British Comedy Guide

Table Reads

Avatar

Lazzard

  • Wednesday 29th July 2020, 4:21pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,772 posts

Anyone ever organised one of these for a script - or paid someone to organise one.
A friend (an acting teacher) is looking to create a service (loads of acting talent contacts etc) and I said I'd fish around for info.

All help gratefully received.

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Thursday 30th July 2020, 6:04pm [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,257 posts

Yes but not commercially, got some drama students to read through a couple of scenes of a play as part of their coursework. Not a particularly easy experience for a writer imo. But if it's being commissioned it's probably much more rewarding and quite exciting.

I'd strongly advise them to research the market first ie. Is there one? I'd be surprised if there's a business to be had here, myself. Aren't they done by Prod Co.s on scripts which have already been greenlighted for making? They do it all themselves. Can't see wannabe sitcom/other TV writers forking out for a read through if the thing's not even been optioned by a Prod Co.

Just my thoughts. You'll need another opinion because I'm quite negative on this sort of thing. Someone else might say it's a great idea and there's a market for it. Eh?

If your friend's going to all the lengths needed to select the right cast for the roles, and even direct it themselves then they might as well have their own Prod Co. IMOO. Plenty of good filming teams available for hire. Don't forget writers can use their software to read through as well, although they're not getting feedback on it. But I fancy there's no shortage of scripting feedback services now.

Avatar

kate to the party

  • Monday 3rd August 2020, 1:52pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 56 posts

Have you asked Simon/Lawrence of the Sitcom Mission? It's similar in a way to what they do with the competition finalists' scripts (albeit over zoom this year, I guess?) so they might have some useful advice re: practicality, *maybe*.

I've personally never organised a table-read for a project, but would definitely consider it and can see there being a demand for it as a service -hope it goes well!

AvatarBCG Supporter

playfull

  • Monday 3rd August 2020, 2:56pm [Edited]
  • Nottingham, England
  • 1,854 posts

Hi Lazzard,

Never been involved with a table read. I think Gappy is involved with a sketch performance group, so he might have some useful tips - assuming they table read stuff to see if it works? At least with the BCG forum members you have access to a large number of unperformed new works to trial/demonstrate the value of a professionally organised table read.
Good luck with the project.

Avatar

Lazzard

  • Monday 3rd August 2020, 3:16pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,772 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 30th July 2020, 6:04 PM

I'd strongly advise them to research the market first ie. Is there one? I'd be surprised if there's a business to be had here, myself. Aren't they done by Prod Co.s on scripts which have already been greenlighted for making? They do it all themselves.

This is my intuitive feeling. I think it has to be at the production end. But some of the smaller ones - and there are more and more of those - can't manage everything in-house - they might outsource something like this, especially if it was made into an 'easy' package.
I'm going to chat it through with are ProdCo chums - see if it flies.