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Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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A scriptwriting issue

Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but it's as good as any I guess...

In 2008 and 2010 I produced several videos for a local community college. Each video was 60-seconds long and focused on one program of study offered by the college. They are basically just footage of students in classrooms, etc. with a voiceover describing the program and sometimes a testimonial clip or something like that. This is one that was produced last year:

These were all fine until this year when the college started changing the titles of several of their programs. For example, "Autobody Repair" changed to "Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology." Changing the on-screen title at the beginning is easy, but every video has the program's title spoken in the voiceover, usually more than once. This is creating a need to record new voiceovers (the guy who did a lot of the voiceovers is no longer around to record one-line fixes), and remix the audio for each video.

So I have been trying to think of a way to write voiceovers for newer videos without mentioning the program by name, and I can't think of a way to do it without it sounding awkward. It just seems odd to me to have the VO talking about the program but never actually saying the title. I thought maybe someone here with more experience than me might have some insight on this that could inspire me. Any ideas?
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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Re: A scriptwriting issue

While you may never be happy if you can't mention the program name at all, you can certainly "brand" the program with a mention at or near the top of the piece, then simply write with the ASSUMPTION that the audience understands the name of the program thereafter.

INITIALLY: "Welcome to MA-102 Upper level Mathematics..."

followed by more generic copy, to wit:

"This program presents a comprehensive overview of..."
and
"Our course of study will make you familiar with...."
and
"As we dive more deeply into this subject, you'll note that..."

Then, the worst case scenario is to just replace the course branding as subjects change.

Understand that this is NOT going to be as good as simply coming to grips with the fact that it's a VERY rare VO (or video program for that matter) that lasts forever. Changes in factilities, uniforms, even products and architecture will all eventually make most informational videos obsolete.

That's just how it works.

Hope this helps some.

Good luck.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 10:09 PM   #3
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Re: A scriptwriting issue

Quote:
Understand that this is NOT going to be as good as simply coming to grips with the fact that it's a VERY rare VO (or video program for that matter) that lasts forever. Changes in factilities, uniforms, even products and architecture will all eventually make most informational videos obsolete.

That's just how it works.
Yep, this is very true. Not the first time I've dealt with this type of thing, either. When I did the first run of videos, I had put the college's slogan on every single one, which is what they wanted at the time. Barely a month after I had completed all the videos, they changed the slogan. That was 3 years ago, and this year they wanted to re-do the graphics and remove the slogan completely, which is one thing I'm working on now. When I started doing that, I wanted to update the on-screen program titles and that's when I realized the old ones were in the VO and would need to be updated as well.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 01:48 AM   #4
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Re: A scriptwriting issue

For example, advertising agencies revamp material all the time. Unfortunately, if the client wants to change the slogan or name of a product, you just go along with it and as the saying goes, it's reflected in the invoice.
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