Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Home | Graduation Video Crew | Producing a Package Story | Documentary Videos | Art Videos | Shot sheets | Editing at Home | Package Editing Script | VO Edit scripts | VO Editing Scripts | Writing a better package script | Basics of Publishing Photos | Photo and Video Club Constitution | TV News story forms | Reporters package scripts | VO/bite editing scripts
Writing a more effective script
Electronic Photo and Video Communications

How to write a more effective news script.

By Ray Tedder

Dorman High School

Roebuck SC

In this column, you will see a script for a package as originally written by a student.

 

 

 

 

(lead-in to SYATP)(Anchor)

Last Wednesday, a large group of students were gathered at the flag pole. Matt Edwards has more on that for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(VO)(MATT)(audio time 0:35:55:21-0:36:10:10)(video time/natural sound 0:23:05:00-0:23:20:00)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once a year students gather around the school’s flag pole for fun, fellowship, and live music. No, its not a wild party, its our annual “See You at the Pole” event where students come together to pray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Cut to interview with Coach Lancaster)(video/audio time 0:34:42:00-0:35:07:10)

(VO)(MATT)(audio time 0:36:22:20-0:36:42:28)(video time/natural sound 0:26:17:00-0:26:38:00)

“See You at the Pole” was started by a group of students in Burleson, TX in 1990. The students wanted a place at school where they could pray simultaneously for their friends. So they met at the flag pole. The trend caught on with other schools and eventually “See You at the Pole” was born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Stand-up)(MATT)(video/audio time 0:32:54:00-0:33:13:14)

Now “See you at the Pole” has become not only a national event but an international event as well. See you at the Pole” is also held in Canada, Australia, and Korea. At today’s “See you at the Pole” Coach Lancaster said there was a big turnout. And with a group of just under 200 I’d have to say he’s right. I’m Matt Edwards DTV News.

In this column. you will read comments on that writing and suggested changes.

 

 

 

We need to beef up the anchor lead on the left.  We need a better hook and set-up. 

 

The hook should be part of the 1st sentence and is a way of writing that grabs the attention of the audience and makes them want to listen to what follows.  Read the 1st sentence of the anchor lead-in on the left and then read the way that this lead sentence was rewritten on the right.  See for yourself how the changes made to the 1st sentence grab the audience’s attention and make the audience want to stick around and hear more about this story. 

 

The set-up is the second and third sentences of the anchor lead-in.  Now that you have the audience’s attention in that 1st sentence (the hook) the idea is to keep the audience’s attention and give them a reason to stick around and listen to and watch the entire package that follows.  Read the second sentence of the lead-in on the left.  Simply saying, "Matt Edwards has more on that..." doesn't give the audience a reason to stick around... in fact it gives them a beak in the story that gives them an opportunity to mentally tune out, change the channel, or turn off the TV altogether.  If we rewrite this to say, "DTV News Reporter Matt Edwards tells us… it’s part of a grassroots movement that started as one small gathering at one small school almost 15 years ago and is now an international event..." then you have given the audience enough information about the story that is to follow that they will have more of a reason to stick around to watch and listen.  Read the entire lead-in on the left and then see the lead-in as it was rewritten on the right and see the difference in the 2 anchor leads.

 

One last thing… the anchor lead-in should be typed in arial font, font size 36 bold, and should have a line spacing of 1.5.

 

Immediately following your anchor lead-in you should write director instructions called director cues.  In the original script on the left, the reporter inserted editing cues immediately after the anchor lead-in.  What should follow the anchor lead-in, however, should be the director’s cues.  See the script on the right.

 

The director’s cues tell the person assembling the news broadcast (the director) which story to insert, what graphics to include in that story, how long the story lasts, and the outcue on that story (the outcue or OC is the last words heard on the taped part of the story… the reporter’s package). 

 

Look at the script on the right.  This is what director’s cues look like.  These director’s cues start with the name of the package and the fact that the story on tape is a package.  That director cue looks like this: (“Changes for Band” Pkg).  These are followed by a location identifier (Location ID) which includes a teaser headline (Prayer at School ) and the time that it shows up on the screen(4 to 8 secs).In the original script on the left, the reporter put in some editing instructions (called editing cues), but failed to show the director’s cues.  The director’s cues also show the reporting ID and the time that it shows up on the screen, the interview ID’s and their times on the screen, and the stand-up ID and it’s time on the screen.  The stand-up is the point in a package story where the reporter is seen on camera talking to the audience. 

