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Writing for Visual Media, 3rd Edition

Book Description

Writing for Visual Media looks at the fundamental problems a writer faces in learning to create content for media that is to be seen rather than read. It takes you from basic concepts to practice through a seven-step method that helps you identify a communications problem, think it through, and find a resolution before beginning to write.

Through successive exercises, Writing for Visual Media helps you acquire the basic skills and confidence you need to write effective films, corporate and training videos, documentaries, web sites, PSAs, TV shows, nonlinear media, and other types of visual narratives. You'll explore your visual imagination and try out your powers of invention.

The companion web site enriches the content of the printed book with video, audio, and sample scripts. It includes scripts and the video produced from them; visual demonstrations of concepts; and an interactive, illustrated glossary of terms and concepts. Please visit

www.focalpress.com/cw/friedmann-9780240812359

click on the Interactive Content tab, and follow the registration instructions.

 

 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Preface to the Second Edition
  7. Preface to the Third Edition
  8. Introduction
  9. What’s on the Website
  10. Part 1. Defining the Problem
    1. Chapter 1. Describing one medium through another
      1. Writing not to be read but to be made
      2. Writing, producing, and directing
      3. Moving from being a viewer to being a creator
      4. The producer cannot read your mind
      5. Instructions to the production crew
      6. What is the role of a scriptwriter?
        1. The “Script” writer is a new kind of writer
      7. What is visual writing?
      8. Meta-writing
      9. Where do we go from here?
      10. Differences compared to stage plays
      11. Writing with dialogue
      12. Writing without dialogue
      13. Conclusion
    2. Chapter 2. A seven-step method for developing a creative concept
      1. Step 1: Define the communication problem
      2. Ivy college: An admissions video
      3. American Express: American travel in Europe
      4. PSA for battered women
      5. Shell gas international
      6. Step 2: Define the target audience
        1. Information overload
      7. Demographics
        1. Age
        2. Gender
        3. Race and ethnic origin
        4. Education
        5. Income
      8. Psychographics
        1. Emotion
        2. Attitude
      9. Step 3: Define the objective
      10. Step 4: Define the strategy
        1. Attention Span
      11. Step 5: Define the content
      12. Step 6: Define the appropriate medium
      13. Step 7: Create the concept
      14. A concept for an antismoking PSA
        1. The communication problem
        2. The target audience
        3. The objective
        4. The strategy
        5. The content
        6. The medium
        7. The concept
      15. Conclusion
    3. Chapter 3. The stages of script development
      1. Background research and investigation
        1. Interviewing
        2. Location research
      2. Brainstorming and freeing your imagination
      3. Concept
        1. A concept for a PSA: Smoked to death
        2. Pitching
        3. Treatment
        4. A treatment for a PSA: Smoked to death
      4. First draft script
      5. A first draft script for a PSA: Smoked to death
      6. Voice narration and dialogue
      7. Revision
      8. Final draft
      9. Shooting script
      10. Conclusion
    4. Chapter 4. Describing sight and sound
      1. Describing time and place
      2. Describing action
      3. Describing the camera frame or the shot
        1. Describing camera movement
      4. Describing graphics and effects
      5. Describing transitions between shots
      6. Describing sound
        1. Writing for voice
        2. Format for radio
      7. Shot, scene, and sequence
      8. Finding a format for the page
      9. Master scene script
      10. Dual-column format
      11. Storyboard
        1. TV studio multi-camera script
      12. News anchor script format
      13. Conclusion
  11. Part 2. Solving Communication Problems with Visual Media
    1. Chapter 5. Ads and PSAs: Copywriting for visual media
      1. Copywriting versus scriptwriting
      2. Client needs and priorities
      3. The 20-, 30-, and 60-Second miniscripts
      4. Visual writing
      5. Devices to capture audience attention
      6. Define the creative idea or concept
      7. More on ADS and PSAs
        1. Humor
        2. Shock
        3. Suspense
        4. Drama
        5. Kids
        6. Testimonial
      8. Special effects
        1. Sexuality
      9. Recruiting the audience as a character
      10. Writing for audio and radio
      11. Infomercials
      12. Video news releases
      13. Billboards and transportation Ads
      14. Advertising on the world wide web
      15. Formats
      16. Conclusion
    2. Chapter 6. Corporate communications: Selling, telling, training, and promoting
      1. Video versus print media or interactive media
      2. Video as a corporate communications tool
      3. Corporate television
      4. Training, instruction, and education
        1. Formative evaluation
        2. Summative evaluation
      5. Focus groups
      6. Questionnaires
      7. Typical corporate communication problems
      8. Getting background and product knowledge
      9. Using subject matter experts
      10. Devices for video exposition
      11. Show and tell
      12. Job and task description
      13. Educational/instructional use of video
      14. How-to-do-it videos
      15. Interactive applications
      16. Other corporate uses of media
      17. Meetings with a visual focus
      18. Devices that teach and entertain
      19. Devices that work for corporate messages
        1. Dramatization
        2. Humor
        3. Visual metaphor
        4. Narrators and anchors on camera
        5. Television formats
        6. Documentary
        7. Vox pops
        8. Logical argument in documentary narrative
        9. Graphics
        10. Visual seduction
        11. Interview
        12. Case histories
        13. The story of a day
      20. Writing the corporate treatment
      21. Script formats for corporate videos
      22. Length, pacing, and corporate style
      23. Writing voice commentary
      24. Developing the script with client input
      25. Selling creative ideas
      26. Working with budget limitations
