“How do I read a video script?” Video Answers. Episode 43. Part 2.
In our last episode I introduced you to the 5 key elements of an AV or 2 column script which are the following:
In this 2nd installment of How to Read a Script, I want to show you a few of the abbreviations you’ll see in your video script.
Abbreviations in a video script are direction or shorthand for the talent, crew, and editors. They keep scripts simple and focused, providing a common way to communicate without taking sentences or paragraphs to do so.
With that as our background, let’s explore the 10 abbreviations you’ll see in a video script, in this Video Answers.
- B-ROLL is a way to designate additional cutaway shots or other generic footage the editor can use to tell your story.
- CU is a Close Up. This framing is just above the head to the upper chest.
- ECU is an Extreme Close Up and shows even more detail than a close up – which is why it’s also called a detail shot.
- EST is an Establishing Shot. This is usually the first shot of a scene. It’s used to establish the scene and provide the context of where the action is taking place.
- LS means Long Shot. Think of a really wide shot where the camera is far away from the subject. That’s a Long Shot.
- MOS is shorthand for filming without sound and i’s origin is entertaining. In the 1920’s a German director was shooting a film in Hollywood and said to his crew, “Now ve vill film mit out sound!” which they thought was hilarious and it stuck.
- MS is a Medium Shot, which is also called a waist shot because it frames in the actors waist.
- OS tells you the actor is physically Off-Screen. This is often used when a character is serving as a narrator for a scene. In the script you’ll see their name followed by a parenthetical of OS.
- OTS is another frequently used camera angle and is an abbreviation of Over the Shoulder. In on OTS shot, the camera is lined up behind an actors shoulder with a medium shot of another actor who is facing the camera.
- TITLE is just text that appears on a screen. It might include sub-titles or titles superimposed over the video.
There you go. 10 abbreviations you’ll see in a video script.
In our third and final installment on how to read a script I’ll give you 6 practical suggestions that will help you approve your script with confidence knowing you won’t need extra changes later on. That’s in our last installment of “How do I read a script?” on Video Answers.
Have questions about YOUR video? Let us know:
Visit our website comprehensivemedia.com/videoanswers!
Comprehensive Media is an video communications company that brings businesses perspective through ideas, messages and stories.