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  • John Morley

    December 4, 2008 at 2:14 pm in reply to: Is corporate video relevant today and how ?

    Dear Chris,

    This reminds me of a story from the early days of Ford, when Henry Ford was still in charge. He had put his ad guys through numerous revisions of a ad campaign and was not liking what he saw. Finally, in one meeting he said, “Don’t you think that the public is tired of this ad campaign by now?” To which his ad guy replied, “Sir, this hasn’t been released to the public yet.”

    Clients can be their own worst enemies, assuming that their reaction and taste accurately reflects that of the “average” target demographic. Then “video” gets blamed for the “fluff” reputation that started this whole thread.

    The way I typically start this conversation with a client is to say, “While I will certainly defer to your judgement, I feel an obligation to point out that…” Then use success stories from other companies, accepted wisdom from authorities, or plain logic to make my case for leveraging the brand, consistency of message or whatever value I see an opportunity to add.

    Sure, it often doesn’t work. But at least I have positioned myself as a consultant, with an understanding of both the client’s business and using my medium effectively, rather than a technician taking orders. And when it does work, everybody wins.

    We need to keep trying.

    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos

  • John Morley

    December 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm in reply to: Is corporate video relevant today and how ?

    Dear Mark,

    Thanks for the kind words about Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos. I would be flattered by being quoted. Thanks for your professionalism to ask first.

    As far as a 2009 edition, every year is a bit too often for a book of this nature. But I am gratified to know there is a demand for it. I listen to the market; it’s smarter than I am.

    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos

  • John Morley

    December 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm in reply to: Is corporate video relevant today and how ?

    Dear Mark,

    In the 21st century, a big factor in credibility comes from having a strong Web presence. Credibility on the Web comes from using more effective and advanced technologies, such as motion video. As business makes increasing use of Web sites such as You Tube, as video is increasingly embedded in company Web sites and PowerPoint presentations, as training becomes more screen-centered and less classroom-centered, customers and employees simply expect a business to use motion video, and are less confident in that business if it does not.
    Marketing is the hard point. Best of luck with getting these points across.

  • John Morley

    October 17, 2008 at 4:13 am in reply to: Software for writing treatments

    Dear Pamela,
    Bob is right. I updated the final version of Script Werx for Macintosh for Word 2004, and that is what I’m running on my computer as well. It is Word 2008 on Macintosh that no longer supports the programming language used to develop Script Werx (Visual Basic). Although I am no longer selling the retail version of Script Werx, I believe that still has some copies selling for a discounted price.

    That acknowledged, the formatting for a corporate video treatment is pretty straight forward. It is mostly full margin with a few bullet lists and a budget and timeline at the end. Which is to say that the value of the treatment template is primarily in the advice provided on how to craft the language, rather than software functionally. So even if you were using it with Microsoft Word 2008, it would still provide most of the help available for writing a creative treatment. It’s the screenplay and video script formatting that make heavy use of macros that no longer works with Word 2008.

    If you would like to also see a sample treatment, I would be happy to send you the example out of my book, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos. Just contact me through the Web site and write that you are taking me up on my offer made through Creative COW.
    Best of luck with your treatment.

    John Morley

  • John Morley

    September 26, 2008 at 5:27 pm in reply to: Giving the Script to a Potential Client

    I have finished recording chapter 5, Seven Strategies for Improving any Treatment/Video as two Quick Time files and posted them at

    At the top of the page, click the link for Recorded Chapters. I will leave it to you to convert it into another format, if needed, and combine the two parts.

    There is currently no charge to download these sample chapters. If you do, please provide some feedback on technical quality, voice quality and whether you would be willing to purchase a recording of the entire book, along with the file format that you prefer, to me at

    I hope that this is of help to you.

  • John Morley

    September 25, 2008 at 5:12 pm in reply to: Giving the Script to a Potential Client

    I hope to have chapter five recorded soon.

  • John Morley

    September 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm in reply to: Giving the Script to a Potential Client

    Thanks for the kind words abut Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos. I am pleased and honored that it is helping you to “coach” your clients toward more effective preproduction. And I certainly owe a lot of gratitude to Mark Suszko for telling you about my book.

    Video is great at illusion. Its greatest illusion is that you just click record and say whatever occurs to you. The recording is easy, it’s the occurring that’s hard.

    The audio version sounds like a good idea (as long as I can sell enough of them). I recently finished recording demonstrations for Movie Magic Screenwriter software, so I can sure take a stab at reading my own book out loud. As a proof of concept, let me know the next chapter you want to hear and I will record it as a .mov file. I imagine that you are better prepared than I to convert it into the format that would be best for your use.

    And please keep in mind that if you or your clients need help with scriptwriting, that’s what I do for a living.

  • John Morley

    June 29, 2008 at 4:52 pm in reply to: How do I ask client to…. without offending him?

    Dear Clyde,
    Mark has already done a good job of touching all the bases on how to react to client-caused delays. So let me add an idea on prevention, which is typically the least expensive solution to any problem.

    When developing a statement of work, creative treatment, contract or whatever document is used to confirm expectations and state a timeline, I usually structure the timeline with two columns of due dates: one for my group and one for the client.

    Then, in the narrative that supports the timeline, I make clear that my deadlines are contingent on client approval of the previous deliverable — or in your case, providing needed material. For example, the script is due ten working days after client approval of the creative treatment; shooting completes 12 working days past client approval of the script.

    I of course estimate when all of these milestones should happen. So the timeline does have specific dates. But the supporting narrative makes clear that all of these dates are not fixed, but contingent on the client hitting their dates.

    This both makes clear, in writing, that you can’t do your job until the client does their job, and gives you a signed document to point to when using one of Mark’s well-crafted sentences to state that you’re pulling the plug until the client delivers on their responsibility.

  • John Morley

    June 11, 2008 at 8:54 pm in reply to: Giving the Script to a Potential Client


    I will need an email address. Send an email to and I will reply with the sample treatments.

    John Morley

  • John Morley

    May 26, 2008 at 1:47 am in reply to: Giving the Script to a Potential Client

    Thanks for plugging my book Mark. Although writing the creative treatment first has been suggested in this string, it needs to be emphasized as an essential document.

    The first step toward creating an effective informational video is to forget about doing a video. Focus first on the needs and objectives of the client. That’s what your client cares about. Once you clearly state — in writing — that you understand your client’s issues, and know how they can be resolved, that’s when your client is more likely to trust you.

    For corporate video, the treatment is a business document and a specification sheet. A professional would no more write a script without treatment approval than a manufacturer would design a product without knowing the specifications. Typical treatment format includes:
    Background – What’s the problem?

    Objectives – How must the audience think or behave differently to solve the problem?

    Strategies – What will be done to change thinking or behavior?

    Implementation – Active voice, present tense description of what will be seen and heard.

    It’s not brain surgery, but it needs a lot of thought, and can do more to build comfort factor with your client than anything else you do. Keep in mind, a script is an exotic-looking document that clients usually lack the experience or imagination to understand. It can be confusing and intimidating.

    A treatment is a standard, full-margin document, written in terms of analysis and objectives that business folks understand. It creates comfort and makes them much more likely to part with budget.

    If you want to see a couple of sample treatments, send me an email requesting them and I will email them to you. Better yet, buy the book, and have the whole process clearly described for you.

    About the book, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos, a new, second edition was published earlier this year. So be sure that, if you buy, you buy the one for this century.

    Best of luck with your project.

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