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Write, edit, juggle, tinker, polish.

You can’t make a film without a script; it is bound to end in chaos, expense and tears. Every type of commercial film or video needs to be written by a professional writer.

A 30 second TV commercial can be a tough nut to crack from the writer’s perspective, where everything is condensed and reduced to absolute essentials. 

By contrast, a typical documentary focusses on real people and real stories with the aim of exploring the truth of the subject using simple production methods and techniques.

Whatever the format, before anything else, you need a writer to take your vision and put it on paper. 

The first thing a good writer will do is listen to you so that he understands what you want to achieve. Together you then write a creative brief for the job so that there is no misunderstanding of the assignment.

The next thing he will do is build a structure for your story, writing a narrative with characters and a plot. He will research the subject in depth and ask you and others lots of questions. By this time the film director will be involved as a key collaborator.

The writer will be involved throughout the project, right up to the very end. Usually he will write or re-write a documentary four times.

  • Initial structure, narrative, storyline, questions for interviews.
    • Edit transcripts of the interviews for a story with continuity.
      • Write or re-write any voiceover needed.
        • In the edit suite make it flow. Juggle, tinker, polish.
At Pic Tree we write, produce and direct for different formats. From a 10 second social media special to a 40 minute documentary on Ethiopian Arabica coffee. Tell us your vision.
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