Radio Scripts – Case, Typeface and White Space

These 3 simple script-formatting hints look too simple to have any effect, but they’ ll help
save you time, money and face. And I learned them from our print-oriented colleagues. Amazing.

1. Anything written in mixed upper and lower case type is easier to read than all caps.
Lots of studies have proven this, yet many radio scripts ARE STILL WRITTEN IN ALL
CAPS, no doubt in an effort to make them more readable, when in fact, it makes them
less so.

2. A serif typeface (containing those little hooks on the ends of the letters), like Times
font is easier to read for boomers and older, because of the fonts used in elementary
school texts. In the ‘ 70’ s those schoolbooks switched to a sans serif font - Helvetica, so
type without serifs is more familiar for younger people.

3. White space is essential. Double-space your sentences. Leave wide margins. Give
your voice talent room to make notes, draw arrows, underline, doodle, write in copy
changes – anything that will give them a clear road map through the script.

Why should a voice actor struggle, even a little, with your copy? Make it easy for them
so you both can concentrate on making the delivery natural, compelling and interesting.

I never thought these little things would make a difference, but my experience writing,
directing and reading thousands of spots and narrations has made me a convert.

Make it easy for the actors to understand and get a sense of the copy. You’ ll save time,
money, and more of the actor’ s energy can go into interpreting the meaning instead of
trying to make sense of the words.

Jeffrey Hedquist; email jeffrey@hedquist.com.

(Article printed from ARIA Connect - the online resource for radio sales professionals: www.aria-radio.com)

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