Whether it comes from listening to music, reading a book, watching reruns of your favourite sitcom, or going to the cinema, everyone enjoys the relief from everyday life that we call entertainment; however, entertainment doesn’t just happen by itself. The art of entertainment requires a lot of work behind the scenes: as film-maker John McTiernan (known for blockbusters such as Predator, Die Hard, etc.) has stated: “The entertainment is in the presentation.” If it is written music and lyrics, the plot for a novel, or the compelling character interaction on TV and in film, the presentation of entertainment begins with a script.
Coming from the Old French escrit, meaning ‘piece of writing, written paper, etc’, our word finds its origin in the Latin term scriptum, which is a derivative of the verb scribere, meaning ‘to write’.
First used in the epic poem Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer circa 1380, the word effectively kept its native meaning of, simply, something written or a piece of writing: “She..said script nor bill, For love of God..Nor bring me none.”
By 1860, the word had morphed into meaning the actual language itself – as in handwriting or script hand (as opposed to print script) – initially used by Samuel S. Haldeman in his work Analytic Orthography, who noted that: “Script and printing are essentially different.”
For modern entertainment purposes, the first use comes from the May 13, 1897 edition of The Westminster Gazette, stating that: “Hearing of the success of the play from a friend, Macready wrote asking to see the ‘script.”
Considering the detail in the visual medium or the length at which a novel can discuss minute aspects of characters or interaction, most people are often surprised by the length of a script. The golden rule applied to most screenwriting is that, on average, one page of script is equal to one minute of screen time; however, this rule can, of course, vary based on individual needs, such as the amount of dialogue and scene timing. Still, considering that everything from dialogue, actions, positioning, and the scenery itself for everything from the simplest sitcoms to hour-long dramas to full-scale films can be found in an (approximately) 45-130 page script, this demonstrates just how important each individual detail in a script can be.
And EVS Translations knows that and offers a full portfolio of script translation solutions, including interviews, screenplays, documentary and corporate scripts.