The Table Read
November 13, 2013
Here are our best tips for a great table read, including how to edit your script to sound more natural on camera.
It’s so tempting to jump in the front of the camera as soon as you’ve got a script, but don’t do it! You’d be surprised how many written phrases sound really awkward on camera. That’s why we always recommend doing a table read of your script before shooting. Here are our key tips for a good table read:
- Get everyone who will be involved in the video (both in front of and behind the camera) in the same room. It helps to stand, not sit, when delivering your lines.
- Read the script aloud with the same energy and performance level as you would on camera. It really matters!
- Take this time to rework any lines that sound too formal. In fact, just stop in the middle of the script when a line sounds off, then edit it until it sounds more conversational. This is also your chance to make sure each line sounds like something the speaker would say. With their help, revise lines to sound more like their natural speech. It’ll pay off in how comfortable they seem in front of the camera.
- Find the rhythm of the script. Try different intonations and emphases to see which energy works better for your message. Getting this in people’s minds early on will help save time in the studio.
- Finally, when you’ve run through the script at its very best a few times, lock it down! Don’t make further edits, no matter how tempting, as last-minute changes in the studio can often derail a great project. You’ve done great work, now trust it!