Category Archives: Television Script Writing

How “Tour the States” Was Made and Went Viral

In June 2014, Angie Seaman, E-Commerce Manager for Marbles: The Brain Store, shared with an IRCE video workshop audience how Marbles: The Brain Store’s Tour the States video was made and successfully went viral with over 2,760,519 hits and counting.

“That was basically a very low-tech solution to making a video.  We had the cartoonist actually come into the office, get a big white piece of paper, and he’s only holding a marker. It took him about a week to get the thing done and the video.  We were crossing our fingers the whole time that he wouldn’t make a mistake. We did have a couple things that we had to fix, but it wasn’t too bad and it took our video director about two weeks to edit all of the footage together and get it synced up with music.  It turned out great and was well worth it for us.”

As a parent who had to help a fifth grader memorize the states and capitals in the fall of 2013, I can tell you that there was nothing like it on You Tube at the time.  The song is catchy and it not only highlighted the states, but also the capitals in their locations, which was surprisingly unique for You Tube videos about states and capitals.  Marbles: The Brain Store found a need and fulfilled it for kids (and parents).

“It <the video> introduced The Brain Store as an authority on the product, which is important because these are people who don’t know our brand.  It makes customers more comfortable to transact with us and we’ve seen our conversion rate increase over time. Part of it has to do with video.”

To make a low-budget video, Seaman suggests budgeting time to experiment, picking a room with good acoustics, and finding talent who can do it all.  She says that you can get going with video for less than $1000.

“It took us a year and a half or so to really get everything.  We saw results right away, but our conversion rate has increased and actually doubled every year. Part of it has to do with other things we’re doing, but I think a lot of it has to do with video.”

From lighting and sound to editing and effects, how is your company using video this year?

~Jean at My Web Writers

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Filed under Capturing Audience, Conferences, Television Script Writing, Video Production, YouTube

When Bad Jokes Happen to Good People

by My Web Writers

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.” While a bad joke with friends and family can be forgotten, with potential customers you might have just one chance to win them over.  Because senses of humor vary, using humor cautiously is in your best interest. That said, good comedy can evoke emotions that connect people to your purpose.

A Little Goes a Long Way

When writing funny copy, a little humor goes a long way. You know that person in your circle of friends who overuses bad puns, as though by telling every joke, eventually he or she will get a laugh? A little bit goes a long way, especially in marketing copy. Not only do you not want to overload your writing with humor and detract from the credibility of your content, subtle humor often reads better, showing your sophisticated skills.

One way to simplify your humor for a bigger impact is by choosing a consistent style. Consider the Allstate “Mayhem” commercials. The ads each feature actor Dean Winters as different embodiments of “mayhem”–a teen driver, heavy winter snow, termites, and so on.

The phrasing in the commercials features eloquent and funny descriptions of the disasters about to befall drivers or homeowners, but the humor lies most in the deadpan delivery. Further, the consistency of the different ads emphasizes the humor and creates strong branding for the company. In your copy, you can employ these same strategies by devising a unified comedic tone or running gag to use along with your stylesheet.

Consider Negative Reactions

If you consider your customer demographics, hopefully you can avoid a joke that offends unanticipated readers, but you should still consider how your writing might be read as distasteful rather than funny. For example, last year KIA ran a print ad that intended to depict the two sides of their new cars. The ad featured a cartoon strip of a teacher talking to a student and seeing her on one side as a little girl and on the other as a sexualized teenager. The company faced a big backlash because a large number of people thought the ad was inappropriate at best. In this case, failing to consider the implications of the joke forced KIA to deal with an offended public. Especially when joking about gender, race, politics, or religion, think through how others might read your humor, or avoid these jokes altogether.

Keep it Positive

All told, using comedy that is on the light side is most likely to make your readers and potential customers smile. By using jokes that refrain from making fun of a particular person or group of people, you depict your company as friendly and trustworthy rather than gossipy or mean. Upbeat jokes also work well with call-to-action marketing copy, so you can draw the reader in with humor and use active writing to bring in a sale.

Finally, remember to read your humorous copy aloud. Your writing should capture the tone and timing of the joke as though you were telling it to your reader in person.

~Kasey

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Filed under Advertorial Writing, Audience, Content Marketing, Email Campaigns, Marketing, Press Release Writing, Television Script Writing, Video Production, Words Which Sell

Make a Company Video – Why YouTube is Worth My Investment

Understanding the Need to Make a Company Video

Recently, the upward trajectory of my business dramatically improved. And while I don’t believe in accidents, the game changer was not strategic. I met the owner of My Web Writers for coffee simply because we’re friends. We talked about our families, our businesses, and specifically, my aspirations to take my blog to the next level. As a web content specialist, she has valuable insight on how to earn top rankings in search engine results. After catching up, we got down to business. She offered one piece of advice:

“Make a video”.

