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Save This Script Episode 4

COW Library : Indie Film & Documentary : John Morley and Mark Suszko : Save This Script Episode 4
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CreativeCOW presents Save This Script Episode 4 -- Indie Film & Documentary Editorial


Los Angeles, California, and Illinois, USA

©2013 CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


In each installment of this series, a writer/producer team is confronted with a creative challenge. The scenario, written in screenplay format, revolves around a typical client management situation that can lead to a problem script.
The problem script itself can then be read, followed by some back-and-forth as the creative team rises to the challenge.

EPISODE 4 ENDS WITH A TWIST, AND YOU can get involved!



NOTE: We've altered the format a bit; and you're in the script now. Read on:
Fade IN:

INT. The Earthworm Underground, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES -- DAY

Jacob, president of the local chapter of The Earthworm Underground ("TEU"), stands next to a large compost bin, talking with MARK, who is a principal in Glendower Productions.




MARK

"Worrell the worm." I assume that's an off-the-cuff suggestion?

JACOB

On no, He's our spokesworm. National wants this to get Worrell's name recognition way up there.

MARK

So he's animated?

JACOB

He was created by this artist who's the son of a national board member. In fact, Worrell's copyrighted, and only this artist can draw him.

MARK

So you're targeting the kids with this?

JACOB

Oh no, everyone benefits from worm composting.

MARK

Is there a specific message?

JACOB

It's an Earth Day thing. We want it in heavy rotation the three weeks before Earth Day.

MARK

But it doesn't necessarily need to be about Earth Day?

JACOB

Well sure. Earth Day. Earthworms. It's a natural.

MARK

What specifically is the tie in?

JACOB

I've been reading this book on marketing. It says benefit to the customer is most important. So here's what Worrell can say about benefits from worm composting.



Jacob hands to Mark a page containing the following:

(WORRELL VOICE): " Hi, Kids, Farmers, and Restaurant owners! I'm Worrell the Worm, and I'm here to tell you it's that time of year again, when we celebrate Earth Day! How will YOU help Mother Earth on her birthday? Well, you could start a worm farm of your very own; it's easy AND fun for the whole family, school, or office! We'll show you how with our "Worm Wise" Information pack, that tells you how to do it, with a magnetic bumper sticker for your car and plus, great information on how worms make your soil healthier and promote good drainage in rainy seasons, and how we can compost your kitchen table scraps into great free plant food that substitutes for chemical fertilizers. We even make a plant pest remover called "Worm Tea" that can help your house plants. And, you can learn about the abuse of pesticides and fertilizers that can hurt soil microorganisms; they're my friends. Like the millions of useful soil bacteria that live in just one teaspoon-ful of dirt! And did you know that if you practice no-till post-harvest field preparation, you increase your soil's ability to hold storm water and reduce wind-blown soil erosion by 15 percent or more? Did you? Talk to your local municipal park board or golf course grounds staff about having me come visit your park or golf course to make it worm-safe! I even come to schools to teach kids all about the secrets of soil. So call to order that Worm Wise Information pack, and find out all about it!"

MARK

And this is a thirty-second spot?

JACOB

I know we can't fit it all in.

MARK

Does your book say anything about "selling the sizzle instead of the steak?"

JACOB

I've heard of that.

MARK

Thirty seconds is more of a sizzle length of time.

JACOB

There's plenty of sizzle in what you have there.

MARK

We may need to take it up a level. What's a gee-whiz fact that these benefits lead to?

JACOB

Everything grows better.

MARK

What's the biggest operation using worm compost?

JACOB

Entire golf courses use it.

MARK

There's some sizzle.

JACOB

Schools do everything from including the students in composting cafeteria waste to buying local.

MARK

Localvore is starting to sizzle. And what do you want the audience to do?

JACOB

All of it. Raise worms, use compost, reduce chemical fertilizer use.

MARK

Is there a specific call to action; an easy thing to do right now.

JACOB

That worm wise information kit is something we want in everyone's hands.

INT. GLENDOWER OFFICE -- DAY

Mark, and another company principal, JOHN, are reviewing the client-provided source material.

