New course for script editors and writers in Edinburgh October!

On Saturday October 2nd, I will be running this course, designed for both writers and script editors, with Adrian Mead’s company MeadKerr in Edinburgh. I hope to see you there!

For full information go to:-


No doubt you have heard that getting work in the film and TV industry is a case of, “Not what you know, but who you know.”

Guess what?

It’s true.  Talent will get you so far but relationships are where the business gets done.  So, let’s have a relationship quiz.

The following describes one of the key people who can make or break your career.  Who are they?

When a producer is actively looking to hire writers this is the person they call for recommendations.  Did you say an agent?  Wrong! The producer wants an unbiased opinion.  Also, although you may not have an agent you can build a relationship with this industry insider and benefit from their recommending you to others.

Next clue.  If you strive to get work writing on a TV show this is the person who is employed to read your stuff, meet new writers and report if you are suitable or not.  Did you say producer?  Wrong!  Producers use this person to act as their eyes and ears.

Okay, last chance.  After all your hard work marketing yourself a producer is considering you for a project, but first they need to check out what you will be like to work with.  Who do they call to check on your temperament, your ability to take notes?

Of course I’m talking about script editors and if you are a screenwriter, aspiring script editor or producer understanding the role script editors play and how to work with them is essential.  Luckily for you we have put together a course to do just that.


Philip Shelley, one of the UK’s most experienced script consultants and editors, will lead the course.  Philip has worked as a script editor and producer in TV drama and film for 15 years.  He has script edited numerous projects including A Good Murder, Waking The Dead, Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC and many more.

The list of established writers Philip has worked with includes-

  • Chris Chibnall (Born & Bred, Torchwood, Law & Order UK)
  • Declan Croghan (Waking The Dead, Murder Prevention)
  • Ed Whitmore (Waking The Dead, He Kills Coppers)
  • Damian Wayling (The Bill, Waking The Dead)
  • Charlotte Jones (The Palace)
  • Stephen Churchett (Kavanagh QC, Inspector Morse)
  • Terry Cafolla (Messiah, Holy Cross, Making Waves)
  • Lucy Gannon (Peak Practice, Dad)
  • Patrick Harbinson (The Day of The Triffids, ER)

Philip also runs the “Introduction” and “Advanced” Script Editing courses for the BBC Training Academy.  As producer, Philip has a feature film project in development with the UK Film Council and a sitcom in development with BBC Comedy.

During this info-packed day Philip and a panel of writers and producers will explore –

–      What can script editors do for writers?

–      Handling rewrites –  fighting your corner without falling out.

–      “It’s not what you know…”  Relationships that get you work.


VENUE: St Columba’s-by-the-castle
14 Johnston Terrace
Edinburgh EH1 2PW

FEE: £85.00 (includes lunch and refreshments)

DATE: Saturday Oct 2nd 2010


10.00 Introduction to the Course

Session 1 – What is a script editor? 10.15 – 11.30

An overview \ discussion of the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective and successful script editor.

11.30 – 11.45  Coffee break

Session 2 – Working with producers :  12.00 -1.00

Experienced industry producers will reveal – How writers are chosen for a project.  What producers expect from writers.  Remaining professional and building good relationships.

Lunch: 1.00 – 2.00 A light lunch is provided allowing you an opportunity to network with fellow delegates and pick the brains of course speakers.

Session 3 – Waking The Dead – An overview of the script editor’s job in production. 2.00 – 3.45

Case study of script editor’s role on Waking The Dead (BBC) with clips.

The relationship between producer, writer and script editor.

To whom is the script editor primarily responsible?

Selecting and briefing the writer

Working through drafts of outline, treatment and script

Collating and presenting notes

Running script meetings

Liaising between all areas of production and writer


Dealing with script crises; and much, much more!

This session will cover all the main aspects of a script editor’s job.

COFFEE BREAK – 4.00 – 4.15

Session 4 – Rewrites: The writer’s POV  4.30 -5.30

A panel of experienced screenwriters discuss how they work with producers and script editors – what script editors can do for you the writer – the relationship between script editor and writer on a production – how to avoid getting fired! – The state of the industry – upcoming career opportunities for writers and script editors.

Getting someone interested in your work is only the start of the process. This is your chance to learn from successful writers, script editors and producers about what happens next. Join us and get the insider knowledge you need to build your career.

Philip Shelley