a writers rant

Seriously, it’s kind of funny, for 10 years I was considered a “professional writer“, and I didn’t even pass Senior English at high school.  Sure english can be a strange language – weird spelling, bizarre phonetics – just ask someone who’s learning english as a second language how difficult it is.  In saying that, as a writer I was trained that there are several reasons to strive for perfection in every script.

  • Correct spelling and presentation is imperative in maintaining a professional image with your clients,
  • it also makes life easier for the voice artist and assists them get your script right!
  • It reduces mistakes by the voice & producer/production house.
  • Did I mention, looking professional to your clients…(the people paying you)?

Look, I really do not want to upset anyone with my comments here, but a recent script made me start thinking about why I am the way I am, why I am such a pedant.  This particular script that started me thinking, was chock full of mistakes – let me be clear again, I’m not blaming the studio – I’m blaming the writer!   It demonstrated to me a lack of care for the client, it made it hard to read and if it wasn’t for the studio and myself – the client would have been paying extra to get it voiced and produced again, because of the writers carelessness. Sure I am being very harsh here, we all make mistakes, I understand that, I’ve made plenty in my time!  But the kind of unprofessionalism in the script below, is hard for me to tolerate.

Let’s take a look at the script… (client name changed to protect the innocent)… corrections added in brackets.

The Tuesday suite [SUIT] and shoe offer every Tuesday at Barry Browns,[FULL STOP]
[CAPITAL C] come on in and receive 20% off the regular price off [OF] all suites [SUITS] and shoes,[FULL STOP] [CAPITAL O] only on Tuesdays and only at [CAPITAL B] barry Browns [COMMA]109 [CAPITAL L] long st [STREET DON’T ABBREVIATE] [ FULL STOP]  [CAPITAL O] open 7 days.

Some of those corrections are me being super pedantic, but SUITE instead of SUIT, not once but twice is sloppy. The lack of punctuation made it hard to read, I wasn’t sure where to pause and place inflection.  If this script has been sent to the client to proof and I was Barry Brown – I would be miffed!

Now, let me be even more surly.  As a voice artist, being sent this script and being expected to re-write it and fix the mistakes while I read, that’s just asking a little too much (unless I was being paid to re-write).

It’s like this, I love doing what I do – I love reading good creative, it stretches me, makes me strive to move up to yet another level. Some of my favourite voiceovers have really challenged me.  So please if you’re a writer – a creative – take the time to be professional, to put a little care in your work.  If it takes a few seconds longer to finish the script, it will pay off  – you will get the read you imagined, the produced material will shine, your client will be happy, you’ll receive that deserved respect and the bill will get paid!

4 Responses to “a writers rant”

  • Dad:

    I get that kind of junk so much, I rewrite in my head on the fly, while doing the v/o. Since I make a couple passes at the script anyway, I can pick up the corrections.

  • mirek:

    watt are ewe on about? shirley hue cant be cirrus! have ant ewe herd? copyrighters are bourne and knot maid and sew kneed two ewes there inhairited righting skills. have you ever considered why is the word ‘phonetic’ not spelt fuh-net-ic-lee ? why is the word ‘big’ so small and yet the word ‘minuscule’ so big. why is the word ‘abbreviated’ not? it snot watt wee re member in englesh thats impawtant but rather watt wee forget and truss me i av forgotten sew much. Sew hough good off are righter am eye ? lettuce just say FIGJAM oar wuzz that FEEGJAMM? purrhaps spelling and gramarr r impawtant after oar!

Leave a Reply