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Writing for Visual Media, 4th Edition

Book Description

This updated edition of Writing for Visual Media will enable you to understand the nature of visual writing that lies behind the content of all visual media. This unique kind of writing must communicate to audiences through content producers, since audiences don’t read the script. Most media content provides a solution to a communication problem, which the writer must learn to analyze and solve before writing the script.

The new edition strengthens the method for creating content and writing in the correct language and established format for each visual medium, including commercial communication such as ads and PSAs, corporate communications, and training. An extended investigation into dramatic theory and how entertainment narrative works is illustrated by examples and detailed analysis of scenes, scripts and storylines, saving you designed to save writers from typical pitfalls and releasing your creative powers of invention. Writing for Visual Media will help you to develop an improved foundation for understanding interactive media and writing for non-linear content, while gaining the tools to effectively connect with your audience like a professional.

Purchase of this book includes access to the companion website, www.focalpress.com/cw/friedmann (coming June 5), which provides:

  • Sample scripts and video clips of those produced scripts
  • An interactive glossary of camera shots, movements, and transitions
  • Storyboards, scripts, screenplays, and links to industry resource
  • Instructor materials such as PowerPoint lecture slides, a sample syllabus, and a test bank.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Praise
  7. Preface
  8. What’s on the Companion Website?
  9. Introduction
    1. The Purpose
    2. The Premise of This Book
    3. Objectives
    4. Secondary Objectives
    5. The Basic Idea of a Script
    6. Meta-Writing
    7. The Learning Task
    8. Conclusion
  10. PART 1 Defining the Problem
    1. 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 and Director 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 Novels and Stage Plays
      11. Writing with Dialogue
      12. Writing without Dialogue
      13. Conclusion
      14. Exercises
    2. 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. Seven-Step Questionnaire
      15. A Concept for an Antismoking PSA
      16. Conclusion
      17. Exercises
    3. 3 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
      7. Voice Narration and Dialogue
        1. Format for Radio
      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
      14. Exercises
    4. 4 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: Texting and Driving
        2. Pitching
        3. Treatment
        4. A Treatment for a PSA: Texting While Driving
      4. Shot, Scene, and Sequence
      5. First-Draft Script
      6. A First-Draft Script for a PSA: Texting While Driving
      7. Revision
      8. Final-Draft Script
      9. A Final-Draft Script for a PSA: Texting While Driving
      10. Shooting Script
      11. Conclusion
      12. Exercises
  11. PART 2 Solving Communication Problems with Visual Media
    1. 5 Ads and PSAs: Copywriting for Visual Media
      1. Copywriting versus Scriptwriting
      2. Client Needs and Priorities
      3. The 15-, 20-, and 30-Second Miniscripts
      4. Visual Writing
      5. Devices to Capture Audience Attention
      6. More on Ads and PSAs
        1. Humor
        2. Animation
        3. Shock
        4. Suspense
        5. Drama
        6. Children
        7. Serial Storytelling
        8. Testimonial
        9. Special Effects
        10. Sexual Innuendo
      7. Recruiting the Audience as a Character
      8. Engaging the Audience as Visual Thinker
        1. Patterns That Engage the Visual Cortex
      9. Writing for Audio
      10. Radio: Words without Pictures
      11. Infomercials
      12. Video News Releases
      13. Billboards and Transportation Ads
      14. Advertising on the World Wide Web
      15. Social Media
      16. Script Formats
      17. Conclusion
      18. Exercises
    2. 6 Corporate Communications: Selling, Telling, Training, and Promoting
      1. Video, Print Media, and Interactive Media
      2. Video as a Corporate Communications Tool
      3. Corporate Television
      4. Training, Instruction, and Education
      5. Educational/Instructional Use of Video
        1. Technical Writing
        2. Formative Evaluation
        3. Summative Evaluation
      6. Focus Groups
      7. Questionnaires
      8. SCORM
      9. Typical Corporate Communication Problems
      10. Getting Background and Product Knowledge
      11. Devices for Video Exposition
      12. Job and Task Description
      13. Show and Tell
      14. How-To 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. Ask a Question
        6. Television Formats
        7. Documentary
        8. Vox Pops
        9. Logical Argument in Documentary Narrative
        10. Graphics
        11. Visual Seduction
        12. Interview
        13. Case Histories
        14. 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
      28. Exercises
