- October 9, 2020 at 6:28 pm
What’s the difference between writing a screenplay for a film and writing a script for a corporate video or a commercial?
Well, if you write a film you have final script approval right up to the moment when you sell your screenplay to a movie studio. However, if you write a script for a corporation, you’ll always have that extra layer of client approval baked into the writing process.
You’ll need to get used to the fact that corporate clients will always get their demands sandwiched in between you and your audience: You’ll have to please them first… before you can hope to engage your viewers. So it can be helpful to learn some diplomacy and the art of persuasion.
There’s a lot more written here:
- October 19, 2020 at 9:53 pm
They are more similar than different, IMO. The feature script and the corporate script can both face problems with changes thrown in by various stakeholders. The real difference is in the scale of things. See the famous Kevin Smith youtube video , describing his collaboration attempts with Jon Peters on a Superman movie, where Peters wants to add a giant spider to the script and also doesn’t actually know anything about the comic book character of Superman.
The tool I come back to again and again on corporate and government video screenwriting projects is the Creative Treatment and its associated strategy documents. The treatment is not the script, but it is a *blueprint* of the script, laying out all the beats and why they are what they are. When someone in upper management suddenly wants to throw in new material, you can whip these out and show how everything was already signed-off before the final draft was done and production began, what the strategy was, what the target audience is, how the script as described in the treatment meets all the specific goals of the project. Then you don’t have to tell the Suit: “Your idea is stupid and will damage the viability of the product”. Instead, you can point out how this was all pre-approved and signed-off and that while the gal or guy’s idea might be cool, to try and insert it at this stage of the game can’t work. You don’t ever tell him or her that; you show them the work and let them come to the conclusion and say it, thus saving face, and then you agree with them on how cool it might have been, and that it might be revisited in a follow-up project. You tell them you will want their input in the pre-production phase of the next project, and you get back to work.
The really important thing here is to get the Creative treatment approved and signed-off by TGWWTC. That’s “The Guy What Writes The Checks”. This may not be the point person you deal with directly. That’s very common problem; you customize the project to fit the whims of this point person, only to find out they are not the person with the final word; that is TGWWTC, who works in a higher office or some other division. In a movie studio that is the head of the studio. Get that person’s signature on your treatment and scripts, and it is your diplomatic immunity.
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