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Save This Script, Episode 3

30/11/2022

Save This Script, Episode 3

Mark Suszko November 29, 2022

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In this episode, the Script Doctors' patient is a :30 TV spot intended to raise funds for an academic institution. The diagnosis is obesity, caused by passive language and lack of focus. So John and Mark trim the fat to yield a lean and healthy sales message, by applying techniques and idea-starters from John's book, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos.

Great videos start with a great script.

Sometimes, the scripts aren't so great.

We're script doctors; come, watch us operate.

In each installment of this series, a writer/producer team is confronted with a creative challenge. The scenario, written in screenplay format, revolves around a typical client management situation that can lead to a problem script.

The problem script itself can then be read, followed by some back-and-forth as the creative team rises to the challenge.

Each installment ends with the finished makeover script being pitched to the client. Brief commentary then further explores the strategies and insights that drove the script make-over.

FADE IN: INT. WELLINGTON TECH, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES - DAY Director of Materials Research, WAYNE, sits across his desk from MARK, who is a principal in Glendower Productions, and sits taking notes. MARK To raise funds for an institution, TV advertising is usually considered to be too broad. WAYNE But this is a college town. MARK So its strictly a local buy? WAYNE A gift really. The station owner is a donor. MARK I imagine some donors arent local. WAYNE Most arent local. So they see the ad on our website and YouTube, with an email pushing the link out to them. MARK Nice. Stressing its been on broadcast TV strengthens credibility. WAYNE And its going to run during every football and basketball game. MARK Who do you hope to persuade with this ad? WAYNE Largely alumni. MARK Whats in it for them? WAYNE Its the future. Nanotechnology may save your life some day. MARK Anything more ... immediate? WAYNE Breadth of research: In addition to nanotechnology weve making advances in quantum-state piezoelectric ceramics, substrate admixtures, and plasma technologies ... MARK How about right now? What lights up a donor, the minute he or she gives? WAYNE Well ... When they get a load of the lab, I see some light bulbs turn on. MARK You mentioned alumni and placement in sports programming. WAYNE School spirit. Sure. Everyone likes to see their alma mater win recognition. MARK Any guidelines for your ad? Wayne hands some paper to Mark. WAYNE Were not scriptwriters, but a lot of work has gone into this background section from grant proposals weve been submitting. We thought it could be the basis for a script, but we are having trouble shortening it, without leaving anything out. Dissolve to the proposal background section. Wellington Tech has long sought a new facility to expand the search for meta-materials of discrete and exciting new capabilities, for use in the fields of advanced computation integrated circuit device design, and with the generous support of WTI Alumnae, that search has a new locus of operation, in the recently-christened Eugenia Flatbush-Hagenbottom Center for Advanced Materials Research. (Hereafter known as the EFHCAMR)

EFHCAMR will, it is hoped, become what is generally accepted within the materials science community at large as the pre-eminent facility in the country for research into the possibilities presented by the class of substances known as meta-materials , to include, but not be limited to, such materials as Carbon Nano-tubing and Quantum-state Piezoelectric ceramics, and perhaps other breakthrough substances or admixtures, as yet unknown or unrecognized in peer-reviewed journals.

While the EFHCAMR is operational and already staffed, there is, it has become self-evident, some need for additional funding to acquire additional test and measuring equipment pursuant to specific research goals on projects now being conducted by Principal Investigators. The costs of these additional mechanisms and devices is non-trivial, and while the Institute as a whole has every wish for the success of this program's goals and objectives, additional contributions from the general fund are not foreseen as becoming available in the near time frame. As an alternative, we look to the continued generosity of Wellington Alumnae to appreciate the need for this program and to help us advance these researches with a commitment of their own financial sponsorship, commensurate to that financial need. Our Development Office will most gladly entertain any such offering.

INT. GLENDOWER OFFICE -- DAY

Mark, and another company principal, JOHN, are reviewing the client-provided source material.

JOHN

Any telegenic types there?

MARK

There is a reason theyve chosen to lock themselves in a lab, away from humanity.

JOHN

So, a professional voice then. Can we have the pro walk and talk through the lab?

MARK

I dont think so this time. Budget issues. But we can afford a day to shoot b roll, and theres some real visually interesting stuff there.

JOHN

So what are we selling?

MARK

Be true to your school. Its all about seeing your schools name in the news and your name associated. Feel like you were smart enough to buy Apple stock in 1980, if you were alive then.

JOHN

Our client said all that?

MARK

No. Hes all mission-focused on the miracles they may discover some day, and the fact they built an entire lab without a budget to stock it. Eggheads! But he says donors light up when they see the lab.

JOHN

Do they have open-house days for donors?

MARK

Yep. I even saw some of the welcome donors signs they put out.

JOHN

Is there a high roller we can feature; who could be there when we shoot b roll?

MARK

A Mrs. Eugenia Flatbush Hagenbottom has been generous enough that her name is now on one
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