PowerPoint Script Writing

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Script Writing for Newscasts
February, 25, 2014
Objective
•You will learn about the
specialized skill of
broadcast news script
writing.
•Take notes on the
following Power Point
presentation to file in the
“production” section your
notebook .
Broadcast stories will…
•Be shorter and simpler than print
stories
•Use present tense, active voice
•Sound more conversational
oUse “don’t” rather than “do not”
•Start with an attention-getting
“hook,”
Broadcast leads…
•5W/1H leads don’t work
oToo much info at once
oToo hard to hear
oToo hard for an announcer to read
•Use “soft” leads instead
oThrow-away lead
oAngle lead
Throwaway lead
Vacationers driving around the country
this summer are likely to find lots of
detours.
The American Automobile Association
says road repairs and construction are
going on all over the nation.
Angle Lead (hook)
Planning to drive on your vacation
this year? Get ready for lots of
detours.
The American Automobile
Association says road repairs and
construction are going on all over
the nation.
Some Things to Remember
•Keep your sentences short
•Keep subjects and verbs
close together
•Avoid introductory clauses
Quote Attribution
• Broadcast writers should avoid two
common print formats:
o putting the attribution after a quote or
statement
o identifying people by age, job title,
etc.
• It’s usually better to paraphrase quotes
Quote Attribution
•Listeners/viewers can’t see “quote
marks”
•Use direct quotes only when it’s
important to repeat someone’s
exact words.
Quote Attribution
RIGHT:
The director of emergency disaster
relief said all victims of the Florida
hurricane are now back in
permanent housing.
Quote Attribution
WRONG:
“Victims of the Florida hurricane
are all back in permanent housing,”
said Scott Smith, director of
emergency disaster relief.
Broadcast Copy Guidelines
•Double-space
•CAPITALIZE EVERYTHING
•Use an easy-to-read
typewriter-style font (like
Courier or Arial)
Broadcast Copy Guideline
•Put a slugline at the top left of
each page
oVacation Detours
o30 seconds
•Scripts are always in a dual
column format
30 Apr 06
Name_______________________________
SAMPLE TV Spot Script
Internet resource
Class__________
30 seconds
Page 1
Kill Date: 31 Dec 06
Exercise # _______
VIDEO
AUDIO
(LS) STUDENT AT COMPUTER
MUSIC: UP & UNDER ANNOUNCER
(01:35)
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION? CHECK OUT THE INTERNET.
(MS) COMPUTER MONITOR SCREEN
BUT BEWARE ... SOME INTERNET INFORMATION IS OFF LIMITS.
(02:05)
DON’T VENTURE INTO THE DARK SIDE OF THE INTERNET,
(CU) STUDENT TYPING ON COMPUTER
ESPECIALLY TO HOME PAGES WITH SEXUALLY EXPLICIT
(LIGHTING CHANGES TO RED)
MATERIAL.
(03:00)
YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GAIN ACCESS TO THESE SITES, BUT
(CU) KEYBOARD
THE COMMANDANT HAS PLACED THEM OFF LIMITS.
(03:43)
ALL DINFOS COMPUTERS KEEP A LOG OF THE SITES YOU
(ECU) COMPUTER SCREEN
VISIT ... A LOG OFFICIALS COULD USE TO TRACK YOU DOWN.
(04:15)
(MORE)
30 Apr 06
Name_______________________________
SAMPLE TV Spot Script
Internet resource
Class__________
30 seconds
Page 1
Kill Date: 31 Dec 06
VIDEO
Exercise # _______
AUDIO
(CU) STUDENT’S FACE (STRIP LIGHTING ON FACE) (04:37)
(MORE)
(CU) COMPUTER MONITOR (PICTURE BLURS AND TURNS TO
BE SURE TO PULL THE PLUG ON BAD NET SURFING HABITS
STATIC)
...
(05:12)
BEFORE SOMEONE PULLS THE PLUG ON YOU. KNOW AND
OBEY DINFOS INTERNET RULES.
MUSIC: FADE UP AND OUT TO TIME
###
Broadcast Guidelines
• Omit datelines
• Work the location into the lead
• Use an end mark (- 30 -) or (# # #) to clearly
designate the end of the story
o Time = Length
o 20 seconds = 5 lines (45 words)
o 30 seconds = 8 lines (65 words)
o 60 seconds = 16 lines (125 words)
Punctuation
• Avoid complex punctuation
• Listeners/viewers can’t see it!
• Punctuation is only there to help the
announcer read the story
o Commas (,) and periods (.)
o Ellipses (…) and dashes (--)
o Quotation marks (“__”)
o Question marks (?)
Complex Punctuation
•colons (:)
•semicolons (;)
•percentage signs (%)
•dollar signs ($)
•ampersands (&)
Unconventional punctuation
•Use ellipses (…) to indicate
dramatic timing, like a long
pause.
Example:
While workers were arriving
early this morning … a
deafening explosion shook the
plant.”
Using Abbreviations
•Eliminate most abbreviations
(even AP Style abbreviations for
states)
•Use only well-known
abbreviations, like C-I-A and
NASA.
•Don't use abbreviations unless
you want them to be read as
abbreviations
Using Numbers
•Numbers can be hard to follow, so
•
try to avoid using them
If you do need to use numbers in
your broadcast copy…
oSpell out numbers under 12
oUse numerals for 12 to 999
oWrite “one thousand” instead of
1,000
Using Numbers
• Simplify complex numbers.
o Round numbers off
o Use modifiers such
as…approximately, almost, more
than, about
Example:
$2,001,859.00 becomes “slightly
more than two (m) million-dollars.”
More on numbers
• Spell out the symbols for dollars and cents
• 29-dollars or 60-cents
• Write fractions as words and hyphenate them
• two-thirds
• Use hyphens to link related numbers
• “For more information, call 1-800-5-5-5-1-2-1-2”
Time references
• Use present tense
• Avoid repeating “today” – say “early
this morning,” or “this afternoon”
instead
• Use terms that listeners can relate to
Example: “One lane of the freeway
will be closed during the morning
rush hour.”
Names & Titles
• Use the title before the name
• If the title is long, break it up or
shorten it
• Never begin sentences with a name
• If the person is well-known, like
President Bush, you can omit the first
name
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