Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
(New Second Edition)
By JOHN MORLEY
* Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
* Pub. Date: February 2008
* ISBN-13: 9780595449385
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Jump to: Table of Contents — Preface
It’s not the glitz on the screen but the impact on the audience that’s the measure of an informational program. This book will help writers strengthen that impact by showing them how to make the best use of their time and creativity. It suggests hundreds of ideas that can be used as starting points and insightful touches. It covers all of the analytical and creative decisions that add up to an effective script for a video.
The skills taught in this book are also critical when scripting for film, PowerPoint® presentations, Web sites and other types of interactive media. And specific advice is provided on adapting these skills to those media.
The central focus, however, is on video, and readers are assumed to have a basic understanding of video production and writing skills.
Chapter 1 provides a background, history and overview of the realities of the current market.
Chapters 2 through 9 present a step-by-step process for taking a project from initial needs analysis to a completed script. The creative process is at best organic and the creation of video presentations requires the balancing of several interconnected, shifting variables. In this book the process is made as linear as possible and steps are grouped into specific training areas—while still allowing for contingencies of content, application, creative approach and working situation.Chapter 10 provides advice on finding employment and reviews the major legal, ethical and career decisions faced by a scriptwriter.
The Profession as It's Currently Being Practiced
This book describes the realities of human frailties, time pressure and budgetary limitations rather than a rigid process for idealized situations. It prepares the reader for situations in which clients, content experts and even colleagues may not agree on—or even be aware of—accepted conventions. The ideas and techniques presented are based on over two decades of experience during which no two projects were alike and none was ideal.
The process on which this book is based has been presented and discussed in trade-show and convention seminars, and while teaching informational scriptwriting at California State University, Northridge. It has been refined during hundreds of projects and discussions with working professionals, who are seldom shy about pointing out any weakness.
This is proven advice that works under pressure. It can be applied with confidence by anyone seriously interested in writing for video—whether their concerns center on earning a living, making a difference or some combination thereof
Following its own advice—to show rather than tell—the text illustrates every major point by applying it to both of two case studies. This approach gives the reader a constant frame of reference as each new step builds on previous steps. The finished scripts for the case studies—a voice-over narration and a dramatization—are included in the Appendix.
In addition to these two case studies, a wealth of examples from dozens of other scripts are used to clarify points throughout the text.
A Tool for Working Writers
More than a good how-to textbook; this is also a reference source that can be used often—for ideas to blast past writer’s block, for help with selling words and ideas to clients and colleagues, and for insight into a process that keeps making more sense the better it’s understood and the more it’s practiced.
About The Author
John Morley's been there. From working on staff in university video studios to freelancing for Fortune 500 companies. Along the way, over 300 of his video scripts have been produced. He has taught scriptwriting in corporate seminars and at the university level, and developed scriptwriting software used by thousands of writers.
After earning his BA in Broadcasting from the University of Florida, Morley worked as a writer/producer in school-based production facilities at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville Florida, University of Florida and University of South Carolina.
A move to Atlanta to work with Jack Morton Productions brought projects from Home Box Office, Milliken Textiles, Georgia Pacific, and a transition into writing full-time. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, Morley has been working with clients including CitiBank, Mattel, Pioneer Electronics, and most of the Asian car companies, including Toyota, Lexus and Nissan.
In Los Angeles, Morley studied with the top screenwriting gurus, Robert McKee, Michael Hauge and John Truby. He developed a seminar on informational scriptwriting that was offered through Trudy's Writer's Studio and at numerous industry events, and he taught informational scriptwriting at California State University, Northridge.
His script-formatting software, Script Werx, is used around the world by writers working for corporations, government agencies, non-profits and television shows, including Saturday Night Live.
Table of Contents
1. REALITIES OF THE MARKETPLACE, 1
The Invisible Giant, 1
4. PACKAGING IDEAS, 97
Creative Treatment, 975. SEVEN STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING ANY TREATMENT, 116
1. Create an Emotional Experience, 1166. STRUCTURE and Format, 130
Format Templates, 1317. DRAMATIZATIONS, 177
The Power of Examples, 1798. ON TO SCRIPTING, 196
Pitching the Creative Treatment, 1969. PICTURES AND WORDS, 211
Thinking Visually, 21110. LIFE IN THE FOODCHAIN, 241
The Corporate Environment, 241APPENDIX, 265
Research Questions, 266About the Author, 305