Reading then Re-Reading

Reading then Re-Reading


To effectively analyze a narrative script, ensure you read it attentively and in a conducive environment free of distractions. Pay close attention to the following elements:

  • Dialogue-driven plot shifts
  • Essential props for the storyline
  • Time of day and locations
  • Complicated lighting changes, wardrobe, makeup, set design, and action sequences
  • Continuity details, including blood, dirt, hair, clothing, and props
  • Script pacing and timing
  • Unmentioned continuity elements that carry through scenes

After thoroughly reading the script twice, proceed with a breakdown, starting from scene one.


When breaking down a commercial, request the storyboards and pre-production book (PPB) in advance. Time each board by reciting the dialogue and estimating the duration of actions. Sum up the timings to see if they fit within the designated :60/:30/:15-second spots.

Keep the following tips in mind for commercials:

  • Allow a :03-:06-second buffer for end tags, logos, on-screen text, and complex actions
    Provide accurate timings
  • If there’s no dialogue, estimate action durations as accurately as possible
  • Review the entire PPB document for information on location, wardrobe, casting, etc.
  • Note any boards that can be rearranged in their current order

Although commercials require shorter preparation time, they demand equal attention on set. Precise timings are crucial for a seamless final cut, and dialogue often needs to be verbatim. Familiarize yourself with the script before stepping on set.

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