JOHN

If the animator isn't coming out of our budget, this could be sweet.

MARK

Illustrator.

JOHN

You mean no animation experience?

MARK

Zilcho. But we can get a base drawing with an insert of the mouth in several different positions.

JOHN

Great. So we have it all covered except for what the spot is actually about.

MARK

They do have this ant farm thing with a glass side that would let us shoot some worms burrowing through the compost heap.

JOHN

And stock footage of golf courses, school kids, and backyard gardens shouldn't be hard to find.

MARK

Sizzle. Sizzle.

JOHN

That Earth Day thing bothers me. A non-profit usually doesn't have budget for something that works only three weeks out of the year.

MARK

So give it a tag. The last ten seconds shows the Web address for getting the information kit, and the voiceover--that can be changed at any time--can say Earth Day, Merry Christmas, or whatever.

JOHN

We could record three different tags while we have the voice talent in the studio and deliver all three versions for what's already budgeted.

MARK

Or pitch it as an upsell?

JOHN

Dollar signs. Let's do this.

INT. Glendower Offices -- Day

Mark and John are mulling options

JOHN

So those benefits we were talking about fill the screen, while Worrell talks in voiceover about how earthworm composting helps to make them happen. Here's the script, so you can read along.

John reads his Buried Treasure script:


Video

Audio

Worrell, dressed as Indiana Jones, talks to the camera in his underground office.

WORRELL: In my underground adventures.

The shot loosens to reveal a tunnel leading out of the office, then zooms into the tunnel.

I've seen treasure.

Burrowing worms inside a glass-sided compost bin.

It's created by my friends here.

Begin a montage of plants, vegetables, flowers, and grass.

And it's good as gold for making plants grow, making grass greener, and reducing dependence on expensive chemical fertilizer.

The montage ends with a beautiful flower arrangement, then a pull back reveals it to be in a restaurant.

My fellow earthworms break down scraps from restaurants,

Happy kids are eating in a school cafeteria.

school cafeterias,

Kids at home scrape off dinner plates into a bin for table scraps.

and kitchens of all sizes.

Montage of farm crops, lush green golf courses and well-tended backyard gardens.

Then leave behind a wealth of benefit for farmers, golf courses, and gardens of every size.

An establishing shot of Worrell in his office shows that it contains an open treasure chest. The camera goes in close to reveal it contains a Worm Wise information kit, with the URL superimposed.

Discover treasure for yourself, in the "Worm Wise" information kit, Download it now from www.WorrellWorm.com.


ANNOUNCER: And just in time to do something nice for Mother Earth on Earth Day. That's triple-w, dot Worrell: w - o - r - r - e - l - l; worm: w - o -r -m dot com.

MARK

You lecture our client on "sizzle," then show actual worms?

JOHN

That is the product.

MARK

And it's verdant abundance in a pollution-free environment we're selling.

JOHN

Okay. Worms are to be seen only as cute, cuddly, illustrations.

MARK

And montages are for cowards who can't make up their minds.

JOHN

Or a time-proven way to engage multiple audiences.

MARK

It's that "multiple" word. A farmer audience; restaurant owners; golf courses ... those are specialized audiences you don't target with TV.


CAROL, a college intern, enters with a SCRIPT, showing a few red marks.

CAROL

I finished copyediting.

JOHN

Catch anything?

CAROL

Mild nausea from the thought of seeing worms cut next to people eating.

MARK

Yeah, we've had that conversation already.

JOHN

I meant punctuation or grammar.

CAROL

I was told interning is a way to get experience, and hoped that meant more than just wrangling commas.

MARK

Carol, while we appreciate initiative ...

JOHN

Ya wanna write?

CAROL

Communications is my major.

JOHN

Great. Finish up your "real work" of logging that footage from yesterday, then take the rest of the day to write us a Worrell the Worm script.

CAROL

It's only another hour I'm here.

JOHN

You're the one who wants to write.



INT. Glendower Offices -- the next day

Carol has been called in for her pitch.

CAROL

I hope you like it.

JOHN

Is it any good?

