Location report – Script Writing

How does The Tribe get written? We investigate the Script writing process.

The idea of the Tribe originally started many many years ago as a brainwave of creator Raymond Thompson. Through time he wrote his ideas down in readable format and eventually into a first promotional script.

So once this idea was logged into an initial synopsis form, noting ideas, character biographies, possible sets, it is then sent off to a script consultant to add the final touches and to write up a first draft for a possible episode.

PHOTO 1 – Second draft coversheet

It is then checked by Raymond who adds in bits and pieces so it is fully to his original idea, and a second draft is then prepared.

Upon finalising the second draft, the script gets sent up to the Script Editors based at Cloud 9 New Zealand. They have meetings with the Producer and all those involved in Production to check the logistics for preparing sets/characters/locations etc.

When these are finished, the draft script gets locked off and the script `goes green`. This is called a shooting script and is what the cast and crew base all shooting on, it is coloured green. Cast members get sent these scripts in advance so they have time to learn their lines and get an idea of the story. If there are to be any amendments to the scripts, the particular pages are yellow, then blue, pink then purple.

PHOTO 2 – Shooting Script cover (with a pink amendment)

Shooting takes place, and not often does it ever take place in scene sequence. This is due to cast availability, location availability, continuity features, hair/makeup/costume etc. It is usually viable to film all scenes in the one location at once for continuity purposes.

Upon completion of filming, post-production takes place. This includes editing of sound/music/effect/atmosphere/foley/ADR. Upon a full mix (final edit) being locked off the scripts (shooting scripts to become transmission scripts) are edited and written up.

These are scripts of everything you would see exactly as it is on TV. The Transmission Scripts are necessary because some scenes are often left out. They can also be changed around in the edit process, and characters sometimes end up saying different things.

PHOTO 3 – Front cover of Transmission Script of Episode 22 of Tribe 3

These get printed ready for distribution to go out with the episode tapes to Broadcasters who also receive Music Que Sheets, PRS returns, Plot synopsis, and Photographic Slides.