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Media Accessibility Information, Guidelines and Research

Continuity Script

What Does It Mean?

A continuity script is a media script giving the complete action, scenes, etc., in detail and in the order in which they are shown on the screen. It also includes other features, such as sound effects, actors' accents, emotions, and others.

Why Is It Necessary

Captioning agencies require a continuity script so that captioners don't miss important dialogue or effects. DCMP staff members also use continuity scripts in their review of captions.

What Format Is Necessary?

The continuity script can either be typed or computer-generated. One of these two formats needs to be sent to the DCMP so that the staff members can compare captions to the actual words on the continuity script for editing purposes.

How Do I Write One?

Tips for writing a continuity script are outlined below.

Words

Before writing any dialogue, write the actor's name to aid in appropriate speaker identification. If speaker identification is not known, write "[male or female] narrator" or other helpful information. And write every word that is said in the video. This includes "uh, ah...," "uhmm...," etc.

Sound Effects

Write essential sound effects, such as:

  • train whistling
  • clock chiming
  • frog croaking

Music

Write the lyrics to a song only if they are sung.

If no lyrics are sung even though there is music, include information such as:

  • Beatles play "I Want to Take Your Hand"
  • pop music by Michael Jackson
  • whimsical piano music

Speech Mode

Indicate that a person is stuttering by:

  • Th-th-the medicine that...
  • Get the basketball and s-s-shoot!

Indicate that a person is stammering by:

  • It...it's not my fault!

Use an exclamation point when there is emphasis in speech:

  • Please come with me!
  • No! You may not!

Spelling

When ending credits do not list the actors' names, the continuity script will be referred to for appropriate spellings.

Ensure that spellings for information that cannot be found in various references are spelled correctly. Captions are a reflection of your video, and the desired effect is to show that the product is of high quality.

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