Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Scriptwriting for soaps and serials.

Our last post called National Treasures was by scriptwriter Lilie Ferrari and offered a great insight into writing for TV. Lilie will be running a scriptwriting course for the Unthank School of Creative Writing in  September in Norwich. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn from somebody who has a huge amount of script experience. Below is the course summary and please click here for booking details. 

An Introduction To Soaps & Serials
Whether it’s Wolf HallSherlockDoctor Who or a cracking episode of Casualty or EastEnders, television dramas are thriving, with audiences in their millions. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to get into TV writing and write drama scripts, here’s your chance to find out by working with an experienced TV writer, Lilie Ferrari, former writer and script editor on EastEnders.

Using group discussion, readings, viewings and practical exercises, participants will learn the basic mechanics of writing a script for TV and how to get into TV writing. The way that soap operas and popular dramas tap into common concerns and preoccupations will be discussed as a way of finding material to play with. You will learn how to create believable and sympathetic characters and work them into ongoing stories. Sessions are given on how to work in a visual medium: plot, structure, dialogue and the correct ways to format a script. From group brainstorming sessions, students will develop their own soap opera idea, populate its cast and work on it as a team for the duration of the course, with the option of carrying on with this idea in the Advanced TV Workshop. This is a great way to learn how to work as part of a team of writers to a given brief.
The ideas and storytelling techniques that we’ll be exploring are applicable to all forms of drama, not just TV, and you may well find that you gain experience here that can help with the writing of a feature film screenplay or novel.
By the end of the course, you will have a real taste of what writing for TV is like in a collaborative environment. The classes are lively, entertaining and very sociable, as all Unthank School courses are. The collaborative and interactive nature of TV scriptwriting makes the face-to-face tuition with a writer who has actually worked in television an incredible advantage. You will receive more individual attention and more useful tips and advice than you would on other TV writing courses. You will also have a script to show producers and TV companies, which could help you show off your talent and flair to potential commissioners. The course will offer insights into how the drama departments of major UK broadcasters operate and will ask: what are they looking for, and can you supply it? If you want to start out on the bumpy road to your own television drama script, this is a great place to start. You’ll learn everything that you need to know about how to become a scriptwriter.
Sessions include:
·       The idea. What are we going to create as a group?
·       Understanding TV genres
·       Creating characters
·       Storytelling do’s and don’ts for TV
·       Creating a ‘bible’ for series and serials
·       Organising stories into blocks of episodes
·       Creating the world of your drama
·       Creating a complete story document for one episode
·       How to structure great scenes and great episodes

Suitable for beginners. Scheduled for September, 2015. Ten two-hour classes.

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