CAROL

It's good. It's good.

MARK

Before we hear it, tell me you have read and signed the deal memo, and you understand if we like it and use it, we'll own it, and pay you only the amount listed in the memo.

CAROL

So we're all formal all of a sudden? But sure, I read and signed it.

JOHN

It's for everybody's protection and peace of mind. You don't want to learn about deal memos the hard way. Now, let's hear it.



Carol performs her Farmers' Secret script:



Video

Audio

Sunrise on a farm. Lights go on in the kitchen window of a distant dark silhouette of a farmhouse while its still barely light out.

Rooster crow and morning ag reporter on a tinny clock radio starts reporting market news. Dogs begin to bark in the background.

Machine shed doors opening to reveal tractor. Farmer enters with a thermos of coffee, clambers in and fires up for a day of plowing.

(Grizzled farmer voiceover) When you've farmed long enough, you get an appreciation for what works. And how to work with nature.

Tilling rows in a stubbly cornfield, the equipment passes under a high, overhead camera as it jibs down to the surface of the disturbed soil; we see red wigglers waving around on dark, fertile earth.

The newest tool on the farm is old as dirt itself. They work 24 hours a day for free, and never break down.

Two hands in close-up hold clumps of earth; one dark, moist and rich, one pale, dry and brittle. Titles under each hand identify "With Worms" and "without".

They'll increase your soil fertility, plus its ability to absorb rainfall, and they like corn as well as beans, grass, and anything else you grow. Working with them reduces your fuel and chemical costs, too!

Cut to graphic slate with web address and Worrell in bib overalls with a pitchfork.

Get the free fact book on how to put vermiculture to work for YOU.
Visit WorrelWorm dot com for details, and get "Worm Wise", today.

MARK

That reads like a spot I'd like to shoot. Pretty morning shots. Copeland-esque music. I'm feeling all Norman Rockwell inside.

JOHN

I remember some smart person telling me the farmer audience is too small.

MARK

Audience yes, but this is an icon. Who knows more about soil than a farmer?

JOHN

Got it. But you're showing and telling rich furrows of farmland. The audience needs to have the dots connected back to their garden and their table.

MARK

Consider your dots connected. Here's my pass at the script.

Mark reads his Smart Mom script:

Video

Audio

Interior of a middle-class kitchen: MOM is having coffee with her sister, AUNT SALLY. Huge bowl of blooms on table.

SALLY: Wow, your green thumb's been working overtime on the garden: these flowers are huge!

BOBBY, 10, and his sister ALICE,9, enter kitchen in farmer's hat and overalls costumes, run to hug and greet AUNT SALLY.

MOM SMILES, (refilling her coffee): Well, I have some "little helpers" with that...

ALICE in close-up

BOBBY & ALICE: Hi, Aunt Sally! Hi!

BOBBY in close-up

SALLY: Hi kids! Are you playing "farmer" today?

Wide shot, everybody as SALLY reacts.

ALICE (Indignant) No, we don't PLAY farmers-
BOBBY: We ARE farmers, for REAL!
KIDS TOGETHER: We're worm farmers!

MOM & SALLY 2-shot, kitchen Cabinets in background between them roll into focus when mentioned.

MOM: It's true: their farm is in that cabinet there: scraps go in, my potting soil comes out.

Still the 2-shot of MOM & SALLY

SALLY: Those are your "little helpers?!?"

BOBBY and SALLY 2-shot with open cabinet showing worm box decorated with Worrell cartoon stickers.

BOBBY: We started it for Earth Day!

ALICE in close-up, holds up the information packet.

ALICE: We learned how from Worrell the Worm!

DISSOLVE TO GRAPHICS WITH BOOKLET AND CONTACT INFO, WORREL SMILING AND WAVING.

VOICEOVER ANNOUNCER: Get your free "Worm Wise" information packet and see how easy and fun farming can be.




JOHN

Well, that's three scripts when the client asked for one. How are we going to choose?

MARK

Well, I could break the Fourth Wall and ask Creative COW readers to do the picking for us.

JOHN

They're all early drafts. I would not be comfortable pitching any one of them.

