Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Writing spec scripts in the US

If you've ever dreamed of writing for an American TV series you'll probably know that, unlike in the UK where producers usually want to see originated work, the calling card is a spec script of an existing show. In Written By, some experts offer advice.
Marcy Ross [senior vice president of Current Programming, FOX]: It's always great to see that someone understands the nuts and bolts of scriptwriting and can have even a pedestrian understanding of a show's characters. That's the first layer. Then the second layer is when I'm sitting down to read 50 scripts, what are you going to tell me that's new about the character or gives me a heightened sense of reality or situation?

Jane Espenson [writer-producer, currently with an overall deal at NBC Universal]:
A spec has to be two different things. It has to read as if it could be produced, and it has to be different. So it's an odd little dance.
Jane Espenson also has a blog about writing spec scripts.

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