Software - Scripting

Collaborative Production Tools

Our unique and innovative scripting and production applications significantly reduce costs and improve workflow efficiency. They include:

QNet: A multi-user scripting system providing everything you need for complex programme production.

QScript: An award-winning electronic script annotation / mark-up tool that improves workflow and significantly reduces production costs.

All systems are modular, available in any size starting from just two concurrent user licences and are customisable to specific requirements.


QNet - Collaborative Scripting

QNet is a networked scripting and prompting system that provides a comprehensive range of specialized scriptwriting and rundown management tools, fully integrated with Autocue's teleprompting functionality and with unique multi-user access for collaborative production. QNet is appropriate for any television, corporate, political, religious or event production where a team needs to work together to plan and produce scripts and rundowns. Customers have used the system in a range of applications, from producing a daily magazine programme on a UK television network to script management for the entire Republican National Convention in the US.

The wide range of unique features include: single- or multi-column rundowns, single or multiple line spacing, cut lines with column locking, camera information, manual or automatic shot numbering, visual page breaks, camera cards, spell checking in multiple languages, word count and timing, run-order management and numerous sophisticated timings.

The software is based around a custom multi-column editor designed from scratch to provide the best possible environment for script writing, whilst retaining all of the features common in any standard word processor. Dedicated script writing features include:

Multiple columns with variable line spacing: the powerful script editor offers up to eight columns of text, with different line spacing available within and between columns.

Cut lines with column locking: cut lines can be inserted in the script at any point, linking back across other columns to the left. Text around the cut line is kept aligned even if changes are made in other columns.

Manual or automatic shot numbering: individual shot numbers, which can be associated with shot lines, can either be assigned automatically or entered manually for last minute shot changes.

Camera instructions: details about camera number, position and shot can be entered in conjunction with shot number in order to produce camera cards for use during shooting or live studio production.

Printed scripts: we still place a high priority on complete and correctly formatted printed camera scripts, including previous and next shot details, page numbers and flexible headers and footers.

Program / Shooting orders: a single scene can be entered twice into separate program and shooting lists, so that an update in one location will be made automatically in the other as well. This makes it easy to maintain separate program and shooting orders, without having to worry about making the same update in two different places.

QNet software is based around the same components used in the QNews NRCS, which is in daily use for news production at many sites around the world. Some of the same benefits apply for production scripting, including:

Active update technology: all users are guaranteed to see script and rundown changes immediately, because updates are actively delivered by the server.

Rundown management with comprehensive timing facilities: no other system offers such an extensive set of script and running-order timing tools; such flexible and variable views of the rundown (including embedded video thumbnails, if required), or such easy management facilities including drag-and-drop running order changes, story float, segment-by-segment timing, real-time on-screen countdown clocks, and a host of others.

Integrated prompting: the teleprompter is fully integrated with the central database and no separate PC is required, therefore no download is necessary and there is no requirement to synchronize rundowns or databases. The prompt output is produced using Autocue’s QBox, which provides ultra-smooth, ultra-reliable scrolling, with a wide choice of fonts, colours, sizes and languages.


QScript - Markup

Innovative and award-winning workflow solution

The award-winning QScript integrates with an existing newsroom computer system to provide a real time mirrored copy of the script and rundown information, which a director or producer can use to add annotations or comments as though marking-up a printed script. The hand-written additions are then displayed on the screens of other users, for instance around the gallery or control room, rather than paper copies having to be distributed. QScript is appropriate for any live production that still relies on the printing, marking, copying and distribution of paper scripts, and can provide huge savings in time and cost by providing a truly paperless environment. Originally developed in conjunction with CNN, and winner of an RTS Award for Innovation, the system is relied upon daily by a number of regional and national news productions.

Features include:

Real-time rundown link: the software mirrors rundowns held on the NRCS (QNews, iNews, ENPS, or any other MOS-enabled system) and continuously reflects any updates or changes including adds, deletes, rewrites, reorders and floats. Changes are reflected with minimal delay.

Multiple script display with auto-advance: a variety of navigation options are provided to allow very rapid access to any part of any script, anywhere in the running order, as easily as shuffling paper in a traditional pile of paper scripts. Two scripts are displayed at a time in separate panels, typically used as views of the on-air and next items. A single action (i.e. clicking a screen button or pushing a hardware button) will advance both scripts at the same time.

Annotations: a unique feature is the use of ‘digital ink’ to allow annotations and comments to be added to the NRCS script. These mark-ups are saved as part of the script and become visible on the workstations of other users. In addition to writing or drawing, users can also highlight existing text with a coloured marker and insert customisable stamps, which provide an easy way for common notes or symbols to be entered.

Additional redundancy: all rundown and script information from the NRCS is retained, even if the NRCS itself, or the link to it, fails. In this event, QScript can be used as a backup during live production while the main system is restored.

Archive: as an option, it is possible to archive a complete show so that all rundown, script and annotation information is stored for future reference. This means that a marked-up copy of a director’s script can be retained electronically, rather than having to store a paper original.

Automation: QScript is, at heart, an implementation of the existing Autocue QNews NRCS system. It is specifically designed to be implemented as a front end to any existing newsroom system or indeed to any source of scripts in text form, and in such a configuration all of the prompting and automation capabilities of QNews are available as well as the special navigation and annotation tools. Therefore QScript could well be used as a way of adding additional functionality onto legacy systems, minimizing the upheaval and retraining necessary but adding the ability to drive on-air devices, subtitling and prompting.

The Wireless Option: The use of Tablet PC’s will add the ability to connect to a wireless network. Together with the ergonomic qualities of the QScript GUI, this offers a new and liberating aspect to QScript use, since it frees users from the necessity to sit at a fixed workstation. The user can take their tablet anywhere…newsroom, edit suite, graphics studio, control room…with continuity and convenience.

QScript has numerous ground-breaking features:

  • It mirrors the newsroom system’s rundown and is continuously updated with any changes including adds, deletes, updates, reorders and floats. It closes the loop between the newsroom, the automation system and the control room.
  • It is designed to run on a touch-screen or tablet workstation, and can support a wireless connection to allow it to be used anywhere within the news department (the workstation can also be a normal NRCS workstation at the same time as running QScript.
  • The user interface shows two separate scripts at once and allows rapid navigation around script pages within the entire rundown. A set of user-defined soft function keys (or icons) gives fast access to a range of functions.
  • A stylus can be used to highlight and change script text, and insert hand written instructions & annotations using either text recognition or pre-assigned stamps. These notations are saved on the script and are visible to any other user of the QScript system.
  • QScript can itself be easily and cost-effectively extended to provide prompting, subtitling and automation all based on the scripts and running orders received from the NRCS.