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PostPosted: January 18th, 2004, 8:27 pm 
Can someone enlighten me as to what constitutes proper scipt format for a 30 second TV commercial? I'm creating a spec copywriting portfolio ("book") and it's hard to find examples of the indudstry standard for this kind of script. (One book on copywriting published in 1985 showed a double-column format with Video on the left and Audio on the right. But I suspect this might be an outdated style.) Any help would be much appreciated. :D

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2004, 9:12 pm 
Jeekay ,

Maybe you could contact a local advertising agency in your area which produces TV spots ? I ' m sure SOMEONE would be prepared to leave an old piece of copy at the front desk for you .

I was an audio engineer in my " Previous Life" and I used to record the voice overs for alot of TV commercials . As I recall the "Read" could only run for a maximum of 28 seconds in order to allow for one second of "Graphic" at the top and tail of the ad .

I can ' t recally seeing ANY video details on the copy which I had to record . As with radio copy you always had to provide a wide margin on the left of the page for corrections . The audio production details were also listed in that column space regarding the presence of music beds , cross fades , sound effects etc ....

Another thought would be to contact a tertiary institute which teaches television production such as UCLA ..... you're bound to pick up a piece of copy somewhere.

Again , as I recall , the video footage couldn't be edited until the voice over had been recorded ...... different , of course , if you have a presenter speaking direct to the camera. I can only only speak about from a post production viewpoint .

Good Luck !


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2004, 5:16 am 
Thanks for the input. Believe me, I've tried to snag some current tv ad copy, but have been shut down or ignored at every turn. So, if anyone cares to share these "trade secret" guidelines for the scripting of a 30 second TV commercial, I'd be much obliged. I'm starting to wonder if there is indeed a preferred standard layout for such a script. I await any and all input. Thanks, again. :D

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2004, 8:23 am 
Dear Jeekay,
The script layout you mentioned, with separate audio and video columns, is exactly right.
It's the only way to do it.
Just for the record, the initial script doesn't need to contain too much camera direction.
Once the director gets hold of it, he (she) will produce a shooting script from your original. The shooting script instructs the camera and also times every shot.
If you'd care to mail me, I'll send you an example of script layout.
Address: quinn1@btopenworld.com
Alternatively, if you're looking for a good book on copywriting go to http://www.wordpower3.com

Pat Quinn

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2004, 10:13 pm 
Pat Quinn: a man who knows his stuff! :D

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