QUESTION: How do you handle scripts with typographical errors, or phrases or sentences that “just don’t sound right” when spoken?
Scripts with typos… happens all the time. You’d be surprised how many times your brain knows what was supposed to be there and you just self correct… If you have a question, ask. And make sure on narrations that you learn correct pronunciations before the session… I did Science Channels “WHEN EARTH ERUPTS” and had dozens of strange obscure geological terms and names from all over the world, including the volcano that kept air traffic in Northern Europe grounded for six days… Eyjafjallajökull… Have fun with that one!
Ben Patrick Johnson
Typos — AAAGH. I try not to be a jerk about this. I usually just let my eye pass over the typos. I do flag grammatical errors though. And it’s remarkable how many scripts you’ll get that would’ve received failing marks in a high school English class. The problem with presenting obvious errors to the writer/producer is that no matter how tactful you are, THEY are usually the ones who made the bungle, and it sounds/looks fine to them. You’re trying to convince them they’re idiots. Which, even if they really are, they’re not going to acknowledge. You can read them the errant line 5 times, explaining that it’s a good idea to keep the same tense throughout a given sentence, for instance, or that a particular verb is transitive and requires an object. They’ll read you the line back just as (poorly) as they wrote it and insist, “Yeah, it sounds fine.” You’ll lose this battle every time. If it helps your peace of mind to gently let them know, do it. But otherwise, just read their crap as is. Sorry, I wish I had a better answer on this one.
If it’s a typo, I just read it the way it was supposed to be. If something is so poorly written that I don’t get it, or find it hard to read, I just tell them that, and suggest a better way to say it.
If I find a grammatical glitch, I’ll immediately call it to the attention of the producer. I’ll read it the way it’s written, along with some other alternatives. If I put my voice on something, I want it to sound the best it can possibly sound. Another thing: If I’m doing sessions for a certain market or venue, I make sure I know how the locals say the names. I’ll never forget how irritated people in Louisville, Kentucky used to get, when they’d hear an announcer say “LouEEville.” I got called to the carpet as a youngster saying “BilOXee,” instead of “BillUXee.” I’ve even called friends in foreign countries when I’m promoting things overseas. You can’t always count on the client or agency to provide that info.
Tomorrow’s “fly in the soup” topic: How to maintain the same level of enthusiasm on the last take as you had on the first take.
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