy, I talk about the very tricky process of effectively communicating your story on the page, of making sure that your story gets out of your head onto the page in a way that is clear, dynamic, dramatic and entertaining for the reader. One of the things I nearly always say is that the only way to improve this intangible but vital skill is to read and learn from other screenplays.
I’m talking about all the presentational, technical aspects of screenwriting – the ratio of dialogue to directions, using screenwriting software to write your script, using all the correct formatting and layout, proofreading your script, etc etc.
But I’m talking about more than this – writing with clarity, economy and dynamism; enabling your reader to visualise the on-screen action; helping your reader to experience the script as they would the film; getting the story out of your head and onto the page as effectively as possible. There is no single right way of doing this and every writer has their own quirks, strengths and qualities. But I hope these scripts will help other writers come to a clearer understanding and appreciation of how screenwriting can work at its best. I am a great believer that the more scripts you read, the more you think about how to tell and present your story in screenplay form, the better you will get at it.
The writers of these scripts are a real mixture of experience – some of these scripts are by brand new writers with no credits; some are by highly-experienced, award-winning screenwriters. Some are scripts that were either submitted for or written on the Channel 4 screenwriting course, some are scripts that were developed through my script consultancy.
So far, there are 28 projects here – screenplays, 2 stage plays and 1 outline. I will be looking to constantly update and add scripts to the page so please keep checking back for new additions. One area I will definitely try to expand is the ‘Outlines’ section.
Finding good examples of these sorts of documents in particular is notoriously difficult. These are so hard to write well so I know writers will want to see more examples.
There is also a COMMENTS section for you to let us know what you think of the scripts, which ones you have found particularly interesting and why; and to ask questions about any of these scripts.
I would be interested to hear any feedback you have about this page – what sort of scripts you’d like to see added, how I can improve the page, what else you would like from this page.
I hope you enjoy this Script Library and that it will be both an entertaining and educational resource.
Secondly this week, here is some information about a recent, excellent and important new initiative –
Guidelines for Inclusive Writers Rooms
A set of guidelines for making writers’ rooms inclusive to disabled, deaf and neurodivergent screenwriters were launched at the Underlying Health Condition campaign on 3rd December in London. These guidelines have been produced by TripleC in partnership with TriForce Creative Network and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.
They are designed to help production companies plan more inclusive, productive writers’ rooms and story conferences. They have been written by a small group of disabled screenwriters, in consultation with a wider group of disabled, deaf and neurodivergent screenwriters and other off-screen professionals, all of whom have worked in non-disabled spaces and wish to use these experiences to help all creatives in the future. They are intended to help production companies ensure that the writer they are employing is able to do their best work without shouldering the extra (often invisible) burdens of self-advocacy, educating the room and overcoming access barriers. We hope these guidelines may also prove useful to individual screenwriters who may not feel confident about providing feedback on workplace practices on an individual level.
Around 50 screenwriters have contributed to this document. We decided everyone will remain anonymous, so the guidelines come from the collective voice of deaf, disabled or neurodivergent screenwriters. We have also produced some short films based on the conversations from our focus group, with actors playing the participants involved, highlighting the experiences of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent screenwriters within the industry.
The guidelines and films can be accessed at https://triplec.org.uk/resources.
The Underlying Health Condition launch can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/652927043
Finally, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year – and I’d like to thank you for subscribing to and reading my newsletters, it’s much appreciated.
NB The newsletter is taking a Christmas break. The next newsletter will go out on Friday Jan 7th 2022.
December 10th 2021