No way! Not interested – not at all.  I don’t need video. And even if I did, I’m not 25. I’m not even 35. So I can’t do video – for sure.

My Web Writers’ asked one question: “Do you want your voice to be heard?”

Yes! But my voice isn’t carrying ten extra pounds.

Why My Business Needs to Make a Video

My business began as a novice endeavor that quickly gave root to professional purpose.  I launched Waking Up Vegan to raise awareness of the damage being done by our current way of life. Challenging the status quos with the unsustainable consequences they bestow is the only way to heal our health and save our environment.

And my message resonates. In short time, I have established myself as an expert and created a brand with potential. But while my diligence has led to impressive reactions, I’ve not been able to capture the search engines’ approval.  Sometimes it seems Google doesn’t easily differentiate between intelligent information and meaningless commentary, and there are a lot of both out there.

Why Your Business Needs To Make a Video

Accessibility is granted to pages that are searchable, and searchability is more of a science than an art. Millions of pages are added to the Internet every day; but with ever-changing Google updates, the sure fire way to be seen is with a grassroots message that goes viral. And most of those that do are delivered via video through Google’s very own – YouTube.  The bottom line is that if you want to drive traffic to your website, video content is essential.

My friend proposed a synergistic endeavor. Together, we would create two short videos that would showcase My Web Writer’s production capabilities and Waking Up Vegan’s brand. I would choose the content; she would develop the process. I wrote the script and prepared the materials and props.  She worked the production – the shot storyboard, the shoot, and the editing via Final Cut Pro.

Lights, Camera, Action! Why YouTube Videos are Easy and Complicated to Make!

The process was far more involved than I expected, which is why the end result was so dramatic. I envisioned a three-minute performance where I delivered an Oscar-award winning account of how to make laundry detergent and yogurt. I practiced in the mirror and consequently broke out in hives. But My Web Writers incorporated my script into a formal storyboard and deconstructed each scene one line at a time.  Seemingly inconsequential hand movement, eye contact and voice inflection were skillfully directed as lighting, sound and tempo were monitored. Desired effects, background sound and screen texts were considered in advance.

The day we posted the first video, the overwhelming response was not something I could have predicted. The video has gained traction with each passing day. Overall website traffic has steadily increased. Thanks to My Web Writers and YouTube, Waking Up Vegan  has found a momentum that is now bringing attention, opportunity and most importantly, action. When people know better, they do better.

A Good Message Won’t Be Heard Unless it is Seen: Make a Video!

A well-written article captures my attention, and I assumed that my target demographic would appreciate simplicity. But everyone processes information differently, and having video content opens the door to a much larger audience. If a picture says a thousand words, a well-done video might just be worth a million. Literally.

~Colleen Towner, CEO of Waking Up Vegan

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Filed under Advertorial Writing, Marketing, Television Script Writing, Video Production, Women Writers, YouTube

How to Write a Television Script

By My Web Writers

With reality television taking over most of the world’s television sets, getting your television script recognized is highly competitive.  Just think of the creativity and craftsmanship involved in the best 2012 Superbowl commercials.  If your idea is solid and relates to a large audience, you may be in luck, but a lot of dedication is needed to really be successful in television script writing.

Understand Television

If you want to write books, read. If you want to play baseball, practice. If you want to write captivating television scripts, watch, watch, and watch some more. Know what’s hot right now and what sells. This is important because you also have to be careful of copying someone else’s idea that’s already out there.  Currently, vampires continue to attract huge television, movie and book audiences. Another television script about vampires is probably one in a million. Think about what would make your show different. Take a popular idea and make it your own. The only way to know what’s popular and what’s already been done is by doing your research. Take the time to know the business.

Create Unforgettable, Television Script Characters

Quick- name your all-time favorite TV character. Was it the Fonz? Carrie Bradshaw? J.R. Ewing? Scooby Doo? Whoever it was, you could likely talk about the character for hours. Well-developed characters are what make a television script effective. If viewers can relate to your characters, they will be on the edge of their seats waiting to know what will happen next. If the characters are fantasy and nothing of this world, some viewers will love the time away from their everyday lives. Creating phenomenal characters will make or break your script.

Television Script Writing and Literature

Like we all learned in English class, plot is the series of events that make up a story. Without a plot, you have no story. A television script should have an exposition. This is where characters and setting are introduced, and the audience is filled in on any background information necessary for understanding the show. There should be events in the rising action that set up the main conflict. When everything comes to a head and there is a turning point in your script, you have your climax. Finally, how things end up will be your resolution. Some television scripts leave viewers hanging episode after episode, and resolutions aren’t reached until the season, or even the series ends.

Write TV Scripts Like the Pros

Sending your television script on a sheet of notebook paper to a producer won’t get you very far. Mahalo suggests three formatting software options: Celtx, Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter. Check out their website for more information on how to make sure your television script is professional.

~Natalie

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Filed under Television Script Writing