How do you turn your ideas into gold? By writing a script, of course! It’s the backbone of every successful video production. Whether it be for an advertisement, promotional video, or a TV show, scripts are essential because they keep everyone on track and make sure that the final product is well planned out and cohesive.
If you are new to scripted writing, don’t worry! The following list is your step-by-step guide to creating the perfect video for your next project.
Choose Your Audience
This is an essential component of any form of marketing or writing. When creating content, you must always have a specific client in mind; otherwise, it won’t be effective. It may be tempting to make it general to reach as many potential consumers as possible, but this strategy seldom works. Don’t give in to this temptation, as something that appeals to the masses will most likely go unnoticed.
What’s Your Goal?
This may seem pretty obvious to many, but it’s a common mistake that people make. Before starting anything, you have to know why you are writing or producing the video and what results you want to see. This is particularly important if working with a team, as it ensures everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objective.
Now that you know what you want to achieve, it’s time to get inspired. Watch commercials and other videos that have achieved the results you’re looking for. Take note of how they are structured, the type of language used, and the overall feel of the video. Even if you aim to have the most original content, taking inspiration from other successful videos or script examples is never a bad idea. Take what you’ve learned from others and use it as inspiration to get creative with your ideas.
Once you have the essentials down, it’s time to brainstorm a script outline. Try free-writing as many ideas as possible without editing them down. Jot down any words or phrases that come to mind, and don’t judge yourself for anything you put on paper – just write!
If you are working with a team, get together in a room and start bouncing off ideas. Brainstorm as a group by writing everyone’s ideas on the board and adding to them over time. With enough people, you can generate dozens of great concepts from the start!
Write Out Visual and Audio
A simple table with two columns, one for audio and another one for visual elements, is the easiest video script template you can use. It’s easy to read and understand, and it will help everyone get a clear idea of how the video will look and sound.
Even if you are producing a single shot of someone talking directly to the camera, write out visual and audio aspects like callouts for B-roll, hand gestures, pauses, and emphasis on certain words for comedic or dramatic effect.
Write and Trim the Dialogue
Scriptwriting is like sculpting: you start with a big block of marble and keep chipping away until your masterpiece emerges. When writing your script outline, concentrate on conveying everything you want to say. Once you’ve finished all of the dialogue, check your word count and then start cutting and rearranging until it fits your time limit.
What’s the ideal word count?
You’ll need to figure out how much time you have, depending on the type of video you are producing. You may need to cram everything into 15 or 30 seconds which are standard commercial times, or in some cases, you might have a lot more time than that. Regardless, plan for 125 to 150 words of speech per minute.
Go Back and Polish It Up
Take some time off and come back to your script with a clear head. Read through it again, focusing on cutting out any redundancies and making sure every word counts. Check for grammar mistakes, typos, and ensure that the tone of your video matches the tone you want to set with your customers.
Share Your Script
Once you have a final, polished version of your script, share it with the team who will be producing the video. They may have some great ideas for how to make your vision come to life on screen. You can have a table read or even act it out with your team members.
Be open to possible suggestions as well as criticism, and always ask questions, so you understand what your team needs from you in future projects. Remember: a well-crafted video script will save time in post-production because it already looks at all the angles necessary for an effective commercial!
Get Feedback and Edit
Encourage your team to offer feedback, and make sure you write it down. Then take a step back and re-evaluate whether you want to make any changes before shooting with a business or by yourself starts. If you decide to implement any changes, share the script with your team again for a final round of feedback. The amount of time you take to develop your video script will save stress and costs in post-production, which is why everyone involved must understand what they need to do for successful results.