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Storytelling (Intro to TV/Film Production)

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by

Joanna Szymanski

on 24 August 2016

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Transcript of Storytelling (Intro to TV/Film Production)

Storytelling
Writing is easy.
GOOD writing is difficult.
You write for the ear and you get only one opportunity to make yourself understood
Characteristics of Broadcast News Writing
You need to know who your viewers are to hold their attention throughout the story
Characteristics of Broadcast News Writing
Broadcast writing is less formal than print writing is, but it's more formal than
how we speak to one another
Characteristics of Broadcast News Writing
Broadcast writers use conversational tone and short, declarative sentences
Leave your viewers with the impression of having been at the event themselves
Characteristics of Broadcast News Writing
The key in broadcast writing is "don't make viewers or listeners work to get their information"
Failure (of PCTV show) is not an option...
but it's OK to make mistakes!
Television news stories might last for only 10 or 15 seconds and rarely run longer than a minute-and-a-half to two minutes
Characteristics of Broadcast News Writing
Newsworthiness
Proximity
Create emotions
MAKE IT INTERESTING
MAKE IT LOCAL
Impact
MAKE IT IMPORTANT
Simplicity
MAKE IT EASY TO UNDERSTAND
Read every broadcast script aloud so you can hear how it will sound when someone speaks the words on-air
Characteristics of Broadcast News Writing
How to create video storytelling
that actually tells a story
You don’t have to have clip after clip of an interviewee of telling the story for you - sometimes the story just tells itself
Bonus :)
GUIDANCE: Some strong language
EXAMPLES
The idea behind news writing is pretty simple:
KEEP IT SHORT AND TO THE POINT
USE THE ACTIVE VOICE
PASSIVE:
The robbers were arrested by police.

ACTIVE:
Police arrested the robbers.
LEAVE OUT UNNECESSARY DETAILS

PRINT:
After robbing the bank the man drove approximately 9.7 miles before being apprehended, police said.

BROADCAST:
Police say the man robbed the bank then drove nearly 10 miles before he was caught.


PRINT:
The physician conducted an extensive autopsy on the decedent.

BROADCAST:
The doctor did an autopsy on the body.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
KEEP IT SHORT
PRINT:
President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats sought to ease Republican complaints about a massive economic stimulus plan Friday, meeting with GOP leaders in the White House and promising to consider some of their recommendations.

BROADCAST:
President Barack Obama met with Republican leaders in Congress today. The Republicans aren't happy with Obama's big economic stimulus plan.
Obama says he'll consider their ideas.
KEEP IT CONVERSATIONAL
PRINT:
Pope Benedict XVI joined U.S. President Barack Obama
and Queen Elizabeth II on Friday by launching
his own YouTube channel, the latest Vatican effort
to reach out to the digital generation.

BROADCAST:
President Obama has a YouTube channel. So does Queen Elizabeth. Now Pope Benedict has one too. The pope wants to use the new channel to reach out to young people.
USE ONE MAIN IDEA PER SENTENCE
PRINT:
Gov. David Paterson appointed Democratic U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday to fill New York's vacant Senate seat,
finally settling on a woman from a largely rural,
eastern district of the state to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton.

BROADCAST:
Gov. David Paterson has appointed Democratic Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to fill New York's vacant Senate seat. Gillibrand is from a rural part of the state. She will replace Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Broadcast copy must be as simple as possible. Remember, viewers aren't reading what you're writing, they're hearing it. People watching TV or listening to the radio generally don't have time to check a dictionary.
Generally, sentences in broadcast copy should be even shorter
than those found in print articles. Why?
Shorter sentences are more easily understood than long ones.
Many sentences found in newspaper stories simply sound stilted and unwieldy when read out loud. So use a conversational style in your broadcast writing. Doing so will make it sound more like real speech, as opposed to a script someone is reading.
Sentences in newspaper stories sometimes contain several ideas, usually in clauses that are broken up by commas. But in broadcast writing you really shouldn't put more than one main idea in each sentence. More than one main idea per sentence, and that sentence will be too long.
Print stories tend to include a lot of details
that we just don't have time for in broadcast.
Sentences written in the active voice just naturally tend to be shorter and more to the point than those written in the passive voice.
PUT ATTRIBUTION AT THE START OF THE SENTENCE
Print news stories usually put the attribution, the source of the information, at the end of the sentence. In broadcast news writing we put them at the beginning.
PRINT:
Two men were arrested, police said.

BROADCAST:
Police say two men were arrested.
USE A LEAD-IN SENTENCE
Most broadcast news stories start with a lead-in sentence that is fairly general. Broadcast news writers do this to alert viewers that a new story is being presented, and to prepare them for the information that is to follow.

EXAMPLE:
"There's more bad news from Iraq". Four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush outside Baghdad today. The Pentagon says the soldiers were hunting insurgents when their Humvee came under sniper fire. The Pentagon hasn't yet released the soldiers' names.
Full transcript