One of the questions we’re asked most at Industrial Scripts is – “how do I build a career in script development?”

In truth, it’s not an exact science by any means but the key to getting ahead in development is to pay your dues.

The blunt truth of it is that Ridley Scott is not going to hire you as his Head of Development without you working as a Development Executive first. To beat the legions of others to a Development Executive position, of course, you’re going to have had to first earn your spurs as a Development Assistant or industry Script Reader – reading for big, reputable companies. To get these jobs you’re going to have to impress the powers-that-be either through your work as a runner, or your work as a script reader for small companies/for free.

Later on in your career, once you’ve established a reputation within development circles and got some big company names on your CV, you’ll begin to be considered for the occasional, rarely advertised full-time development job that comes up. You might move up through the ranks, spending around 3 years in a script development position, before moving to a new one, going into producing, or even starting your own independent script feedback service – only if you’ve accumulated the years of necessary credentials by this point to have your service taken seriously.

Here’s how the full-time jobs generally break down in development (note: Development Co-Ordinator is a rare job, with many companies lacking the need or resources to hire at this stage):

PA/Assistant/Runner/Intern   ->  

Development Assistant   ->  

(Development Co-Ordinator)   ->  

Development Executive   ->  

Head of Development

Here’s our handy visual guide to how a script development professional’s career evolves, and the kind of timeframes involved at each stage.

We hope you enjoy it, but remember, a serious career in script development is a marathon not a sprint – there aren’t any short-cuts, you just have to do the hard-yards if you’re serious about it!

Good luck!

careers in script development

 – What did you think of this article? Give it a rating and let us know your thoughts in the comments box further down…

– Stuck on a script or book? Story analysis is what we do, all day, every day… check out our range of services for writers & filmmakers here. 

The Evolution of a Script Development Career
6.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (12 Votes)

2 Responses

  1. Ellie K

    When I noticed "Industrial Scripts" a moment ago, as @Indust_Scripts on Twitter, I thought it was a service for programmers, though I was puzzled at the generic reference to "script", as there are many varieties. But I thought it was a clever and pleasant title for a software website, as most are, well… NOT. "Industrial Scripts" evokes thoughts of heavy-duty, reliable, tested and trusted code. I wasn't disappointed to find that "Industrial Scripts" is about an entirely different sort of script though!

    I enjoyed reading the advice for aspiring script developers. It would be beneficial (for reducing arrogance, increasing compassion/ gratitude/ satisfaction/ happiness) if some of the software script writers with whom I am acquainted were to read this, substituting "software development career", instead of "motion picture script development career".

    The chart is great!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Read previous post:
brit list scripts 2014
The Brit List Scripts 2011

As in previous years, the UK and Irish film community have compiled a list of their most liked and recommended...