All the sections of this book are extremely useful and practical. A great starting point. Could be further updated, as some of the shows referred to are now several years old. It would be interesting to know if the influx of great tv e.g Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones is having an impact on non-US tv executives and commissioning editors.
This book has been a great source of help to me in developing my script ideas & gaining information about entering into and maintaining a successful television career. This book tales you from the early steps through every stage of your career. It's an investment.
Have only read the first couple of chapters so far but this seems to be a very insightful book when it come's to making sense of how a production company and agents and options and deals etc in general all work. It's also written in quite an easily digestible tone that keeps it from being a bore to read. So if you've written/are writing something and on the verge of wanting to try and do something with it, this book is a good buy.
'Writing for Television' is a must have book for anyone seriously contemplating or actively pursuing a career in scriptwriting for the 'small' screen. Full of useful advice and practical information from two highly experienced industry professionals this book looks at both the business and craft of writing for television. I particularly liked the chapters on calling card scripts and submission strategies and also those that focused on understanding contracts, options and the commissioning process. These were aptly drawn together under the heading, 'Making a Living'. Central to Part Two was the repeated emphasis on understanding audiences - what they watch, want and expect - and the importance of hooking and holding their interest across the range of formats found on TV. This draws the writer's attention to the harsh reality that he or she must find and write for an audience if he or she wants to be commissioned. Well written and easy to read this highly informative book makes essential reading for TV writers coming as it does from the top agent and experienced television producer who between them created the MA in Television Scriptwriting at De Montford University.
A terrific overview of the UK television industry (which is not dissimilar to the US) from the writers' point of view. As with many other writing books it covers the craft of screenwriting but crucially it also includes sections on 'Breaking In' and 'Making a Living' which includes working with agents, script editors, producers and commissioners, as well as an overview of contracts and options. A really thorough, clear, well presented guide for new writers.
Broken down into three sections, "Breaking In", "Making A Living" and "The Art & Craft of Writing For Television Audiences", THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO WRITING FOR TELEVISION is a comprehensive guide for newbies and seasoned writers alike. Forthright and easy to read, the book does not blind the reader with formulas, unlike many scriptwriting books. Particularly valuable is the section on how to approach and work with agents - one of the most misunderstood aspects of the business. I also thought the section on commissions and options and whether or not to sign a deal was really illuminating. As a script reader myself I was pleased to see the books focus on audience, schedules and market share - something many spec TV pilots appear to forget all about.
Though the focus is on TV writing, in my opinion screenwriters interested in writing feature films would also benefit from reading it, not only because they too work with agents, but so they can see how the two worlds of TV and Film differ *and* cross over. Recommended.
The Insider's Guide to Writing For Television is exactly that, with insights from and about seasoned and new writers alike as well as input from the points of view of all professionals involved in the industry, from script readers to script editors to producers and agents.
What this book offers is not only a "how to" guide, but an overview of the industry and its processes and above all, and most crucially, how to approach the business side of things.
Julian Friedmann, of top literary and TV agency Blake Friedmann and co-author of the book, offers a unique insight into the realities of the industry and the work involved to get a foot in the door. His chapters on contracts, options and commissions alone are well worth the book price.
This isn't a book which excludes new writers or those without an agent - Julian even offers advice on doing without an agent and the book as a whole tailors for those starting out as well as those who are currently working in the industry. Packed with information, links and advice for all aspects of the industry, it is a must read for anyone interested in writing for TV or film.
With the first half of the book covering the building blocks of industry business, self development and promotion, the second half is written by producer and editor Christopher Walker. Christopher talks us through what it takes to perform to industry requirements, from TV script formats and content to the importance of understanding audiences, genres, scheduling, plot devices and expectations of you as a jobbing writer.
Both sections are comprehensive and extremely informative, preparing you for every aspect of a career in TV writing. Both Julian and Christopher's honesty about the industry makes this a practical and no-nonsense manual, yet their approach is always encouraging and the chapters are well sectioned and narrated so that the information is easy to read and digest. There are also plenty of quotes, insights and advice from active TV writers and producers to help explain the points being covered.
You may find that you feel a little overwhelmed by the complicated nature of the industry and the perceived difficulty of getting a foot in the door, but the knowledge gleaned from this book will arm you with a far better approach than a writer who may not take the time to do their research. Quite frankly, this book is invaluable as a first point of research.
I planned to have this book as my [studious] holiday read, but couldn't help but dip into it early and couldn't stop reading! I devoured it all in a matter of days. It is definitely a book I will refer to again and again, and one which I will recommend to any aspiring TV or feature writer alike. Only YOU can control your career, and this book will help equip you with the knowledge and the mindset to work towards your goals.