Wednesday 18 May 2011

The Script Factory - Industry Script Reading

Well, Blogger failing last week led me to stray from my intended blog about the course I attended in London last week. But here it is anyway.

Getting into Script Reading has been on my mind for a while now. The idea for me is to try and supplement my income (or not have to continue my rotten temp job) and improve my own writing by reading more screenplays but as with any aspect of the industry, it's tough to get into and being able to say you've got some experience or qualification in Script Reading has to be a boost of some kind. So I enrolled in The Script Factory's one day course in Industry Script Reading and got my arse down to London for it. And a good time was had, both on the course and in the pub.

Anyone looking to get into it is likely to benefit from attending one of these courses and The Script Factory's seemed pretty damn good, with a tutor who knew what he was talking about, delivering it clearly. The other people attending came from a variety of backgrounds and all had varying levels of experience in screenplay writing, reading and/or development, some very new to the game and some veterans. So a good deal of what we were taught that day might have come as something new to some of the group. For me, a chunk of it was about taking what I already know about screenwriting and turning it around, using it to deconstruct instead of construct. This also served as a good reminder of what to do and not do as a writer. Working on your own in one room can make you forget certain aspects of the craft. Feedback is vital and I need to get my work out to people again.

Just as important (but something most of the courses I've done have failed to include) was information about actually getting employment within the industry as a reader. It's a daunting prospect. Readers are not paid well (this is not a job that can sustain a living), there are several levels of experience required for different sections of the industry and you can spend more time seeking employment than getting the work itself.

But that's no reason to be put off, as far as I'm concerned. We have to be prepared to exist at the bottom with little return if we're in it for the long game, and I am (my whole bleedin' life, so far). I'm still holding on to the old maxims about persistence and hard work (need to hold on to that latter one a but harder, I think) paying back in the long run.

So, I have to do some sample coverage and feedback reports and get my ass out there. Doing a course is one thing. Making sure you've got samples to back yourself up is another.

Read more. Write better.

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