Here at Stone’s Throw Media we love tackling any fiendish posers you throw at us regarding all things video production, so here’s a blog post all about this head-scratcher in particular:
“What is a video script?”
OK, this one may not be as fiendish as some others we’ve had to navigate in the past, but it is still an interesting question and one that deserves an answer, so let’s get cracking!
So, what is a video script?
A video script is a lovely document containing the words you’ll hear being spoken by a voice-over artist during a video (simple enough, right?).
This script can be created by a video production company’s in-house writer, with input from the client, or by the client themselves.
It doesn’t really matter who writes it – just that it gets the job done!
Why is a video script important?
The script for the voice-over isn’t just thrown together at random, you know.
Instead, its words will have been carefully crafted to complement what the viewer sees on screen (the “visual”) with the dissemination (great word) of any information and key messages the client wants to get across.
Essentially, the video script marries together the visual and the audio to make the video mighty effective.
Does a video HAVE to have a video script?
In a word – no.
One of the great things about our industry is that an effective video production doesn’t have to contain the same elements every time.
Just like how you can create two delicious sandwiches using completely different ingredients, so too can we create two INCREDIBLE videos using different techniques or styles.
It’s true that the majority of our animated efforts have voice-overs, but they don’t have to – sometimes the use of on-screen text can get the job done too!
How do I write a good video script?
It doesn’t really matter how good your footage is if your script is terrible – as anyone who has seen ‘Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones’ will testify – so it’s really, REALLY important to get it right!
To do so, consider these tips.
Firstly, know who you are, and what your audience is.
A script can reflect your company’s whole ethos and the attitude which you want to present to the world.
Is your business based around being light-hearted? If so, make your video script friendly, warm, and cordial (yes, we know those three words mean pretty much the exact same thing, humour us).
If your business operates in a more formal world however – such as the financial industry, for example – you might want to make the script of your voice-over more professional and serious in tone.
Secondly, make sure that your video’s goal is crystal clear in your mind.
We regularly point out to our clients that our videos shouldn’t just be nice looking, or amusing, or cool to have.
They can be all of these things, of course, but more importantly they should be tackling a problem your organisation wants to eliminate.
“What is the point of this video?” and “What message do we want this video to convey to our audience?” may be simple questions, but they’re also the ones which underpin the writing of the script.
Thirdly, make sure your script is clear and concise.
Everybody in the Stone’s Throw team likes eating waffle, but we don’t want it in our scripts!
If your video is for a specialist audience and the script needs technical terms including in it then that’s totally fine, but the rest of it doesn’t need convoluted language. In other words, plain English please!
Finally, read and re-write.
Once you’ve had a stab at the first draft of your script, read through it – first in your head, and then out loud.
Does it sound right when said aloud? Are there any sentences in it you stumble over? Does it make sense to a listener?
Reading and re-writing is a pain. Nobody enjoys it. The thing is, it’s incredibly important, and it’s one of the key methods we here at Stone’s Throw use to turn our rough first drafts into wonderful, fully formed video scripts.
So there you have it – what a video script is, why it’s important to have one, and how to pen a good one. Thanks for reading!