MARK

So, let's have readers vote for which script moves ahead and gets "saved" in our next episode.

JOHN

We're kinda asking them to do our work for us. What's in it for them?

MARK

Well, we can give away a copy of your script writing book.





Practical applications of ideas from the book, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos.

How it Works:

To enter, post in this thread, by April 15, which of the three scripts you would like to see rewritten and pitched to the client in our next episode of Save This Script. Reasoning behind your choice, or additional comments, will also be appreciated. We'd really like to start a conversation.

On April 15, the script with the most votes is the script we rewrite in our next episode. We will also randomly select from everyone who voted for that script, one person to win a free copy of Scriptwriting For High-Impact Videos.

JOHN

Are there a lot of rules?

MARK

Don't put any address or contact info in the postings: we'll have the COW administrators handle getting the book to you, so everyone's privacy is respected. One "vote" per COW member, please, but write as many comments as you like. Feel free to even add your own versions of a script for comparison, but we're only voting on the three by John, Carol, and myself. If there's a tie, we'll break it with a coin toss, and we reserve the right to be completely arbitrary.

JOHN

The deadline to win a copy of my book is April 15, but we'll be happy to receive, and respond to, comments at any time after that.



FADE OUT
EPILOGUE

Mark's notes:

This client scenario is a very common one: wanting to cram everything into one spot. There are two main drivers for this behavior: one is false economy, the other, multiple stakeholders inside the client organization, lacking an ability to whittle down multiple goals into one, so they throw it all at the wall hoping some part of it will stick.

There is a mindset that it is cheaper to make one, catch-all spot, than to diversify and build a multi-spot campaign. I would say that the opposite is more true: a catch-all spot that is too bloated to catch and hold any one key audience, means you spent the ad buy money for nothing. Less is More in these cases; better to sell the heck out of just one or two copy points, than to throw the audience a handful of worms to untangle.


The unfocused "committee" client is tougher to handle because you may not have any insight into their internal politics, and you don't want to step into that minefield if you can avoid it. But, careful probing questions may hint at what the various stakeholders each need a spot to do, and from that, you can try to weed-out the elements that plain won't work, or up-sell them on more targeted products.


Two of those up-sells that I would suggest for the Worm people would be a direct-mail and video loop aimed at the restaurant business, using their own convention circuit to concentrate the audience. Being non-broadcast, you have more time to cover more facts in these kinds of pieces. A similar campaign could be directed at the golf industry and marketed thru golf-related media and conventions. Finally, the farm audience is a large one but still a niche and very seasonal, compared to a general broadcast audience. I think a better bet for reaching them is to play a video and have a marketing presence in state-wide farm equipment shows or the county fair circuit, as well as posting that video in appropriate online venues.


In thirty seconds, subtracting the introduction and call to action, you really only have fifteen to twenty seconds to hit your sales point. My script chose to focus on two of the client's many issues: I portray the worm farming as a fun kid activity with a purpose, and I sell it to the moms as a gardening aid. If the mom doesn't buy-in, she's unlikely to let the kids start their worm farm, so I'm steering this in Mom's direction first, with the gardening benefit, while secondarily hitting the kids angle and (against my better judgment) squeezing-in the Earth Day reference the client was excited about. That's all I'd dare try to cram into a spot like this, with any hope some of it sticks.


We mention a Deal Memo in passing: there are dozens of threads in the COW forums where the entire problem would have never happened if the parties wrote a simple, plain-English memo, outlining the expectations, deliverables, and the specific payment terms in advance. Don't leave key issues to chance or verbal "understandings". Carol will know exactly where things stand, no matter what happens to her script, with no hard feelings on either side. And we're protected from future IP issues.




John's notes:

Mark is right on target with his upsell ideas. Too often, inexperienced clients get excited about a single tactic without thinking through a big-picture strategy. So they usually appreciate you pointing out that no craftsperson would have a one-tool toolkit. And no organization should rely on a single tactic to get their message out.

