Teaching Video Scripting
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Writing a simple, quick video script can be done by simply answering the basic questions any viewer wants to know about a story. One can expand the format infinitely. For the beginning student, it permits the student to create a basic video script and produce it and quickly get feedback on how video is produced. From there, they can explore more complex and creative productions. This scripting format uses software every student owns—Microsoft Word.

1. Write the the 5 “Ws,” the “H,” and the “So What” in a list as we did with the photography caption writing exercise.

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why
  • How
  • So What

2. Write the script outline as we did with the photo caption template. Remember, in video scripting, every word is written out—no numbers, no abbreviations, please. We have to see how long each word is to time it later.

  • Who: Lutsk Liberal Arts University
  • What: is celebrating its tenth anniversary
  • When: this semester
  • Where: on its campus.
  • Why: Lutsk Liberal Arts University is a private university that offers majors in Journalism, cybernetics, economics and business management.
  • How: The celebration kicked off with a first-day-of school celebration in the city theater. Teachers day continued the celebration with a talent contest and a Ukrainian food cook off.
  • So What: Lutsk Liberal Arts University offers a four-year degree plus a five-year specialists degree and will adopt the Bologna process so that in the future it will offer a European-standard degree.

3. Do not merge the sentences of the script outline as we did with the photo caption template.

4. Using MICROSOFT WORD's TABLES commands, Create the script template with the 5 “Ws,” the “H,” and the “So What” on individual rows of the audio column.

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Slug:
Writer:
Date:
Run Time:

Video Audio
Who
What
When
Where
Why
How
So What

5. Place the 5 “Ws,” the “H,” and the “So What” from the script on their correct rows in the audio column.

Slug:
Writer:
Date:
Run Time:

Video Audio
Who: Lutsk Liberal Arts University
What: is celebrating its tenth anniversary
When: this semester
Where: on its campus.
Why: Lutsk Liberal Arts University is a private university that offers majors in Journalism, cybernetics, economics and business management.
How: The celebration kicked off with a first-day-of school celebration in the city theater. Teachers day continued the celebration with a talent contest and a Ukrainian food cook off.
So What: Lutsk Liberal Arts University offers a four-year degree plus a five-year specialists degree and will adopt the Bologna process so that in the future it will offer a European-standard degree.

6. Remove the words, 5 “Ws,” the “H,” and the “So What”
7. Fill in the heading of the script: name the story by giving it a two or three-word slug; put in your name as the writer; put in the date it is written to air; count the lines (add short lines together to make one full line), and multiply by 2 seconds, and then write in the run-time. Be sure to add any music you are using in the introduction or the exit.

Slug: Lutsk Univ 10th
Writer: Mercer
Date: Nov. 7, 2007
Run Time: 34 seconds

Video Audio
Lutsk Liberal Arts University
is celebrating its tenth anniversary
this semester
on its campus.
Lutsk Liberal Arts University is a private university that offers majors in Journalism, cybernetics, economics and business management.
The celebration kicked off with a first-day-of school celebration in the city theater. Teachers day continued the celebration with a talent contest and a Ukrainian food cook off.
Lutsk Liberal Arts University is an internationally-known university. It offers a four-year degree plus a five-year specialists degree and will adopt the Bologna process so that in the future it will offer a European-standard degree.
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8. Your table columns should be of equal length. That means your Audio column is half a page wide. Your type face is 12 point. Count how long your story is by counting the number of lines of text in the Audio column. Multiply by two seconds. Write this time next to “Run Time.”

9. You now have a grammatically correct text. Now ad the video images that either show what you are saying in your text, or you can tell a second story in just video images, much like a silent film, with a beginning, middle and an end. Remember, each image gets its own row in the script template.

10. First, View Viedo clips on MSNBC.Com and count the seconds for each scene. How many seconds do video news editors normally grant each scene in a fast-paced news event? What is the shortest scene one can understand? When does a scene become too long? Watch many, so you can see how editors tell stories with pictures, even as the narrative tells another.

Slug: Lutsk Univ 10th
Writer: Mercer
Date: Nov. 7, 2007
Run Time: 34 seconds

Video Audio
Grabber shot of student celebrating at teachers’ day Lutsk Liberal Arts University
is celebrating its tenth anniversary
this semester
Exterior shot of university building on its campus.
Students entering building Lutsk Liberal Arts University is a private university that offers majors in Journalism, cybernetics, economics and business management.
Still shot from opening day with VIPVideo of talent contestantsVideo of Ukrainian food tasting The celebration kicked off with a first-day-of school celebration in the city theater. Teachers day continued the celebration with a talent contest and a Ukrainian food cook off.
Wide shot of students in classrooms. Medium shot of two students conferring in classClose-up of student on computerExtreme close-up of student’s face Lutsk Liberal Arts University is an internationally-known university. It offers a four-year degree plus a five-year specialists degree and will adopt the Bologna process so that in the future it will offer a European-standard degree.

11. Now, merge the rows where there are no images and create rows for each of the multiple images in a visual column.
Slug: Lutsk Univ 10th
Writer: Mercer
Date: Nov. 7, 2007
Run Time: 34 seconds

Video Audio
Grabber shot of student celebrating at teachers’ day Lutsk Liberal Arts University is celebrating its tenth anniversary this semester
L/S Exterior shot of university building on its campus.
M/S Students entering building Lutsk Liberal Arts University is a private university that offers majors in Journalism, cybernetics, economics and business management.
Still photograph from opening day with VIP The celebration kicked off with a first-day-of school celebration in the city theater.
Video of talent contestants Teachers day continued the celebration with a talent show
Video of Ukrainian food tasting contest and a Ukrainian food cook off.
Wide shot of students in classrooms. Lutsk Liberal Arts University is an internationally-known university.
Medium shot of two students conferring in class It offers a four-year degree plus a five-year specialists degree
Close-up of student on computerExtreme close-up of student’s face and will adopt the Bologna process so that in the future it will offer a European-standard degree.

12. It is important that each visual has its own row in the script. If you decide to change the length of the narrative for that visual, it only changes the size of that cell, and therefore only the depth of that row. All other visuals stay in alignment with their narratives.

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