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Writing an editing script for a package story

Electronic Photo and Video Communications

Editing Script for a Package

The following script is the way the reporters should turn in a package script for the DTV News.  This is called an editing script.  If the reporter is out sick or for some other reason does not show up for class, then someone else can be assigned to edit this story so long as the editing script, videotape, and voice track are left in the studio (a voice track is the recording of the reporter’s voice on videotape as the reporter reads the script).  


On pages 1 through 3 is the anchor lead.  This is what the news anchor says to introduce the story.  At the end of this lead are the following:

         The title of the story (“Changes for Band”) and the story form (Pkg, meaning “package”).

         The location identifier and the time should be superimposed on the story (Location ID: New Attitude, Dorman High – 4 to 8 secs).  Notice that the location identifier not only gives the location of the story, but also includes a very short teaser headline.

         The reporting identifier (Reporting ID: Reporter/Joey West/DTV News – 10 to 14 secs):

         Interview identifiers(Jay Haward/Band Director, Dorman High – 37 secs to 1:05 min): these identify the person being interviewed or talking by name and description of who they are in relationship to the story.

         Stand-up identifier (Stand-up ID: Joey West/DTV News – 1:07 min to 1:20 min): This graphic is only put over the package at times when the viewer both hears and sees the reporter talking.

         Total time (1:44 mins): This is for the entire package part of the story.


Following the anchor lead is the part of the script that is called the package.  It includes the script for the portion on which the reporter’s voice is heard but on which the reporter is not seen.  This part is called a “voice over” or simply a “VO.”  This VO section requires that the reporter record a “voice track” on videotape.  The voice track are editing on top of scenes from the story to create this voice over.  Notice that a description of each scene and the beginning and ending time for every scene on the original tape on which this story was recorded is listed in this script.  These times are on the editing script so that the editor can find those scenes quickly and no time is wasted at the editor.  Also in this portion of the tape are editing instructions for the sound that was reported with these scenes.  Notice on page 4 one of the editing instructions says, “ Nat sound up full for 2 seconds and then drop to bed under voice track.”  This means that the reporter wants to hear the sound from the scene (in other words, the “natural sound” or “nat. sound”) for 2 seconds at full volume and then wants that sound to be turned down so that you can hear his voice when the voice over begins.  The sound from the scene is to be kept just loud enough under this voice track so that you can hear it, but so loud that it makes is hard to understand what the reporter is saying.  In other words, the sound from the scene forms a “bed” under the voice track.  Notice the instructions for a similar instruction to briefly bring the sound up to full volume on page 5.   Included in the instructions for the voice track is a notice to use “take 6.”  This means that the reporter tried 6 times to get this part of the voice track right and the words “take 6” should be recorded on the video tape right before the attempt that the editor should chose.


Following the voice over section of this package is a “sound bite” or “bite,” which is a piece of an interview that was recorded on videotape.  This is found on page 5.  The instructions for inserting this portion of an interview include the tape number or description (Tape 12) times on the tape (09:32:12 to 09:48:22), the identifier for the person being interviewed (Bite – Jay Haward/Band Director, Dorman High) and the things that are said at the very beginning of this sound bite (INCUE: Q - “What do you think about the band’s chances…”) and the things being said at the very end of this sound bite: (OUTCUE: “…we’ll be there”).  This information gives the editor all the information that he or she needs to put the correct sound bite into the story.  Notice the editing instructions just before the sound bite on page 5 where it says, ” 2-shot of band director and reporter.”  A 2-shot is one of 3 “cut-aways” that all videographers should videotape after every interview that is done.  A 2-shot shows 2 people in the scene and in this case the 2 people are the reporter and the person being interviewed and the camera angle shows the back of the reporter’s head and the face of the person being interviewed.  The other 2 cutaways that should be shot with every interview are the reverse 2-shot (showing the face of the reporter as he or she listens to the person being interviewed and the back of the head of the person being interviewed) and the and the reverse close-up (showing the face of the reporter as he or she listens to the person being interviewed and shot in such a way that you don’t see the person being interviewed at all).

The last section of the package in this script is the stand-up (page 6).  This is where the reporter is seen on camera as he or she talks to the camera (and through the camera he or she is talking to the viewer).  Notice the instructions tell the editor which attempt to record the stand-up the reporter wants to use (take 3) and the times on the tape where the correct stand up is found.

