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!