The Tardis is Doctor Who’s vehicle for getting around in time and space. From the outside it is the size of an old UK police box, inside it’s a massive maze of rooms. Even the Doctor hasn’t explored the entire Tardis. A thirty second radio ad is not a Tardis. I have once or twice asked clients to read scripts back to me over the phone (at the pace they want their amended script read) and time them. On one occassion the 30″ I had written had changed into a 70″ ad. But he assured me it was still a 30″.
You have to time your script out loud and leave time for sound effects.
A word count on the computer is useful… but it’s just a guide until you time it properly.
Read it with any music you’ve chosen. You could be 2 seconds or more over time on a slow piece of music
If you read it out loud and it comes to 39″. Congratulations you’ve written a 40.
If it’s 35 seconds… what can you cut out that’s not needed to make it a 30…. or what will make it BETTER and a 40?
If the client has revised it, is it STILL the duration you timed? Edit edit edit.
Before you ask….YES the Voice Over can go a bit quicker. But probably not THAT quick and it will sound rubbish. Make sure it’s right before you go into the studio.
BUY A STOPWATCH. They’re not expensive.
You are not selling suits in just one size.
If it needs to be longer OR shorter when the scripts have been written tell your client why it may not be a bog standard 30.
Learn about the advantages of longer commercials, more creative commercials and most importantly commercials that communicate and sell.
If you want to say more, if you want to mention something else (“… not to mention”) then, if you don’t want to damage your ad, ask for another script. The more you cram in the less effective your communication becomes.
Read it out loud. Project slightly. Time it!
It’s a bit over written.
Thanks for getting me out of a hole with your skills!