Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

April 19, 2010

Technical Specs for Audio/Video Scripts

Filed under: Techniques — Tags: , , — connieterwilliger @ 1:42 pm

It is usually a team effort to create an audio/visual presentation. And if the people you are working with don’t “see/hear” the end product the way you do, you may not get the “right” results.

This extends to the voiceover part of the presentation. You may have the entire presentation visualized in your head, but unless there is something on the script that helps the narrator see it (hear it) the way you do, you both will be working a lot harder than you need to.

Be sure to let the talent have as much information as possible about what you are hearing in the way of pacing and attitude and energy. This may mean taking a few minutes ahead of the session to discuss it with the talent. Believe me, for most projects, it is well worth the time. If a rough cut exists, consider sending a file with the interview clips. If music has been selected, let the talent hear that as well.

But it also helps if the script is easy to read. I’m not getting into the actual script writing here – that’s another topic for another time – these tips are for formatting your script to help the talent move through it quickly.

– If your script includes sound bites, be sure to include a transcription of the words that the narrator will be leading into and coming out of. This will help overall continuity and flow.

– If your script has a storyboard, please include it, but make sure to send a basic recording script. Trying to read from a storyboard is difficult, as sentences are usually chopped up … into little … pieces.

– Double space the script so that the talent has room to mark the copy.

– Use at least 12 point font. If sending an electronic doc file, then we can make the font larger if necessary, but if sending a pdf, we can’t usually bump up the font on printing, so make it a reasonable font size to start with.

– Use upper and lower case – ALL CAPS ARE MORE DIFFICULT TO READ. Think about it, the talent has no way of knowing if something should be capitalized if everything is capitalized. This could affect interpretation. (As far as I know, the use of ALL CAPS goes back to the days of the teletype machine in radio news departments.)

– Try to avoid breaking a sentence in the middle from one page to the next. This will reduce the number of times you have to stop down for page turns, as well as possible page rustle. (Turn on the Widow/Orphan control.)

– If you are using a dual column editing script as a narration script, some sentences may be broken in the middle of a thought to show the editor where a new image is supposed to appear. While most professional talent can mentally take up the space and tie the sentence together, try to avoid this on the script you hand the talent.

The easier it is for the talent to read and understand your script, the easier the session will go and the happier you will be with the results.

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2 Comments »

  1. This is fantastic, Connie! Absolutely fantastic.

    Comment by Amy Snively — April 19, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  2. Well done Connie.

    Comment by Lori O' — April 20, 2010 @ 6:54 am


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