Industrial Scripts is an apt phrase – if you want to have a career as a professional writer of screenplays and scripts in the UK there usually a lot you need to know.
This is a business, on an industrial scale – especially if you’re working in soap or serial drama, as I did for over ten years.
Soaps like Emmerdale, Eastenders, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks are where most of the UKs professional script writers earn their bread and butter living. It’s also on these shows that screenwriters learn their craft and build contacts and trust with industry executives, producers and broadcasters.
Here’s a quick list of UK script writers who have worked on the soaps or serial dramas –
Jimmy McGovern – Brookside
Frank Cottrell Boyce – Brookside and Coronation Street
Sally Wainwright – Emmerdale and Coronation Street
James Payne – Hollyoaks and Eastenders
Tony Jordan – Eastenders
Kay Mellor – Brookside and Coronation Street
I myself have credits on Emmerdale, Eastenders and Hollyoaks.
As a script writer for hire the soaps and serial dramas are the place where you learn your craft, and learn how to keep turning out Industrial Scripts – usually at a rate of one episode every three weeks.
When writers contact me for help with script reports or as a UK Script Consultant and Script Doctor they often believe that the original feature film script they’ve written will (if everything is fixed) get made, and get them set up for life.
More likely, if the script is good, the writer will instead land an agent, and the agent will use the spec script to get the writer work. That work, more than likely will be on one of the serial dramas or soaps. Which earn the writer (and the agent) good regular money.
The soaps eat up scripts on an industrial scale – they always need writers to provide these Industrial Scripts.
Over the next few months, I’ll be writing a series of blogposts about the industry and how writers need to learn to up their game and get ready to turn out some Industrial Scripts.