Essential Tips for Writing a Video Script

A video script is the story you want to tell in your video. With a video script, you give the guidelines for what should appear in the video and when. This can go as far and be extensive as you want. You can choose to have actors or colleagues memorize the script and reproduce it word for word or allow it to be more improvised. Your script should also contain how angles should be shot, what the lighting is like, the props, and basically everything that appears on the screen. It is key to have your shots well thought out ahead of time to properly tell your story. For instance, if you are filming a nature movie or a scene about someone winning a bunch of money in a live casino not on GamStop UK you will need very different shots. Where the first contains more wide angles with lots of background, and the latter should be a close up that catches the emotions of the actor. 

Of course, there are exceptions, like you can also hold an interview where you only put the questions on paper in the first instance and let the interviewee answer the questions. But you should still have an idea of how you want the conversation to go, and where your camera will be focused. 

A strict script versus a more improvised one have their advantages and disadvantages. By only putting objectives on paper, you have to have a lot of confidence in the speaker that he or she adheres to the goal of the video. That is why we advocate writing a video script that is as complete as possible. In addition, it is wise to read the script aloud several times.

It is also important that you write a video script to give proper control and flow to the content of your video, in order to tell the best story. This includes a clear:

  • Introduction
  • Core message
  • Catchy close and goal

What Happens If You Work Without a Video Script?

There are many things that can go wrong without proper planning, but some examples are as follows:

Your video will be much longer than you planned

Without a video script, it also means that speakers might not have much structure in their speaking. You will often notice that a lot of information is repeated, but worded just slightly differently. It is then difficult for the editor to cut out the core of the story. The result is a video that is too long for what you had in mind.

You Deviate From the Topic

We are only human and we often use other examples when we want to give strength to a story. That also happens if you record a video without making a script. All kinds of examples are cited to give the story strength, but often this works contradictory. The actual subject is forgotten and the video eventually deviates from the subject. And then trying to get someone back to the subject without a script is a whole new challenge.

You Don’t Answer the Questions & Give Irrelevant Information

This is closely related to the above point. By not making a script you miss the structure that you normally apply in a script. Your introduction may be too long and you miss the point. You give too much irrelevant information and miss the clear conclusion at the end.

Your shots don’t make sense

Lighting and angles are crucial to a story, if you are just following around actors or speakers with no plan, your video will likely be sloppy, look bad, and may even be confusing, Planning how your camera person will move is key to telling a good story.

Creating a script: How Do You Do It?

You can immediately start writing or creating a video script. For example, you have an idea in your head and you start immediately. Get a rough draft down with all your ideas and worry about the structure second. It is better to take a step back, leave the video script for what it is and go back to basics. Then after some time, worry more deeply about the structure as follows, 

What Purpose Do You Have With Your Video?

Writing a script is largely about sticking to lines and letting go of them. Writing the screenplay guides filming, but is not written in stone. You must take into account that once a script has been written, it can change during the filming process. Still, it’s important to write a script so that you don’t stray from the message. In addition, the script and its execution depend on the circumstances and the actors. So be flexible and open to changes.

A script contains descriptions, actions and dialogue. When writing a screenplay, you only write what you see or hear in the video, nothing else. So no thoughts, or feelings about underlying messages. These interpretations are added during filming. Always keep the purpose of your video in mind when creating the script to prevent the message from being misunderstood.

Start With a Goal & Choose the Right Shape

What kind of video do you want to make? And what goal do you have with your video script? A company video or corporate video is very different from a testimonial video and both have a different purpose. Do you want to generate leads or achieve conversions? Then you need a different script than if you want to make a video that mainly has an informative character and contributes to your brand awareness. So before you start writing a video script, you should first think about the purpose of your video.

Think of videos like:

  • Teaser video
  • Presentation of content
  • Corporate presentation of your company
  • Interview with customers, relations or colleagues
  • Customer video, such as a testimonial video

Only when you have determined your goal and form can you start with the brief? You’re not going to write the script yet.

Start With a Brief

Although it may seem that you can skip this, we do not recommend it. By starting with a briefing, you get all team members involved in this project on the same page. Answer questions some may have. It is possible that new questions will arise that you have not yet thought of yourself.

If you skip this step, and your employer or colleague wants to change the script halfway through the project, you will have a problem and you can start over. Prevent this with a clear briefing, where everyone has the opportunity to ask questions.

When discussion points come your way that hinders progress, you can refer to the briefing. This outlines the process and sets out the agreements made in black and white.

TIP: Make sure your project team isn’t too big. Two know more than one, but a team of five people or more creates confusion and unnecessary video delays.

Focus on the Goals & the Subject

A briefing does not have to be very formal or meet specific requirements. But there are many questions that should not be missing from the briefing. These are the ‘ video script questions ‘. Answering these questions will give you a clear view of what your video script needs.

What Is the Purpose of the Video?

As mentioned above, make sure that you also have a clear view of the purpose of your video during the briefing of your team members. Ask yourself “Why are we making this video in the first place?” Don’t make videos because you want to make videos. Because a video without a goal will ultimately not yield anything for your company.

With all that said, everyone’s script writing process can be a bit different and that is okay, but do not underestimate the power of having a script before you film. Though it takes some time initially, it will save a lot of work later and will make for a much better story told through your video!

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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