 

Following the director’s cues, the reporter SHOULD include the editing cues… and these should be included through the entire voice over (VO) portion of the package.  The voice over is the part where the reporter narrates, but he or she is not seen.

 

The editing cues should include the following:

         Instructions to insert the reporter’s narration under video… it looks like this: (Edwards/VO)

         A description each videotaped scene that is supposed to be used over each part of the reporter’s narration, the tape number, and the times on the original tape where this scene is found… it looks like this:  (Wide shot of front of school with crowd: Tape 12 - 14:25:33 to 14:40:37)

         Instructions to the editor on how to use the ambient sound (nat. sound) recorded on the original tape… it looks like this: (Nat sound up full for 2 seconds and then drop to bed under voice track)

         The tape number, which take the reporter wants to use, and the times on the original tape where the narration is found… it looks like this: (Voice track, take 6: Tape 12 – 0:35:55:21 to 0:36:10:10)

 

Each sentence of the script should start on a new line.  Prior to each line of the narration (that’s the voice over or VO) editing instructions should be inserted to indicate which scene on the original tape should be inserted at this point in the narration.

 

Right after the 1st sentence is a great place to insert some natural sound of the people participating in the event.  See where that is indicated in the suggested corrections on the right (where it says, “Nat sound up full…).

 

Reporters need to be independent of the story.  So, we need to avoid writing the story to make us sound as though we are part of it.  It would be better is the reporter did not write and say, “…our annual ‘See You at the Pole” event…” and instead wrote, “…the annual ‘See You at the Pole” event… .”  

 

At any point in the story where sound bite should appear (in television a quote where the person being interviewed is actually seen on camera is called a “sound bite”) editing cues for that part of the tape should be written into the script.  The editing cues for a sound bite are included in the original script (on the left). 

         The reporter included them in this manner: “Cut to interview with Coach Lancaster…”  

         The correct way to include those editing cues for a sound bite is found on the right, in this manner: “Bite – Coach Mike Lancaster… .”

 

These editing cues for a sound bite include the identifier for the person who was interviewed and times on the original tape where this specific quote is found.  

         Those look like this: (Bite – Coach Mike Lancaster /Counselor, Dorman High: Tape 12 - 0:34:42:00 to 0:35:07:10) 

These also include the 1st thing that the person being interviewed says in that quote or sound bite (called the incue or IC) and the last thing that the person being interviewed says in that quote or sound bite. 

         The incue looks like this: (INCUE: Q - “What do you think about …”)

         The outcue looks like this: (OUTCUE: “…we’ll be praying”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stand-up for this story is the script that is seen on the left, but edit cues need a little work.  The correct way to indicate that this is the script for the stand-up is found on the right.  Notice that in the corrected script on the right, the edit cues include the take that the reporter wants to use (take 2), and the tape number (Tape 12), as well as the times on the tape where the stand-up is found that reporter correctly included in the script on the right (0:32:54:00 to 0:33:13:14).

 

There is one problem with the stand-up.  The reporter has given his opinion.  We are reporters or events, not persons trying influence opinions… so we don’t give ours (except in cases where the opinion is so universal as to make it acceptable of virtually everyone… such as the opinion that murder is a terrible thing.)  The opinion is that Coach Lancaster is right in saying that there was a big turnout at this event.  The reporter could just as easily said, “Coach Lancaster says just fewer than 200 people showed up at this “See you at the Pole” event… and that—he says—is a big turnout.” We’ll have to change that part of the stand-up and make it a VO at the very end… and no one will know that we didn’t plan it that way in the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reporter correctly puts a tag line at the end of his package.  At the end of every news package, the reporter MUST say their 1st and last name, and “…DTV News.” At the end of every sports package, the reporter MUST say their 1st and last name, and “…DTV Sports.”   That’s the reporter’s tag line. After that tag line are editing cues that tell the editor that this is the end of the package and the time.

