Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Working With Writers - a good practice guide for TV programme makers

Gail Renard, Chair of the Guild's TV Committee, introduces a new publication

In response to our members’ many problems and queries, the Guild is proud to launch, Working With Writers (pdf), our new good practice guide for TV programme makers.

It can be seen as a companion piece to Making Film (pdf), the good practice guide recently produced by the Guild's Film Committee, but the problems in our two industries are very different.

Television production and its personnel are constantly changing and it’s imperative we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. The guide was compiled by the Television Committee over the course of a year (for which many thanks) and follows the fine example set by Tony Read in his original guide of more than 20 years ago.

The new version explains what members can expect every step of the way of the production process. It also advises how TV production personnel should work with writers, so there can be reasonable expectations on both sides... though writers should always remember that professionalism is a two-way street.

The Good Practice Guide is just that and covers everything from a writer’s first ideas, to progressing to treatments, outlines and scripts. It also advises on commissions, rewrites and, importantly, explains when you should be paid (or sadly not.) It outlines the writer’s role in production and post-production, including screenings and awards ceremonies, though it’s up to members to write their acceptance speeches themselves.

The Guild asks that everyone, both writers and all production personnel, read and respect our new TV Guide. Our common goal, as always, is to make the best television programmes possible and to enjoy the journey along the way. We’re hoping the new Guide makes that easier.
Article published: 28.10.2009

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