Short course

Overview

Delivered in the NFTS Scotland Virtual Classroom, accessed by Zoom

We recommend that you have experience in Script Reading and Reporting before taking this course, or have undertaken our Script Reading and Reporting course.

The current boom and global expansion of high-end TV Drama has opened a new era of opportunity.  ‘Script Editing Today’ will introduce you to the role of the script editor in TV Drama today. The course will provide you with an understanding of the tools and skills that are needed by the industry today. It will take you through the process of the script editor’s work from assessing a first draft of a TV pilot to planning future episodes. Throughout, participants will work independently on scripts with the tutor but also collectively as editors in the heat and excitement of an online writers’ room.

The course is led by Peter Ansorge, ex-Head of Drama at Channel 4 who began as a script editor in David Rose’s ground-breaking drama department at the BBC. Peter’s award- winning career includes: A Very British Coup, Traffik, GBH, The Politician’s Wife, Tales of the City, Brookside and The Camomile Lawn.

His NFTS course ‘Writing the TV Pilot’ is sponsored by All3Media; six of the scripts completed on Peter’s recent courses at NFTS Scotland and Beaconsfield are in development with leading production companies including Amazon Studios, Company Pictures and Sam Mendes’ Neil Street.

The course will include sessions working with writers on original scripts from ‘Writing The TV Pilot’. The emphasis will be on practise not theory. Developing and improving a script and engaging with the writer in the room.

Week 1

You will be assigned scenes from an original script to read as homework each evening. The morning and afternoon daily sessions will involve analysis and discussion of the scenes with the whole group led by Peter. You will also work in breakout groups learning how to analyse a script and come up with different ideas on how to improve and develop it.

Week 2

In the second week you will work in pairs. You will meet and work with a new writer on a project in development, involving group discussions, breakout sessions with the writer and outlining ideas for new episodes of a TV Drama series. By the end of the week, you will be required to submit a script report but throughout the course, the emphasis will be on your verbal notes and dialogue with the writer.

The course will include sessions with guest speakers: a producer will give their perspective on the role of the script editor and its importance in the creative and production process, and an established writer and script editor will share their experience of working together.

Previous participants said: 
'The course was excellent; the range and material we were exposed to exceeded my expectations and gave all of us a strong handle on script editing as well as insight into the part editing plays when scripts are in development. The group discussions represented a useful approach to understanding what goes into a script, the thinking behind the writing as well as the ideas to progress it, and ultimately how to have a constructive discussion with a writer about their work.​..
..(The highlight of this course was) seeing incredible work, meeting writers at an early stage in their career and having time with industry professionals to discuss the changing role of script editing in the production process. The writers were incredibly generous in sharing their work with the group and being open to discussing it as a way for us to learn, and the amount of time each writer spent with us taught us a lot about the different approaches to working with a writer and understanding their thinking and development of a script.'  (Mali Purkayastha, November 2020)

'I learnt what was expected of a Script Editor and how to develop my transferable skills and acquire new ones. I gained a much clearer understanding of the process and the confidence and desire to feel I could pursue it as the next stage of my career. All of the speakers were wonderful. I found the course extremely interesting and just the right level of challenging (in a rollercoaster kind of way). I learnt a lot from Peter and his encouragement has given me confidence to pursue script editing.' (Penelope Chong, November 2020)

'I participated in Peter Ansorge’s Writing the Pilot Course in 2018 and was absolutely thrilled to be invited back as a writer to work with his Script Editing Today students. The enthusiasm and dedication with which Peter and his students thoughtfully crafted feedback on my script has been invaluable to my project. No stone was left unturned with respect to the characters and mythology of my world.  It was wonderful to gain a broad spectrum of insight from the NFTS’ diverse and experienced students. I am incredibly grateful to the NFTS for their continued support with my writing. 
(Grace Link | Contributing Screenwriter 2021)

'No sane Writer wants their work analysed by seven Editors in one session, but with the enthusiastic expertise of tutor Peter Ansorge the ‘Edit for Today’ course proved an illuminating, invaluable experience. The group were insightful, diplomatic and honest with no-holds barred feedback, some of which I’m delighted to say I’ve taken onboard for future development. A win-win course I highly recommend to contributing Writers and participants alike.' 

(Linda Campbell | Contributing Screenwriter 2021)

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £1000
Corporate Rate: £1765

We recommend that you have experience in Script Reading and Reporting before taking this course, or have undertaken our Script Reading and Reporting course.

BURSARY INFORMATION

A limited number of bursaries are available for all of our short courses. If you wish to apply for a bursary to contribute to the costs of your course, please read the bursary guidelines below carefully to confirm your eligibility. Please do not apply to a course unless you are sure you meet the bursary eligibility criteria, or can pay for the course by other means.

Please apply as far in advance of the course date as possible to give yourself the best chance of securing a supported place, as we may not be able to accommodate all applications. We aim to advise successful applicants no later than 10 working days prior to the course start date. 

Once you have submitted your course application, your bursary application, and supporting documents, should be submitted to scotland@nfts.co.uk.

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines (Word doc)

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form (pdf)

If you are not eligible for an NFTS Scotland bursary, please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document (pdf) which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help. Please submit your application in plenty of time as timescales for funders differ. 

How to apply

Application deadline:20 Sep 2021

Please complete the application form to apply. 

Please also read the Terms and Conditions of booking as payment of a succesful application assumes acceptance of these. 

Begin your application