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Monday, April 22, 2013

Selling your script

No, this isn't another tired old blog post on how to sell your script to Hollywood and all that guff.

This is a bit more practical about how to present your script for sale, to anyone, today, right now. It is a couple of ideas I picked up from our writing-cousins, the copywriters. Distant relations for sure, living over the mountain away from our script farmstead. And we're not quite sure what they get up to over there, but it seems mighty different.

Of course, as with all these kinds of things, its not that different at all. We can look at each others work and learn a lot.

I was giving a talk on 'writing for video' at their conference covering different ideas, chatting about where, as copywriters, they can make a difference and also how to lay out an AV script.

And okay, my cousins are a bit odd in their own way. They all let out an audible gasp when someone showed a slide of an advert that said "it's" instead of "its".

But these dudes are a master of writing things clearly and expressing ideas in a short manner. Right now you should be saying "hey, you mean like in a pitch or treatment" - and I do. Here's three things that they said, that we know already, but I'll tell you anyway as its worth a refresher I'm sure.

One: Headline
It really is worth the effort to be bold and get that headline right. What is the one thing about your story or project? What really sums it up? What captures the imagination? What acts as a hook and is memorable?*

Two: Ain't nobody got time for a dance
Get on with it. Get the meat of it right at the start. I'm guilty of enjoying weaving a nice web and laying down some groundwork first and explaining a bunch of stuff. Screw that. Let's jump right in and hook people.

Three: Variety of words
Let's not get all NLP about it - but different people have different words and phrases that appeal to them. So mix up your words a little bit. Things "look fantastical", "feel exciting", "sound deep". Just the variety spices up your treatment.

Cheers Cuz.

*Extra bonus note on headlines. One of the fave ways to do this in the ad biz is to slightly alter words and grammar. So it is still easy to understand the language and the meaning, yet is quirky and memorable. Whether that's "It's frothy man", "wasssuup" or Alexander Meerkat with "simples". Hat tip to Roger Horberry for that one.

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