After last weeks sample of 2 random scripts I pulled from my stack of favourite scripts – I had an email from Ron in Canada asking me about my style of notations I use in my radio scripts – it turns out it was a great question…
- Double Brackets or something like ((THIS)):
Every time I include double brackets in a script it is something that is not to be said – it can be a style I want the line read in or as in this example ((read as if frightened about what is around the corner)) or it might be a description of a sound effect such as ((SFX: LOUD THUMP))
- BOLD text or NOT BOLD TEXT:
In my scripts I use BOLD text as the script I want read out loud, not BOLD text is sub-text that is what I want the announcer or voice artist to give. Usually it will be double bracketed too. But not always, as in: Dave You don’t just call and ask for it sarcastically? OR Dave You don’t just call and ask for it? ((SAID SARCASTICALLY)) personally I prefer the ((DOUBLE BRACKET)) but honestly, most of the time it depends on space on the script page.
- Text using “Quotes”:
If I have more than one voice in a commercial script – I usually have an ANNOUNCER who has no quotation marks around their speech, unless they are saying something with a particular style or expression. BUT a character or named person will always have “quote marks on their speech” to indicate that they are a character or person. EG: ((ANNOUNCER)) This is Dave… ((DAVE)) “Hi!” ((ANOUNCER)) Dave doesn’t know how to fix his car ((DAVE)) “But I will give it a shot!” ((SFX: GUN SHOT)) ((ANNOUNCER – SHOCKED)) “DAVE!”
- Production Notes:
Usually I give production notes at the top of the script, they are usually either numbered as to when I want a certain element to start or stop, or give directions in the sidebar as to when music should stop and start, etc. Sometimes I may even have footnotes on my scripts or insist that I am in on the edit to make sure that the clients wishes, and mine as the writer are observed by the producer. I may even indicate on a script if a line can be dropped for time (especially on a long script), or where I want cross fades, bringing one piece of music or sound effect or voice up over another piece of audio.
So yes, sometimes my scripts can look a bit busy – and it was something I was unaware of until asked about it by Ron. But I do think that the descriptions and notes I put on my scripts do help a producer when building a commercial in the production booth – at least it helped me when I worked a s a producer.
What are your thoughts?
Can you send through an example of a script that you were proud of – with notes and in your style so I can see what they look like – and – if it is okay – can we re-print it here on a future blog post?
Let me know below.