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Late scripts an industry-wide problem

Discussion in 'Television & Streaming' started by verdantheart, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    I don't know if this is a problem that they've encountered at Alias, but the problems at West Wing are legendary. It's a bigger problem than I was aware of, as the following article, clipped from zap2it, indicates:

    TV Directors Fret about Late Scripts
    Fri, Jun 6, 2003 04:00 PM PDT

    LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - A group of prominent directors met with TV executives this week to discuss what they see as an increasing problem -- not getting scripts on time.

    Eight representatives from the Directors Guild of America met with CBS CEO Les Moonves, DreamWorks co-chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and other executives to discuss the problem, which the Directors Guild says "undermines the quality of programs" and can hurt a show's bottom line.

    The guild's agreement with movie and TV producers calls for directors to have a finished shooting script three days in advance of filming for a half-hour show and seven days ahead of shooting for an hour show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The guild has the power to fine productions that miss deadlines but has rarely exercised it.

    Missed deadlines became an issue on NBC's White House drama "The West Wing" last season. Creator Aaron Sorkin, who left the show for other reasons, wrote nearly every teleplay for the series and was notorious for falling behind schedule.

    He was far from the only offender, however. Sources tell the Reporter that the problem is particularly bad on hour-long dramas. Shows that use lots of special effects or frequently leave the studio for shooting are most susceptible to problems caused by missed deadlines.

    The Directors Guild conducted and eight-month study of hourlong TV series produced through May 29 and found that of 651 episodes made in that time, 318 -- nearly half -- didn't get a script until after deadline. Of those, 20 percent were a week to 15 days late.

    "We now have proof that late script delivery has proliferated into an industrywide problem -- and that we need to stop it in its tracks," says Rod Holcomb ("The District," "ER"), chairman of the guild's Creative Rights Committee.


    I found it interesting, so I thought I'd pass it along. (I'm always interested in stories about the business of entertainment . . .)

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