      27. Conclusion
    3. Chapter 7. Documentary and nonfiction narrative
      1. Documentary comes first
      2. Truth or fiction
      3. Scripted and unscripted approaches
      4. Research and formulating a theme
      5. What is the role of the writer?
        1. The proposal
        2. The treatment
      6. Types of documentary technique
        1. Reportage
        2. Observation
        3. Interviews
        4. Investigative documentary
        5. Narrative documentary
        6. Dramatized documentary
        7. Expository documentary
        8. Propaganda
      7. Other documentary applications
        1. Expedition documentary
        2. Travel documentary
        3. Documentaries about the making of feature films
        4. Wildlife documentary
        5. Current affairs features
      8. Writing commentaries
        1. Narrative voice-over and postproduction
        2. Wall-to-wall commentary
        3. Commentary counterpoint and commentary anchors
        4. Dual commentators
        5. Commentary clichés
        6. On-camera/Off-camera combinations
      9. Conclusion
  12. Part 3. Entertaining with Visual Media
    1. Chapter 8. Dramatic structure and form
      1. Origins of drama
      2. Conflict
      3. Three-act structures for film and television
      4. Three-act story structure
      5. Other narrative structures
      6. The flashback
      7. Genres
        1. Westerns
        2. Romantic comedies
        3. Horror movies
        4. Road movies
        5. Science fiction
        6. War movies
        7. Buddy movies
        8. Crime movies
        9. Private eye (film noir)
        10. Murder mysteries
        11. Gang movies
        12. Undercover cops
        13. Disaster movies
        14. Martial arts
        15. Epics
        16. Action-adventure
        17. Monster movies
        18. Biography
        19. Satire
        20. Cross genre
      8. Script development
        1. Adapting the seven-step method
        2. Log lines
        3. The premise
        4. Tag lines
        5. Concept or synopsis
        6. Story engines
      9. Writing a movie treatment
      10. Screenplay
      11. Scene outline
      12. Master scene script format
      13. Scripting software
      14. Shooting script
      15. Conclusion
    2. Chapter 9. Writing techniques for long-form scripts
      1. Characters and character
      2. Dialogue and action
      3. Plot or storyline
      4. Comedy
        1. Comic devices
        2. The comic character as victim
        3. Verbal comedy
        4. Running gag
        5. The cover-up/impersonation
        6. Disguise and mistaken identity
        7. Dramatic irony
      5. Drama
        1. Cover-up/mistaken identity
        2. Disguise
        3. Dramatic irony
        4. Ambition/pride
        5. Challenge and survival
        6. Greed
        7. Love gone wrong
        8. Desire/lust
      6. Writing techniques for adaptation
      7. The problem of adaptation
      8. Length
      9. Point of view
      10. Narrative tense and screen time
      11. Setting and period
      12. Dialogue versus action
      13. Descriptive detail and the camera frame
      14. Implied action
      15. It’s a wonderful life
      16. Bartleby
      17. Conclusion
    3. Chapter 10. Television series, sitcoms, and soaps
      1. The premise for series, sitcoms, and soaps
      2. Three-act structure and the TV time slot
      3. Using commercial breaks
      4. Visualizing for the small screen
      5. TV dialogue
      6. Realism/realistic dialogue
      7. Breaking up dialogue
      8. Pacing
      9. The beat sheet
      10. Team writing
      11. Hook/teaser
      12. The series bible
      13. Condensing action and plot
      14. Target audience
      15. Script formats for television
      16. TV comedy and its devices
        1. Running gags
        2. Visual gags
        3. Double takes
        4. One-liners and laugh lines
      17. Sitcoms
      18. New techniques and innovations
      19. Spec scripts
      20. Conclusion
  13. Part 4. Writing for Interactive and Mobile Media
    1. Chapter 11. Writing and interactive design
      1. Defining interactive
      2. Linear and nonlinear paradigms
      3. Combining media for interactive use
      4. Breakdown of script formats
        1. Branching
        2. Flowcharts
        3. Storyboards
      5. Authoring tools and interactive concepts
      6. Multimedia components
      7. Finding a script format
      8. Conclusion
    2. Chapter 12. Writing for interactive communications
      1. Different writing for websites
        1. Multilayered writing
        2. Conceptual writing versus content writing
      2. Website concepts
      3. Writing to be read on the web
      4. Navigation: The third dimension
      5. Writing issues
        1. Concept
        2. Design document
        3. Flowchart
        4. Breakdown for production
        5. Text
        6. Video, stills, and audio
        7. Applying the seven-step method
        8. Concept
      6. Instructional and utilitarian programs
      7. Interactive catalogues and brochures
      8. Education and training
      9. Kiosks
      10. Conclusion
    3. Chapter 13. Writing for interactive entertainment
      1. Interactive reference works
      2. E-Commerce and interactive books
      3. Games, narrative, and entertainment
        1. Video games
      4. Graphics versus live action
      5. The order of writing
      6. Formats
      7. Interactive television
      8. Webisodes and television web content
      9. Interactive movies
      10. Conclusion
    4. Chapter 14. Writing for mobile media
      1. Antecedents
      2. Technical antecedents
      3. Video and cell phone use
      4. Webisodes
      5. The mobisode™
      6. Writing dos and don’ts
      7. Conclusion
  14. Part 5. Anticipating Professional Issues
    1. Chapter 15. You can get paid to do this
      1. Writing for the entertainment world
      2. Writing contracts
      3. Pitching
      4. Ideology, morality, and content
      5. Emotional honesty and sentimentality
      6. Writing for the corporate world
      7. Client relationships
      8. Corporate contracts
      9. Work for hire
        1. Marketing yourself and your work
        2. Copyright
        3. Work-made-for-hire and freelance
      10. Agents and submissions
      11. Networking, conventions, and seminars
      12. Surfing the web
      13. Hybrid careers
      14. Conclusion
  15. Appendix. Script formats
  16. Bibliography
  17. Glossary
  18. Index