Scan Pro-video has been talking to some pro scriptwriters this weekend about what makes their job harder or easier. All of us, unless we are film-maker/auteurs, will have to rely on the services of a scriptwriter at some time and it is amazing how a good bit of writing will lift your work.

Scan Pro-video asked our friends for their top tips on how not to wind up a script writer.

  1. If you have a business, in an attempt to shave a few pounds off the commission price, don’t tell a scriptwriter that you have some one who can write a script in your organisation. Script writing is a special skill, which involves a degree of pre-visualisation as well as an understanding of what sounds good when spoken as a voice over. A copywriter is not always a good scriptwriter and your wife/mother/son/daughter is certainly not a scriptwriter, even if they fancy doing the job, unless they have some experience. Using an inexperienced scriptwriter can actually cost you money, if insufficient attention is paid to what is happening on screen whilst the voice over is rolling or if graphics need to be used to plug gaps in the script.
  2. Don’t underestimate the value of the scriptwriter. If your audience has fallen asleep because the script is too verbose or impenetrable, then you are not getting your message across, however beautiful the shots. A good scriptwriter will keep it simple, will remove jargon and will make your piece follow a sensible and logical story arc.
  3. Don’t expect a scriptwriter to be a mind reader. Most scriptwriters will do research for their script and will always ask questions about the audience and expectations for the finished piece. But if you have something very specific in mind or an example of a piece that you like, tell the scriptwriter and they can use that as a model. They won’t be offended or feel that their creativity has been curtailed. They will just be glad that they have been put on the right path.

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