INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE

I was chatting with a friend and fellow graduate of the BA (Hons) Screenwriting for Film and Television at Bournemouth University and was surprised when he mentioned that when he graduated a couple of years ago the university still didn’t include an industry training module as part of the course. There wasn’t one when I graduated in 2001 either, but I would have expected them to have introduced one since then. After all knowledge of the industry is a vital part of a successful screenwriting career. Without it, you’re floundering in deep water with nothing to cling on to but your writing skill.

When I left university with my screenwriting degree I thought I knew it all and it was only a matter of time before my work was recognised and my career took off. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It didn’t matter how good my writing was, my lack of knowledge of the industry held me back. It took me nearly nine years and a lot of wasted hours to finally discover this. You guys have it much easier though. There’s so much more information out there on the internet than when I started out. All you have to do is hunt it down.

Industry knowledge is just as important as your writing. Without it, you’ll be sending your work out blind and that will never do you any good. Remember, first impressions count. It was only when I realised this that my career started to go somewhere.

It’s not even enough to occasionally check what’s going on in the film and TV world, you have to spend at least twenty-five percent, if not half of your time on this. It is equally as important as writing. Writing isn’t enough on its own. You might be the world’s greatest writer but if you don’t know where, when and how to send your work out, you are going to fail.

So what do I mean exactly by ‘industry knowledge’? Industry knowledge is:

  1. Networking – meeting and forming relationships with other media professionals.
  2. Approach – how to conduct yourself so you will be remembered for all the right reasons.
  3. Social Media – how to use it to your advantage and what mistakes you should avoid.
  4. Trends – knowing what producers and broadcasters are working on and looking for and how to approach them.
  5. Knowledge – making sure you read industry publications such as Broadcast and Screen International regularly.

Unfortunately, very few people or courses talk about industry knowledge. Maybe that’s because as soon as it’s written down it’s already out of date. There are several posts on this blog that cover all of the points above. Why not have a look and see if any of them can hlep you. I would also be very interested to know from my subscibers which degree and masters courses now do feature an industry knowledge module. Luckily though, there are a few books out there you can buy that cover this subject. The best of the bunch are:
 
THE UK SCRIPTWRITER’S SURVIVAL GUIDE
by
TIM CLAGUE & DANNY STACK
 
and
 
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE
by
DANIEL MARTIN ECKHART
 
Those who are knowledgeable about the industry have a far better chance of being successful in it. Those who can’t be bothered, or think it’ll take up too much time… well, that’s their problem.
 
Happy writing!

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new articles and updates.