Reverse Engineered Scripts

This post is an exercise in writing shooting scripts. The objective is to look at two different 30-second commercials and reverse engineer them, resulting in shooting scripts that would be used by directors, actors, and production workers to deliver an end product representative of the story or vision.

The first commercial is about a first time father who, upon seeing his newborn child in the hospital nursery, is open to the wisdom of buying life insurance. This story is told in eight shots. The second commercial is a bit more complex. In this one Nationwide uses 15 shots to tell a story about a mysterious light switch. It’s really about how things can go wrong and why it’s a good idea to have home owners insurance.




  1. This article was super helpful for me. I’m a comic and comedy writer who is trying to get into copy-writing. Thanks!

  2. Your style is very unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark
    this page.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. My approach is from that of visual and verbal branding–building a relevant image through great storytelling. The goal is to help people and companies break through the clutter and represent compelling characteristics of their brand. The post you commented on was part of an Integrated Marketing Communication assignment during my masters program at WVU. I’ve since graduated and took a season off, but now I’m back and hoping to keep IMC conversations going on BRANDTALK. More to come.

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