    3. 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
      7. Reality Shows
        1. Interviews
        2. Investigative Documentary
        3. Faux or Pseudo Documentary
        4. Narrative Documentary
        5. Dramatized Documentary
        6. Expository Documentary
        7. Propaganda
      8. Other Documentary Applications
        1. Expedition Documentary
        2. Travel Documentary
        3. Documentaries about the Making of Feature Films
        4. Wildlife Documentary
      9. 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
        7. YouTube
      10. Conclusion
      11. Exercises
  12. PART 3 Entertaining with Visual Media
    1. 8 Visual Storytelling: Dramatic Structure and Form
      1. Origins of Drama
      2. Conflict
      3. Three-Act Structures for Film and Television
      4. Three-Act Story Structure
        1. The Premise
        2. Tag Line
        3. Concept
      5. Other Narrative Structures
        1. The Cooler
        2. Thirteen
        3. The Place beyond the Pines
        4. The Flashback
      6. Script Development
        1. Adapting the Seven-Step Method
        2. Loglines
        3. Story Engines
      7. Writing a Movie Treatment
      8. Scene Outline
      9. Screenplay
      10. Master Scene Script Format
      11. Scripting Software
      12. Shooting Script
      13. Conclusion
      14. Exercises
    2. 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 Visual Gag
        6. The Cover-Up/Impersonation
        7. Disguise and Mistaken Identity
        8. 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/Jealousy
      6. Writing Techniques for Adaptation
        1. The Problem of Adaptation
        2. Length
        3. Point of View
        4. Narrative Tense and Screen Time
        5. Setting and Period
        6. Dialogue vs. Action
        7. Descriptive Detail and the Camera Frame
        8. Implied Action
        9. It’s a Wonderful Life
        10. Bartleby
      7. Conclusion
      8. Exercises
    3. 10 Television Series, Sitcoms, and Soaps
      1. The Premise for Series, Sitcoms, and Soaps
        1. Drama Series
        2. Miniseries
      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. Insult and Putdown
        4. Double takes
        5. One-Liners and Laugh Lines
      17. Spec Scripts
      18. Reality TV
      19. New Techniques and Innovations
      20. Interactive Television
      21. Conclusion
      22. Exercises
  13. PART 4 Writing for Interactive and Mobile Media
    1. 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
      9. Exercises
    2. 12 Writing for Interactive Communications
      1. Instructional and Utilitarian Programs
      2. Different Writing For Websites
        1. Conceptual Writing vs. Content Writing
      3. Website Concepts
      4. Navigation: The Third Dimension
      5. Writing the Interactive Idea
        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. Writing to Be Read on the Web
      7. E-Commerce and Interactive Distribution
      8. Interactive Reference Works
      9. Interactive Catalogues and Brochures
      10. Education and Training
      11. Kiosks
      12. Conclusion
      13. Exercises
    3. 13 Writing for Video Games
      1. Games, Narrative, and Entertainment
        1. Video Games
      2. Mobile Games
      3. Games for Website Engagement
      4. Writing
        1. Character in Video Games
      5. The Order of Writing
        1. Treatment or Overview
        2. Describing the World of the Game
        3. Flowchart
        4. Description of Sub-Quests
        5. Character Descriptions
        6. Interaction with Non-Player Characters
        7. Cut Scenes
        8. Storyboard Script
        9. Notes
      6. Graphics vs. Live Action
      7. Formats
      8. Interactive Games for Training
      9. Military Training Games
      10. Corporate Training Games
      11. Educational Games
      12. Conclusion
      13. Exercises
    4. 14 Writing for Mobile Media Platforms
      1. Technical Antecedents
      2. Content on Mobile Platforms
      3. Antecedents for Mobile Content
      4. Video on Mobile Platforms
      5. Video and Cell Phone Use
      6. The Mobisode
      7. Webisodes and New Digital Formats
      8. Writing Changes
      9. Second-Screen and Multiple Media Concepts
      10. What Is Second Screen?
      11. “Snackable” Content
      12. What Does All This Mean for Writers?
      13. Conclusion
      14. Exercises
  14. PART 5 Anticipating Professional Issues
    1. 15 You Can Get Paid to Do This
      1. Writing for Money
      2. Pitching
      3. Logline
      4. Agents and Submissions
      5. Writing for Television
      6. Producing and Writing Video Games
      7. Ideology, Morality, and Content
      8. Emotional Honesty and Sentimentality
        1. Truthiness and Consequences
      9. Writing for the Corporate World
      10. Client Relationships
      11. Corporate Contracts
      12. Work for Hire
        1. Marketing Yourself and Your Work
        2. Copyright
        3. Work-Made-for-Hire and Freelance
      13. Networking, Conventions, and Seminars
      14. Resources on the World Wide Web
      15. Hybrid Careers
      16. Conclusion
      17. Exercises
  15. Appendix
  16. Bibliography
  17. Glossary
  18. Index