Typically, the organization's whole story is on their website, preferably with strong calls to action that are easy to see and respond to. The site can showcase videos and print pieces that can also be used self-standing at events, or as direct mail pieces. Then the TV spot is the tool that drives traffic to the website.

This big-picture thinking helps to counter the "while we're at it" syndrome that makes clients think everything needs to go into a single video or TV spot. With a single purpose--to create the sizzle that excites viewers enough to visit the website for a worm-wise information kit--the TV spot can be more sharply focused. And the client can be assured that viewers can get all the information they want, along with a little sizzle along the way, encouraging them to want more at every step of the process.

My Buried Treasure script uses "borrowed excitement." Without saying "Indiana Jones" (massive copyright issues), the fedora hat and six-shooter evoke what has become a recognized cultural icon; and the audience then knows to expect the associated high-value treasure and exciting adventure.


The "underground" aspect is a natural and the metaphor opens up an entire vocabulary of words such as discover, treasure, wealth, and so on. So the borrowed "sizzle" is established in the visual, taking no additional screen time, and the literal sense of the words deliver the message, while their allusion to buried treasure reinforces the creative approach and tongue-in-cheek fun.


Carol's approach, the "Farmer's Secret" script, uses the effective "ask an expert" approach. The additional benefit is having a rugged, down-to-earth spokesperson who balances out what could be considered a trendy, new age reaction against established farming conventions.

The effectiveness of Mark's "Smart Mom" script rests on using an "expert" from a more familiar setting. And taking advice that sisters would give each other can be more convincing than hearing it straight from an advocacy group or a guy on the TV. The pretty flowers make clear a benefit, and who can resist cute kids?

So hard to choose. Please help by posting your vote. And a few words on why you chose the one you did would also be appreciated.







Our thanks to John Morley and Mark Suszko for collaborating on this training session for "Save This Script."

 


 

John Morley, Creative COW MagazineJohn Morley
Los Angeles, California USA


John Morley is a seasoned veteran. Over 20 years of writing for a living has taken him from Gainesville Florida, to Atlanta and on to Los Angeles. In addition to writing for corporate events, print and Web sites, over 300 of his video scripts have been produced, by clients including Home Box Office, Georgia Pacific, CitiBank, Mattel, Pioneer Electronics, and most of the Asian car companies, including Toyota, Lexus and Nissan.

He has conducted seminars on scriptwriting 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.

Please visit John Morley's website, Original Vision, for more information about his contribution to the industry and his new book, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos.




Mark Suszko, Creative COW MagazineMark Suszko
Central Illinois, USA


Mark Suszko, a COW member and leader since 2002, describes himself: 25-plus years writing, directing, shooting, editing corporate video, government video, commercials, PSA's, DVD's, music videos, forensics and the occasional wedding. I shoot news, documentaries, and many, many training pieces. I have some minor regional awards. I also rent out the best teleprompter deal in central Illinois within about 100 miles of Springfield. I specialize in champagne looks on a beer budget, also writing great copy with an emphasis on smart humor. My dream is to someday be known as the greatest second-unit director in the history of Hollywood ;-)






Title graphic artwork courtesy: Jane Bucci, Fine Art America


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Save This Script Contest Winner
by John Morley
Thanks to everyone who participated in selecting the best script to rewrite. Carol's script, featuring the farmer, has won the rewrite and will be featured in our next episode.

The winner of a copy of my book, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos, randomly chosen from all who voted for Carol's script, is JM Hopper.

Because Creative Cow can not provide us with a postal address, this is a request to JM Hopper to contact us by email and provide a postal address so that we can mail out the book.

Please reach us at ScriptContest@OriginalVision.com

--
John Morley
Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
John@OriginalVision.com
Re: Save This Script Episode 4
by John Morley
Thanks Roger,
Good ideas on using the farmer as a point of departure. At the same time, 30 seconds doesn't leave time for explanations about how come a farmer is playing golf with some guy who also needs a back story. The relationship needs to be instant and obvious. Another approach would be to take it up a notch to be more floaty: The farmer kicks it off with his credibility based on knowledge of the soil. He starts in on the benefits of worm composting, then we see someone else effectively completing his thought, if not his sentence with something along the line of "...keeping this whole golf course green without the use of chemical fertilizers..." Then on to a lightening montage of mom getting in a sentence fragment on her roses, a restaurant owner talking about recycling, and a school kid putting a button on it with a comment about his class project. Your idea to broaden is then done with quick takes where the visual provides instant back stories, and brief glimpses drive home the broad appeal.

