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Transcript of SCRIPTWRITING GUIDELINES
• Video scripts use short, concise, direct sentences. Unnecessary words are weeded out.
• The active voice, nouns, verbs and specified words are preferred.
• Avoid dependent clauses at the beginning of the sentences. Attribution should come at the beginning (According to the Surgeon General, …) 2. Correlate audio and video
• The basic guideline of correlating audio and visual should be kept in mind.
• The audience will get confused if they see one thing and hear another.
• Write the script slightly off the pictures – don’t describe the picture. 3. Information overload
• Clearly communicate the selected information in a manner that will both enlighten and entertain
• If too many facts or information is not clearly presented – viewers will confused, lost, frustrated 4. Lost vs bored
• The rate at which information is presented is important:
- Move too rapidly and you will loose your audience
- Move too slowly and your audience will get bored Seven General Rules to Writing for Television
Some of these rules apply to instructional video and some apply to dramatic productions:
a. Assume a conventional tone by using short sentences and an informal, approachable style
b. Engage your audience emotionally; make them care about both the people and content of your production
c. Provide adequate logical structure; let viewers know where you are going, which points are key concepts and when you are going to change your subject d. After making an important point, expound on it, illustrate it
e. Don’t try to pack too many facts in one programme
f. Give your audience a chance to digest one concept before moving on to another
g. Pace your presentation according to the ability of your target audience to grasp 5. Video Grammar
• Video and film don’t have any standardized grammar (conventions or structure)
• Use techniques and terms to create meaning for instance
- Dissolve: signal a change in time or place
- Fade in and fade out: to indicate a major passage of time (teleplays or television plays and screen plays or film scripts start with fade in and close with fade out). 6. Script terms and abbreviations
A number of terms and abbreviations that are commonly used are:
a. EXT and INT – to indicate exterior and interior
b. SOT (sound on tape) – to indicate that the voice, music or background will be on videotape audio track
c. SOF (sound on film)
d. OSV (off screen voice) – the voice indicated on the script is from a person who is not visible
e. ANNCR – announcer firstname.lastname@example.org