How did you land your position as script coordinator?
Jen: I was fortunate to be promoted to Script Coordinator from Showrunner’s Assistant.
What specific skills does a script coordinator need to have?
Jen: I think someone who pays attention to detail and can be calm under pressure are great skills for this position. There are a lot of little formatting things and typos that your Showrunner wants you to catch. Most of the time when I’m given a script or pages, I have a certain amount of time I need to send them out. Usually it’s a Studio or Network deadline so the writers can get notes by a specific day/time or it’s for Production because they’re shooting that scene soon.
What type of learning opportunities and/or interaction with the writing staff is there as a script coordinator?
Jen: Even though as script coordinator, you’re not in the writers’ room, you can still have a lot of interaction with them. You’re on the same team. They’re going to give you every draft of every script. You will have questions for them regarding a script and their answer will teach you about the process of how a script is shaped as well as how the script continues to change once you go into Production. You may even have the same snack tendencies. The kitchen is a magical place.
What are some of the things you learned as a script coordinator?
Jen: I learned a lot more about the production process and the post process in getting an episode from script to air. Before I saw scripts change, but now I learned why scripts change. A scene is now in another location because when they were scouting, they found something that would be a better fit. While editing, they realized they needed to add an ADR line to make the scene clearer. Mostly, I feel like my proofing skills have increased tenfold. Tenfold.
How did being a script coordinator make you a better writer?
Jen: Reading every script helped me hone structure and pacing in my own writing. Not to mention catching typos and formatting errors much faster than before. I feel like I’m a more efficient writer now.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from your time as a script coordinator?
Jen: It’s so hard to choose one. I guess I’d have to say working with the writers to get each script exactly how they wanted it and tracked from previous episodes.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
Jen: Staffed on a TV show.
What other advice do you have for aspiring TV writers looking to get their start as an assistant?
Jen: Being an assistant is a great way to learn the process of getting a script to air and to make connections. These jobs can be hard to get, but keep trying. You never know what contact will lead you to a show that’s perfect for you.
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Jen Troy is a Chinese American Jersey girl currently the Script Coordinator for The CW’s Supergirl. She was an Associate Producer on the indie comic strip documentary titled STRIPPED (2014) and has worked as Showrunner and EP Assistant on a few TV shows. She also has a fond appreciation for good food. Really good food.
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