--
John Morley
Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
John@OriginalVision.com
Re: Save This Script Episode 4
by Mark Suszko
Here's the thing about Carol's script; strictly speaking, it only targets one, niche audience, farmers. If you live in or near an agricultural area, you see commercials pitched to farmers only twice a year, lte at night and usually in the 10 PM news and weather: when it is time to buy seed, or time to apply pest controls. While there is big money in that market, there's a reason for not seeing spots aimed at farmers exclusively the rest of the year. Broadcast TV is still about a mass audience, and farmers comprise a very tiny part of that audience.

This is why I say the better way to reach out to the farm and golf course and restaurant markets is via other channels, channels that concentrate those people into an easy-to-access mass. Radio networks aimed at agri-business would be a smarter bet, as would taking a well-produced five minute presentation on the road to state and county fairs and farm equipment demonstration shows like the Farm Progress Show, which is like the Detroit Auto Show for the farming community. There, your audience is 98 percent farem-related. It's about delivering the lowest CPM, "Cost per Thousand". The National Restaurant Show and industry-related media is where you can pitch worms as disposal systems for food waste. You don't see TV spots aimed at restaurant owners on TV, because they are first of all too busy to be watching TV and secondly there are not enough of them to aggregate in TV.

Your job as the producer and writer is to solve the client's communication problem, and be their advocate. Sometimes that means being honest with them, and telling them that a TV spot is not the best use of their money for a particular goal; radio or web might be. If you just lie and take their money, make a TV spot that doesn't perform, without questioning any of the client's assumptions, you made ONE paycheck, but you've probably lost their long-term business and any referrals they might have made... because the spot FAILED. So being honest with the client is actually in your best interest, even when you have to disagree.


Look again at the client's admittedly scatter-brained brief: they want to reach EVERYBODY. Now, that's impractical to do in just one thirty-second spot aimed at such a diverse audience, so I think you either convince them to break up the campaign into pieces that relate best to each market independently, or you settle for hitting the top one or two in the list of desired audiences. Moms and kids would be those top two. The salespeople that place your ad buy can figure out what shows attract a kid and mom audience, give you hard numbers on how many thousand views you can expect for x dollars placed on Y show at z time.

The way to re-align Carol's script to more directly market to a wider audience, in my opinion, is to keep the farmer as a symbol of authority and expertise, but alter the pitch so he's telling you that you can do, on a smaller scale, what he already does. "Take it from a guy that knows" is a time-tested technique. But it is still going to have problems in reaching a mom and kids audience unless you make it more relatable somehow. I might start by adding kids to the visuals ON the farm. There may be other ideas, I'd like to hear yours.
Re: Save This Script Episode 4
by Roger Van Duyn
You could cut to the farmer playing golf with a buddy (rich, dude farmer) discussing the poor condition of the grass. And away you go...

Or cut to the farmer socializing with a friend that has a lawn care business. Ditto...

Both cases start with the farmer on the farm, then cut to him away from the farm. Still an expert on growing things.

Roger
Re: Save This Script Episode 4
by Sareesh Sudhakaran
One thing I must mention is that I'm not based in the US, and might misunderstand quite of bit of 'how things work'.

I'm latching on to the fact that they want the Information Kit in "everyone's" hands. This means the spot must demonstrate immediate benefits and generate desire with a strong call to action.

As you've pointed out, they can't target everyone with one spot, so the audience must be the most lucrative (the most likely to pull the trigger). It doesn't necessarily have to be the largest.

John's version looks at it from the worm's POV. The feeling I end up with is: "Hey, everybody's using it, and my neighborhood golf course is already looking good, so there is no immediate need for me to do anything about this."

If I buy the kit today, what is the immediate benefit?

