How to Write a Video Script

So you’ve satisfied your boss to begin utilizing video—good work! Of course, now’s when the arduous work begins. And in the event you’ve by no means written a video script earlier than, it may well appear a little intimidating. After all, the very best movies hardly appear scripted in any respect. But regardless of how down-to-earth, genuine, or quirky a video may be, it positively began with a script.

Writing a script is totally different than writing a textual content piece—hold studying to discover out precisely how. But even in the event you’re a scriptwriting beginner, there’s a dependable workflow that you may depend on to get it executed:

1. Identify your objective and your viewers

Before you ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, extra doubtless), you want to reply a few questions. Why are you making this video? Who is the viewer? And what downside may this video clear up for them?

It’s solely with a clear objective and a imaginative and prescient that you may make an efficient video. The solutions to these three questions kind the muse of the work you’ll do in Steps 2 and three, so be considerate and get alignment from key stakeholders earlier than you progress ahead.

2. Figure out your hook and your name to motion

Your video wants a hook. Kicking issues off with a component of shock or introducing a feeling of suspense might be efficient, however you don’t want to attempt too arduous. Your hook might be so simple as introducing the issue you recognized in Step 1. You’ll draw viewers in by briefly describing a problem that resonates with them, after which explaining the way you’ll clear up the difficulty by the tip of the video.

Speaking of the tip of the video, it ought to shut with a clear name to motion, and that is the place you may refer again to your video’s objective. Tell viewers precisely what you need them to do subsequent, whether or not it’s subscribing to your e-mail record for extra suggestions, following your model on social media, or downloading an e-book.

three. Create a top level view

Once you recognize the place your video begins and ends, you can begin connecting the dots. Create a detailed define, with a clear part for every a part of your video—the hook, the center (the place you dive into your subject), and the conclusion/name to motion. Every factor in your define ought to align together with your objective and the subject at hand. During this step, you may start deciding which elements of your video might be represented visually utilizing b roll or graphics.

four. Write your tough draft utilizing a script template

Alright, it’s lastly time to start writing! Video scripts must be written in a two-column script template like this one. One column will include the phrases your on-camera expertise will say, whereas the opposite column contains cues for visible components and descriptions of what’s occurring in the course of the voiceover (or VO, because it’s extra generally known as).

Writing for a script is a little totally different than writing a textual content piece. In order to obtain readability inside the tight confines of a video, your script wants to be so simple as doable. For one factor, your sentences must be brief. If your sentence accommodates a number of clauses, it’s most likely too lengthy! As you write, preserve a conversational tone and use phrases that you simply’d use when talking out loud—you’re aiming for naturalism right here. It helps in case you are accustomed to the voice of your on-camera expertise; hold them in thoughts as you write.

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Overall, it is best to attempt to clarify your idea as briefly as you may. Even a script that appears brief can flip painfully lengthy when it’s learn out loud. A superb rule of thumb is that 100–150 phrases provides you with about 60 seconds of video.

5. Edit ruthlessly

When the phrases are lastly on paper and you are feeling such as you’ve lined all the things out of your define, the arduous half begins. Editing is extra important than ever when it comes to video scripts. Cast a important eye over your work, searching for a few key fixes:

  • Can any phrases get replaced with easier choices? Don’t say “implement” when you may say “do” as a substitute. You’ll get further factors in the event you can exchange a whole phrase with a single phrase (instance: exchange “due to the fact that” with “because”).
  • Can any sentences be simplified? Remember, the easier the higher. You’re not insulting the intelligence of your viewers by making issues easy—you’re making your message extra clear.
  • Can any of those ideas be represented visually, quite than by way of VO? You need to present, not inform. If a idea might be proven by way of b roll as a substitute of being described out loud, take it out of your VO and transfer it into the “video” column of your script.

6. Read it out loud—and edit once more

When you’re feeling like your script is as concise and clear because it’s going to get, it’s time to learn it out loud. Inevitably, you’ll encounter phrases and phrases that sound unnatural whenever you say them out loud, otherwise you’ll stumble by way of a sure sentence. Edit these elements of your script till you may simply learn it right through. Time your self as you learn, pausing for any visible components that want to stand on their very own. If you’re in the precise ballpark for the video size you’re aiming for—nice job! If not, hold enhancing.

Finally, have your on-camera expertise learn the script for you. If they’re stumbling over any phrases or phrases, work out how to simplify or rephrase them.

7. Put it within the prompter

Congrats, you will have a script! Now it’s time to shoot. Here at Brightcove, we use an Autocue Teleprompter in order that our expertise doesn’t want to memorize their strains. It helps to convert your script to all caps (you may convert from sentence case to all caps simply in Word, or in Google Docs with the “Change Case” add-on) in order that the prompter is straightforward to learn from a distance of a number of toes—you don’t need any squinting! Make positive there aren’t any pointless gaps or areas in your script; these could lead to awkward pauses when the Teleprompter is clean for too lengthy.

You could discover that your script wants a few last-minute tweaks—be on-set together with your expertise in the course of the shoot so you may make edits on the fly and reload the prompter.

Now that you simply’re prepped for writing participating video scripts, you’re prepared to find out how to optimize video campaigns for conversion, tailor your movies for various advertising and marketing channels, and maximize your video viewers. You can discover all that and extra in our e-book, The Video Marketing Master Class.

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