ScriptSync saves the day

By S Simmons. Filed in Editing  |  
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There was a good bit of press about Avid’s new to Media Composer 2.7 feature ScriptSync when it debuted at NAB 2007. Lots of demos and playing but then not much about real world use. I mentioned how the feature might come in handy not with a narrative script but talking head interviews. That came to pass on a recent job when I was presented with an interview subject that delivered his lines in both English and Spanish and we had to cut a Spanish version of the spot. We had no translator in the edit but we did have a transcript of the interview. The transcript contained an English line followed by a Spanish line. The subject delivered in 3 ways, all English (for 6 takes), 2 takes of alternating English and Spanish and 2 takes of Spanish only. What do you do when you need to cut in a foreign language and you don’t speak it fluently? You call in ScriptSync.


By running ScriptSync on the various takes I had lined in the script I was able to get very accurate script marks exactly at the lines as they were delivered.


Click on the above image for a larger view.

Our subject had a very heavy Spanish accent but he delivered the lines cleanly with pauses between each and ScriptSync was able to properly mark the lines in the script with some 90% accuracy. The software does give the option of different languages:


What amazed me was that on the takes with English followed by Spanish I told ScriptSync to analyze via the North American English setting (keep in mind this is on a  speaker with a heavy accent) and it properly marked both the English and the Spanish lines!


If you want to impress a client have them walk into an edit that they think will be a huge, time consuming pain in the a** and pop open a script that allows you to access any line instantly, English or not. ScriptSync was a huge timesaver and has to be one of the best features that Avid has added in a long time. Now if we could only get clients to always use a script …

5 comments to “ScriptSync saves the day”

  1. Comment by Carolyn:

    We are in need of rolling transcript for several languages on a current project. Do you know of ways outside of the Avid program that can accomplish that? We use, but are not necessarily limited to, Final Cut Studio 6.

    Thank you VERY much!!!

  2. Comment by Carolyn:

    …make that FCP Studio 2!!! Sorry!!

  3. Comment by editblog:

    Well if you just need a transcript then you should hire a transcriptionist to listen and transcribe. That’s the only way that I know to actually get a written transcription. We were fortunate in that we had a script for the above mentioned post. That’s the perfect scenario with ScriptSync, transcripts of the footage then let ScriptSync do its thing. But within FCP or FCS there isn’t anything even remotely like ScriptSync. I’m not aware of any 3rd party apps that do similar either. Sometimes you have to pay the bucks for the special stuff!

  4. Comment by Peter Smith:

    How do I update pages in scriptsync after I’ve already imported the original script?

  5. Comment by editblog:

    Peter, I don’t think you can update a script once it is in the Avid app. I don’t know this 100% though. Might be a good question to pose on the Avid forums at