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Great tips for scriptwriters for voice over scripts!


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Below is a great post on LinkedIn by a voiceover artist. I’ve simply copied and pasted and left all punctuation as is. Full article can be found here: https:/fragglesrock

Last month , I was watching the popular Australian television show “ Master Chef “ where contestants from all over the world display their culinary skills , conjuring up exotic dishes under the watchful gaze of the judges .As the moment of reckoning nears , The judge – a celebrity chef who would have spent the better part of his life in the kitchen says ,” The concept was excellent , The execution was brilliant . Unfortunately , the dish is bland as you missed out on the salt “ . The jury is out and amidst heart rending scenes , the teary eyed participant makes her way to the exit . But , what has a cooking show got to do with voice over scripts ? A great deal as you will soon find out .

A voice over project is more like a recipe where the script , voice over , editing and recording are elements contributing to the success of an assignment . The absence of any one of them will adversely impact the project . In this post , we will look at the efficacy of voice over scripts and their contribution to the project as a whole .

The Genre - Over the past ten years , the voice over industry has witnessed an unprecedented growth . The voice over cake can roughly be cut into four pieces . Narrations , e-learning , ads and cartoons where the demand for narration is greater than the rest . The requirement of every genre is unique and calls for writing skills in that space . Lets take an example . A second world war documentary showing Hitler’s excesses calls for a writer who is a subject matter expert in history . The rules of engagement make it amply clear that the person should have worked on similar projects in the past so that the client looking for a quick turnaround can count on the writer for his speed and professionalism . The competencies are varied in nature .Advertisements call for writers who are good at catchy phrases and witty one liners as opposed to e-learning where authenticity and subject knowledge are needed . Script writers are known to stick to their favorite turf . Depending on the genre , it makes sense to get the right person .

Writing scripts for voice over is a different cup of tea . Memphis area voice over artist Jack Parnell talking about script says “ Many are hard to read because they put words together that are almost impossible to follow each other, and so many of them make no sense. “ . The writer is a bridge between the artist and the client ." In the voice over world, writing helps the performer see the script from the client’s perspective. It is reverse engineering that can help a voice talent improve their performance " says Gary Terzza , a voice over coach from UK . Voice over comes with its own set of rules . Without a good script , plans may go awry .

Tips for script writers -

1 - Conduct adequate research on the subject .

2 - As the audio portion is kept to a minimum in a film , short sentences are ideal from the readability point of view .

3 - Long sentences leave the artist gasping for breath … Break it up into manageable pieces .

4 - Avoid packing or bunching too many words in a sentence .The artist , used to reading at a uniform pace has to rush , through making it difficult to comprehend.

5 - Avoid using bombastic language and difficult words . Not everyone watching the film is a Shakespeare nor is he carrying a dictionary around .

6 - Good script writers have a sense of timing and know where to start and end a sentence .

7- Ensure that comma , full stop , punctuation marks are all in place .

8 - Finally , the feel or the emotional appeal of the film has to be kept in mind .This is what distinguishes a good script from the rest .

The script is a foundation on which the edifice rests .The artist should enjoy reading the script . No effort should be spared in getting a good script writer . I also wish to add that the role of a script writer is no less important than that of the voice over artist . Strange are the rules of business . Never in the limelight , the writer seldom gets noticed and mostly operates on the fringes . The disparity is glaring . I hope that will change . The day is not far off when the writer will have his place under the sun .


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Thank you, Suzysays! I’ve written quite a few video scripts for customers of late, and as I submit them I always wonder if the voice-over will love or hate my writing!

This is a wonderful piece, and I will take the advice to heart.

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