The holidays are inching up on us, and now is the time to start writing your holiday season scripts, or practice performing them if you are a voice actor. Holiday season scripts are fun pieces with lots of variety to take advantage of.
Crafting Great Holiday Season Scripts
It seems the holiday season gets longer and longer each year. We all joke about it, but it’s true. It’s not unusual to see winter holiday decorations before Halloween decorations are out, and we all know the rest of Fall can easily be overlooked. But it’s because people love the holiday season. It brings connotations of Hallmark movies, hot cocoa, and warm blankets. This year more than ever, we may want that cozy vibe, so it’s certainly not too early to be thinking about your holiday season scripts.
Get your vibe right to meet your audience at the right time
Now your scripts are going to have different vibes depending on your audience. You can go for the predictable, romantic tone, like those beloved movies. Maybe you want to have a compassionate script to reach another audience. Or, of course, if you are selling a product, you’ll need to make that script just right to reach your target audience. Holiday season scripts can run the gamut from advertising pieces, promos for shows or releases, nonprofit fundraising, or movie or TV scripts. The key is to know your audience.
This article from our own Bunny Studio library shares some great tips on scripts. Yes, these are geared towards ads, but the same pretty much holds true for any scriptwriting. Let’s look:
- Target the audience – We covered this a bit, but here’s just another indicator that this really is crucial. Make sure your script can connect with your target audience.
- Create emotional appeal – How true this is, and especially so with a holiday season script. It’s all about the emotions at this time of year. And speaking of time…
- Publishing at the right time – Sure, April may be too soon for holiday scripts, but October certainly isn’t. No matter who your holiday script is geared to, get it out there at the right time.
Some script examples
Now that you know the who and when, let’s think about the what and how. It’s not enough to have the right words in your holiday season scripts, but there’s things like background music and noise plus visuals and the voice itself to take into account. Let’s think about a radio ad that you’re working on for an upcoming light show. You can’t have visuals here, so your script needs to be that much stronger and engaging.
Here’s a sample 15 second short script:
With social distancing, holidays will look different. But how about a drive-through light show to add some cheer? From the safety of your car, Bumble Garden’s holiday lights are enchanting.
Sure, it’s a short script with just a few words. But if you add the right voice over and some background embellishments, you’ve got an effective script. Are you going to gear this towards families? Then maybe use a young child’s voice with some bells in the background? What about a group of twenty-somethings? How nice would background laughter and a friendly male voice sound?
With this longer script, you can add more information and more engagement. Let’s take a look:
Instead of gazing at holiday lights in a crowded party this year, have you thought about an amazing outdoor light show? Come drive through our holiday lights this season at Bumble Gardens for a holiday night out, following social distance guidelines. You can drive through at your leisure, let the lights enchant you, all from the safety of your car.
Now when it comes to the voice for your script, think about a friendly welcoming, male, female, or gender-neutral voice. This type of voice can bring anyone in, welcoming families and friends into the light show. And don’t be afraid to share details with your voice actor. As this article shares, with a script, your voice actor is conveying all of this to the audience. The more you can give your voice actor in the script, the better the job he or she can do.
Your actor needs to know how to read the script. Think how different a warm voice, slow and engaging will sound than a rushed, crisp voice. And remember those background details, too. A little holiday music softly humming, some bells tinkling, or laughter, oohs, and ahhs would be a nice touch.
With this script, you’ve got a nice amount of words. Let’s think about what could change this up. How about some dialogue? Let’s see…
Guy Voice: It’s so weird not going to the Blake’s holiday party this year. Will it even feel like the holidays?
Woman Voice: I know. I was thinking about that. But listen to this – Bumble Gardens has a new drive-through light show. It’s huge and colorful, with thousands of beautiful lights.
Guy: Oh wow, sounds fun. And drive through, as in stay in our car? No social distancing to worry about?
Woman: Exactly! We can get the kids, pack some snacks, and enjoy the magical lights. All without crowds and in the safety of our car. There are even ticket times so the traffic never gets bad.
Guy: Let’s do it! I may not even miss the Blake’s party this year!
So here you can have two voice artists in conversation. This is a great way to be more engaging and work on the depth of the characters a little. Again, this is a short piece, but you can see how adding length or dialogue can shift your holiday season script little by little. Find what works best for you and your budget to create something magical and effective.
Now let’s move on to the voice of your script -the voice actor.
Enhancing Your Holiday Season Script by Incorporating the Perfect Voice
Sure, we used some basic voices in the above examples for holiday season scripts, but don’t limit yourself. Maybe your script could handle an elf voice or Santa’s big cheery voice. Remember to gear it to your audience, but you can be creative with your holiday season scripts. This article shares this advice:
Voice acting scripts are the bones of your production. The script is not only the words of your production, but also the key to the emotions, nuances, and setting for your voice actor to perform and convey.
Marketing Creativity tells us that it’s important to have that conversational tone with your scripts, especially during the holidays. This holds true for your voice actors, too. They need to convey that conversational, friendly tone. It’s not a time for scare tactics or pushy sales. It’s a time for looking out for one another, enjoying the season, and finding ways to give. A friendly, conversational voice will be effective for a number of holiday season scripts. You can add a little glitter to it by using special holiday voices.
Holiday Season Scripts for Voice Artists
Most of this article has covered scriptwriting and finding the voice actor. But what do you need to know if you are the voice actor? You may have extra opportunity to work during the holiday season with anything from voice mails and local radio scripts to widespread TV voice overs or even announcing or MCing an event. It’s time to practice your skills and get yourself ready.
You may already have a great demo out, can you add to it? Have you always loved doing elf voices or maybe a good Rudolph impersonation? Practice your skills so you’re ready for an audition if one comes about.
Once you win that project to voice, find out as much information as possible to give your client the perfect voiceover. You may have an agent or service that you work with to get your gigs, or you may work directly with the client. Either way, find out what they want. They’ve done the writing, now it’s your chance to make it come alive.
The Holidays Aren’t Just Christmas
As we are getting into the holiday season, remember we aren’t just talking about Christmas. There is a wide range of holidays to work with, again, whether you are the scriptwriter or the voice artist. What about:
- A recording for a spooky Halloween audio piece, like a podcast intro or audiobook. The scriptwriter can incorporate all kinds of spooky background noises like squeaky doors and blowing winds. The artist can practice that deep, bass voice, or the ethereal spooky one. So many scary scenarios here…
- Thanksgiving is a great time for some special scripts and voice over work. Families may be handling this holiday differently this year, and with your help, they can know all will be okay. They can still be with each other through alternative, virtual methods. This is a time for warmth, sincerity, and encouragement, in both the holiday season script and the voice over.
- Hanukkah is another time when families enjoy celebrating together and a time for you to engage with them. Again whether your script is a show, an ad, or a PSA, tweak it a bit to engage with this audience.
To Summarize Holiday Season Scripts
We are probably all going to experience the holiday season a little differently this year. But that’s okay, and we will all get through it. When it comes to scriptwriting, take not only the holidays but this year’s unique situation and work it into your scripts. If you can incorporate a special voice with your message, your piece can be that much more effective. The holidays are a time to come together, and this year has been tougher than ever. In your script, share warmth and camaraderie, you never know who may be especially touched by it or need to hear it. Happy Holidays!