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Script Tip: Timing Specifics

When I worked in radio I was the go-to guy when there was 42 seconds of copy that needed to be read in 30 seconds. It was the same at every station I ever worked for.

When it comes to radio and TV spots, the timing is firm. You’ve got :15, :30, or :60 seconds to get the job done.

Thing is, not every script is a commercial.

How Much Time

stopwatchYou get a script from a client. It’s for an internet video. You read it according to their direction and deliver the audio. The next time your inbox dings, you assume it will be an approval message.

It’s not.

“We really liked your read, but we were hoping to have the script time out to :45 seconds. Can you give it another shot please?”

Never Assume

It’s easy to assume that timing doesn’t matter when you’re recording a video. This is even more true when no time is given in the script or in the direction from the client.

You know what they say about assuming…

Before you record, if no specifics on timing are given… ask. Always ask.

Getting It Right The First Time

My goal is always to get it right the first time. It saves me work and it saves my clients time. There’s no back and forth, no delays for pickups.

If you’re a Voice Seeker, make sure you include timing instructions in the script or the notes. If you’re a Voice Talent and those instructions aren’t there, ask to confirm.

To get it right the first time, you need to have all the information. That includes timing.