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Patrick Uden is one of the most influential and sought-after executive producers in British television today. Broadcasters and Indies in particular call on him time and time again to write the commentary for their major series. 

This interactive one-day course will reveal Patrick's trade secrets to writing good commentary. It will give you a clear understanding of the function and evolution of commentary, as well as a toolkit for sharpening your own writing and editing skills. 

The course is structured around both discussion and practical exercises and is designed so that you come away confident with both the 'why' and 'how' of writing good scripts. There will even be the chance to bring your own script along for Patrick and the group to review. 

"It was well structured and full of useful information. Excellent." - Chiara Messineo P/D

"Very good. Strong point of view. Practical with clear, specific examples." - Archie Powell, Series Director / Producer/Director

"I heard a very loud 'thunk' as everything fell into place. I wanted to stand up and applaud at the end of the session." - Chester Dent, Producer/ Director

"Fantastic- I feel more confident, good to have straight forward emphasis on craft!" - Kate Hampel, Producer/ Director

"Patrick is a great teacher and I'm sure we'll be using his style of writing and way of thinking from now on" - Phil Matthews, Executive Producer

"It was an excellent, essential course for anyone interested in telling stories in a clear, simple way, and get the attention of an audience" - Alejandro Madine, Documentary Director

"Great, pitched at a good level, lots of info. Inspiring." - Emma Sayce, Edit Producer

Course Content

• An Analogue Art in the Digital World: the importance of writing for factual; commentary that is integral to the story, not an addition, structuring your content and re-editing through words.
• Script Doctor: Patrick Uden reviews trainee’s scripts and gives feedback.
• Sources of Metered Writing, e.g. Philip Larkin ‘The Whitsun Weddings’
• Exercise in effective commentary.
• The Story of Commentary: the evolution of commentary for factual programming – with illustrated examples. A look at current styles of factual entertainment (from The Gap Year to Come Dine with Me to The Apprentice), polemic and observational styles.
• Key rules of commentary – empower the sync, facts not feelings, spoken not read.
• Case Study: Patrick Uden looks at examples of commentary from the web and broadcast and discusses how to doctor/turn sentences around for more impactful writing. Word efficiency for the Twitter generation.
• Design: the importance of script layout for effective commentary.
• Exercise in Commentary Writing: trainees get to practice their newly found skills by re-writing a personalised script into a neutral commentary.
• Exercise Writing to Pictures: trainees watch The Apprentice without the commentary and write their own cues. Comparisons between online and broadcast versions.
• Question and Answer session.

Participants will come away with an understanding of what role commentary plays, how it has evolved into the form it takes in contemporary programme-making, and as a set of tools and techniques for writing and editing scripts more effectively.

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This course offers Talent Manager Pro members the following discount:

£175 + VAT

This course offers the following early bird discount:


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