1438278049© Michael Blann

Script Editor

Industries:
Film | High End TV
Personality type:
Communicator
Departments:
Development | Script

The lowdown

  • Providing a critical overview of the screenwriting process  
  • Liaising between the Producer or Development Executive and the Screenwriter
  • Helping to strengthen and develop screenplays 

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • Have experience of script reading
  • Have a keen insight into all aspects of a screenplay 
  • Have a comprehensive knowledge of screenwriting theories 
  • Understand the various development stages
  • Understand how to use the dramatist's tools eg comic irony, suspense, mystery 
  • Understand how audiences respond to films
  • Have good analytical skills
  • Be a good writer
  • Have good communications skills

What does a Script Editor do?

Script Editors mediate between the Screenwriter's creative desires and the commercial needs of the marketplace. Script Editors evaluate screenplays and give a different perspective. They remind Screenwriters of the production company's requirements and the market for films. Their role is to help Screenwriters and Producers realise the potential of their screenplays. 

Script Editors are also responsible for helping Screenwriters to map out their story. They have to remind them of this map when they write scenes that deviate from the narrative. Script Editors agree a development schedule with Producers and Screenwriters. This schedule usually includes development meetings, one-to-one editorial meetings, and regular feedback. 

Script Editors assess and support relationships between Screenwriters and Producers. They have to be present at all script development meetings to make sure that all parties share the same vision for the project. They also keep a record of any decisions made. 

Script Editors should negotiate their contracts before they start work, setting out fees and delivery deadlines for each stage of the process. The role varies, depending on whether Script Editors are freelance, or working in-house for a production company.

Will I need a qualification?

You will need a degree. You may also want to take a script editing or screenwriting course. 

If you are considering taking a film production course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the film industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a career in film:

Film production courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles website.  

Websites

  • Writers' Guild of Great Britain - a trade union representing professional writers in TV, film, theatre, radio, books, poetry, animation and videogames.
  • BECTU - a trade union for media and entertainment, that provides advice and support, including a script registration service 
  • BBC Writers Room - top tips on script writing, plus opportunities and events for writers
  • European Writers' Council - the federation of 50 national and transnational organisations of professional writers and literary translators in 34 countries
  • Federation Screenwriters Europe - a network of national and regional associations, guilds and unions of writers for the screen in Europe

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