The last thing on this script is the tag line.  This is the 2nd part of this script that the anchorperson reads.  Every package should have a tag line.  This gives the anchor the chance to say thanks to the reporter for the report and to add one last piece of information so that there is a smooth transition back to the anchors on the set. 

One last thing that you should notice:  The editing instructions, times, cues, and identifiers are all in much smaller letters than the script that the anchors or the report must read.  This is so that the anchors and reporter can easily read their part of the script without being distracted by those instructions.





News: 27-Aug-04 – Page 1

( _________ )(Close-up)


While many of us



were enjoying a



leisurely summer



working on our tan,



some of Dorman’s



most visible



ambassadors were



hard at work in the



hot sun.




News: 27-Aug-04 – Page 2


No, we’re not talking



about the baseball



or football teams,



we’re talking about



the school’s



marching band.




News: 27-Aug-04 – Page 3


D-T-V Reporter Joey



West tells us they



started work on this



years show in June



and they haven’t



taken a break yet.



(“Changes for Band” Pkg)

(Location ID: New Attitude, Dorman High – 4 to 8 secs)

(Reporting ID: Reporter/Joey West/DTV News – 10 to 14 secs)

(Jay Haward/Band Director, Dorman High – 37 secs to 1:05 min)

(Stand-up ID: Joey West/DTV News – 1:07 min to 1:20 min)

(Total time: 1: 44 min)





News: 27-Aug-04 – Page 4


(Shot of band members silhouetted with sun overhead: Tape 12 - 14:25:33 to 14:40:37) 

(Nat sound up full for 2 seconds and then drop to bed under voice track)

(Voice track, take 6: Tape 12 – 45:14:56 to 46:34:12)


The Marching Cavaliers are


hard at work long after most


students have gone home for


the day. 


(Shot of assistant director, yellow shirt, screaming in the face of drummer: Tape 12 - 11:55:21 to 12:12:17) 


The band practices every


Monday, Tuesday, and


Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30. 


(Truck shot of line of band members facing camera: Tape 12 - 10:44:10 to 10:57:02) 


This years band has a new


look… a new show… a new


director… and that director


says it all translates into a


new attitude.


(Camera on the ground as feet of band march by: Tape 12 - 32:18:09 to 32:29:55) 


The goal: to win the state




(Camera pans line of trumpet players: Tape 12 - 21:15:01 to 21:30:50) 


The transformation already


reaches deep into the band




(Close-up of tuba player: Tape 12 - 05:15:19 to 05:31:45) 





News: 27-Aug-04 – Page 5


Last year, the band’s long-


time director decided that he’d


had enough of the long


summers and non-existent


weekends and asked to be




(Close-up of tuba player: Tape 12 - 05:15:19 to 05:31:45) 

(Nat sound of tuba player up full for 3 seconds…then drop sound level to bed under voice track)

(Voice track, take 3: Tape 12 – 47:24:33 to 47:36:16)


Other requests for


reassignments led to the


hiring of an almost completely


new band staff, with only the


percussion director remaining


the same.


(2-shot of band director and reporter: Tape 12 - 09:32:12 to 09:48:22) 


The new director—Jay


Haward—brought new


assistant directors with him


from Seminole High School in




(Bite – Jay Haward/Band Director, Dorman High: Tape 12 - 09:32:12 to 09:48:22) 

(INCUE: Q - “What do you think about the band’s chances…”)

(OUTCUE: “…we’ll be there”)






News: 27-Aug-04 – Page 6


(Stand-up, take 3, Joey West/DTV News: Tape 12 - 21:47:47 to 22:00:06)


Most of you will get a chance


to see part of the new show


during halftime in the football


game in Gaffney tonight.



The whole show will be seen


at the 1st home game against



Greenwood on September


10th, and the new uniforms


will make their debute at the


2nd home game on September




Joey West, DTV News.


(End pkg) (Total time - 1:44)

( _________ )(Close-up)


Thanks Joey.




News: 27-Aug-04 – Page 7

While many of us will be enjoying a relaxing weekend, band students will be back at practice tomorrow morning at 8am and will work until 5pm.

If you have a question or comment about any of the content of this site, please contact the instructor for the class for this this site was created.  You may call Ray Tedder at Dorman High School in Roebuck SC at this number: (864)582-4347 extention 1215. 
Or you email Mr. Tedder by