A script header provides a brief synopsis of the story. It includes the script author, date, title, page number, commitment statement and runtime (RT).
The upper-left header includes:
- Rank and first and last name
- Page numbers in “X of X” format
- Commitment in subject-verb-object order
The upper-right header includes:
- Story date
- Story title
- Total story runtime, including sound bite. To calculate the runtime, count each line of narration as four seconds. Count half a line or less as two seconds. Add the actual time of the sound bite from the Subject Matter Expert (SME), if known.
The bottom of the header includes dots and slashes to help time your script. Use the dots and slashes to estimate the runtime of the script without having to record it to get the runtime.
Use eight dots, followed by a forward slash.
- Each slash represents about a half-second of reporter narration.
- The forward slash indicates the four-second mark, which is about a whole line of narration. A half a line is about two seconds. The forward slash is assumed after the final dot.
The dots and slashes can help a new videographer or broadcaster learn to write the correct amount of copy every time. For example, if you need a script that is 90 seconds and it includes a 15-second soundbite, you need to write 75 seconds of narration. That equates to about 18.75 lines of script to get in the ballpark with the length. Without this estimate, you would have to read it out loud to time it.