Carol's version addresses farmers, and provides an immediate benefit - better soil. I'm just not a big fan of voice overs. I know zilch about farming, but I would at least try it. Even dead earthworms make good soil, so there's no real loss.

I'm assuming the farmer isn't the primary audience, especially due to the dialog that follows. However, if a farmer tests it and it works, it will filter through to his/her family, and their neighbors, and so on.

Mark's script addresses this issue, but I'm not sure the benefits are direct enough. Usually, people can go two ways about worms - repulsion or ambivalence. It's unlikely anybody will jump up and down on their couches unless they have a serious latent worm-fetish.

It just seems like too much work! So, if you show the amount of work necessary, you might put a lot of people off. We'll end up with 'Let somebody else do it.' Maybe Mark's version gives out too much information? After all, it's their job to sell their worms. The spot only has to sell the information kit.

Even if many farmers don't order the free information kits, the ones that bite might order a lot of worms. The moms who order the free kits might not bite after learning about the worms. The kids who start out with worms will soon get bored, and that will be that.

For this reason, with my limited understanding of this particular market, I prefer Carol's version. I'd hope to make it more personal and hard-hitting. I dislike voice overs, but that's a personal preference.

Thank you for putting together this series. I feel I've benefited from this exercise, and hope to do it more often. You guys rock.

Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to Reds to the Arri Alexa.
Re: Save This Script Episode 4
by Roger Van Duyn
I'm a neophyte at scriptwriting, a mostly events videographer getting an increasing number of corporate gigs, hoping to morph into more of a video producer.

With my limited knowledge and experience, Carol's version is shorter and simpler. Plus, most of my clients are just interested in "what works."

IN fact, what limited success I have is due to the concept of offering "what works (or has a good chance of working) within the prospect's budget."

Shorter is usually better. When in doubt, take it out. I'll go with Carol's version.

Roger
Re: Save This Script Episode 4
by Mark Suszko
So you like Carol's script with the farmer on the tractor, Jim?
Re: Save This Script Episode 4
by jm Hopper
Script #2 seems to link to the wider audience.
Re: Article: Save This Script Episode 4
by Mark Suszko
I hope you folks enjoy this one, and we'd really like to get as many comments and opinions as possible this time. One of the commenters is going to win a random drawing for a copy of John's book.


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Save This Script Episode 3

Save This Script Episode 3

In this episode, the Script Doctors' "patient" is a :30 TV spot intended to raise funds for an academic institution. The diagnosis is obesity, caused by passive language and lack of focus. So John and Mark trim the fat to yield a lean and healthy sales message, by applying techniques and idea-starters from John's book, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos.

Feature
Indie Film & Documentary
Ten Tips to Indie Filmmaking

Ten Tips to Indie Filmmaking

We love talking about tools and technologies, but there's a lot more to filmmaking than cameras and computers. Writer/director/producer Rick CastaƱeda has made over 30 short films, and just wrapped his first feature. Here, he offers hard-won insights into the practical details of making an independent film.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Indie Film & Documentary
With Paul Mazursky, It's All Crap!

With Paul Mazursky, It's All Crap!

When Paul Mazursky decided to create a series of intimate conversations with Mel Brooks, Leonard Nimoy and his many other industry friends, Cinematographer Bill Megalos came on board to produce. In this article, Bill talks about the choices he made with regard to camera, lighting and direction to make compelling interviews with a limited budget.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 4th

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 4th

April 4th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 5th

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 5th

April 5th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 6th

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 6th

April 6th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia - Goodbye

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia - Goodbye

Saying Goodbye, April 7th & 9th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Indie Film & Documentary
Mondays at Racine Documents Beauty Salon for Cancer Fighters

Mondays at Racine Documents Beauty Salon for Cancer Fighters

Filmmaker Cynthia Wade - who previously won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject for Freeheld - has recently finished Mondays at Racine, a moving piece about two sisters who open up their beauty salon every Monday to cater to breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Focusing on two characters, the film delves deeply into the emotional lives of the women and how the salon, Racine, serves as a place of nurturing and companionship.

Feature, People / Interview
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