         Those edit cues look like this: (End pkg) (Total time - 1:44)

 

What is lacking in the original script is the anchor’s tag line.  At the end of every news package, the reporter MUST say their 1st and last name, and “…DTV News.” At the end of every sports package, the reporter MUST say their 1st and last name, and “…DTV Sports.”   That’s the reporter’s tag line. After that tag line are editing cues that tell the editor that this is the end of the package and the time.

         Those edit cues look like this: (End pkg) (Total time - 1:44)

 

Following the reporter’s tag line and the edit cues, the reporter must write an anchor tag line.   An anchor tag has 2 parts.  In the first part, the anchor says, “Thanks…” and the reporter’s name.  In the 2nd part, the reporter must write some additional information for the anchor to say about the story.  In this story, I am recommending that the anchor say, “Thanks, Matt.  And Matt tells us that the organizers of the ‘See You at the Pole’ event do this every third Wednesday in September before school… at schools all around the country and the world.”   See the rewritten script on the right, and notice that the anchor who reads the tag line is always the same anchor who introduced the story in the 1st place.

 

In this column. you will read the rewritten package script taking into account the comments and suggestions that were made about the script.

 

(Anchor #1)(2-shot)

School-wide prayer may not be allowed here at Dorman, but that prohibition doesn’t apply to student groups.

(Anchor #2)(2-shot)

…and a large group of students gathered at the flag pole in front of the school last week to do just that.

(Anchor #2)(Close-up)

DTV News Reporter Matt Edwards tells us… it’s part of a grassroots movement that started as one small gathering at one small school almost 15 years ago and is now an international event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(“SYATP” Pkg)

(Location ID: Prayer at School, Dorman High – 4 to 8 secs)

(Reporting ID: Reporter/Matt Edwards/DTV News – 10 to 14 secs)

(Coach Mike Lancaster/Counselor, Dorman High – 37 secs to 1:05 min)

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

(Total time: 1: 44 min)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Wide shot of front of school: Tape 12 - 0:23:05:00 to 0:23:20:00)

 

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

 

(Voice track, take 6: Tape 12 – 0:35:55:21 to 0:36:10:10)

Once a year students gather around the school’s flagpole for fun, fellowship, and live music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Shot of small groups of students praying: Tape 12 - 0:23:05:00 to 0:23:20:00)

(Nat sound of student praying up full for 6 seconds…then drop sound level to bed under voice track)

No, its not a wild party, its the annual “See You at the Pole” event where students come together to pray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Bite – Coach Mike Lancaster /Counselor, Dorman High: Tape 12 - 0:34:42:00 to 0:35:07:10) 

 

(INCUE: Q - “What do you think about …”)

(OUTCUE: “…we’ll be praying”)

(Transition to B-roll)

(Close-up of speaker: Tape 12 - 0:26:17:00 to 0:26:38:00)

 

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

 

(Voice track, take 6: Tape 12 - 0:36:22:20 to 0:36:42:28)

 

“See You at the Pole” was started by a group of students in Burleson, TX in 1990. The students wanted a place at school where they could pray simultaneously for their friends. So they met at the flag pole. The trend caught on with other schools and eventually “See You at the Pole” was born.

 

(Stand-up, take 2, Matt Edwards/DTV News: Tape 12 - 0:32:54:00 to 0:33:13:14)

Now “See you at the Pole” has become not only a national event but an international event as well. See you at the Pole” is also held in Canada, Australia, and Korea.

(Group shot: Tape 12 - 0:25:17:00 to 0:25:38:00)

 

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

 

(Voice track, take 2: Tape 12 - 0:37:22:20 to 0:37:42:28)

Coach Lancaster says just under 200 people showed up at this “See you at the Pole” event… and that—he says—is a big turnout.

 

 

I’m Matt Edwards DTV News.

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

 

 

 

 

(Anchor #2) (Close-up)

Thanks, Matt. 

(Anchor #2) (2-shot)

And Matt tells us that the organizers of the ‘See You at the Pole’ event do this every third Wednesday in September before school… at schools all around the country… and the world.

 

 

If you see any errors, you have a disagreement with the content in this web page, or you have any comment at all, please