Post Production Scripts

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What are Transcrips and Post Production Scripts?

Transcripts and post production scripts are a necessary part of the post production process. They can either be done in house with your own production team, or you can outsource them to a specialist service.

A post production script is your film on paper, shot by shot, word by word.

Most broadcasters request a post production script (PPS) as part of your contractual deliverables.

A PPS is used for:

  • Re-languaging ie. dubbing your film from its original language into a foreign one
  • Reversioning
  • Subtitling

Post production scripts can vary in detail but will include:

  • Vision - Full shot log describing the pictures, titles & on screen captions
  • Audio - Transcribed version of all commentary and sync whether in or out of vision
  • Music - All music cues named by title
  • Timecode - All of the above will be identified by timecode

Your post production script will be delivered with or shortly after the finished programme depending on contractual deadlines

How to do it

Producing a post production script means sitting down and manually typing it out.  It will include the programme’s audio track, transcribing all the commentary and sync  into a written document. The full script will also describe all the pictures and note the music used along with all associated time codes. And finally there’s a written log of all the clock idents, titles and on-screen captions.

Example post production script

Post Production Script

There’s no short cut to doing this and the transcription part of the process is a time consuming task, but one which has to be done, and done accurately.

How long does it take?

Full post production scripts are complicated and time consuming, so booking a fast typist is not necessarily the best way forward.  Whomever produces the PPS needs to know what they are doing because they will have to go through the programme a number of times to include all the required detail.  

For example, a 60 minute programme will take approximately:

Commentary & sync in & out of vision 3 hours
Audio & music 3 hours
Pictures 3 hours
Checking, spell checking & formatting 1 hour
Total 10 hours






These timings are just a guide as many things can stall the process. For example, a programme may have a lot of incidental music, and / or contributors that have strong accents and are difficult to understand. Factors like these can double the time it should take to create the post production script.  However, you will know these things about your programme before you send it off to be turned into a PPS, so allow sufficient time and money to finish it, particularly if the contractual delivery deadline is looming.

Speeding up the process

Here are a few ways to help speed up the process of producing a post production script (PPS):

  • Use a specialist post production script service. Outsourcing your post production script can save your production time and money.
  • Email your final "as recorded" commentary script to the transcription service you are using. They can cut & paste this into their document rather than having to audio type from the finished programme.  But they will need to check it through to ensure you've missed nothing.
  • Email the producer's roughly transcribed sync script to the transcription service.  It may not be perfect, but it will give them a head start.  (Nowdays, most producers have to submit a rough sync script with roughcuts and finecuts as well as VO lines to help execs find their way through the programme when viewing).
  • EDL - Send them your EDL - this can also be cut & pasted into the transcriber's master document and means that they will not have to do their first run through your programme simply to log the in and out of every shot change.
  • Audio EDL from your final mix will help identifying ins and outs for VO lines and music tracks and should also name each music track if the producer can't remember what was what.
  • FTP - Make use of the post production facility’s FTP site rather than burning & sending DVDs




Written by

Louise has extensive adventure, observational-doc, drama-documentary, corporate and commercials experience. Louise has filmed all over the world and has first hand experience of dangerous location filming.
© Copyright Louise Heren