Why is video script writing important?

You can probably work out that a video script writer…well, writes scripts for video. Obviously.

But do you know what that entails, and how else they assist with the video or animation process?

INITIAL MEETING

Not every animation we take on requires video script writing – a whiteboard animation typically doesn’t, for example – but for those that do the first port of call is always a meeting between the video script writer and the animation team.

In this initial meeting, we need as much information as possible thrown at us about the project and the client in question.

The more knowledge the video script writer can gain the merrier, but there are a couple of things they really need to know before they can think about writing a script for a voice-over:

1 – How long is the animation going to be?
2 – Who is the client, and what is their tone of voice?
3 – Is the voice-over going to be in the first/second/third person?
4 – What problem is the animation going to solve for the organisation?
5 – What ideas do the creative team have for the direction of the video?

With those fundamental questions answered – and with any documents/information from the client at hand – we can think about making a start!

RESEARCH

If there was to be one thing that would leave a video script writer lying awake at night in a cold sweat it would be a lack of understanding regarding what they were writing about.

Before the video script writing can take place, something very important needs to take place – research.

This consists of reading through any documentation sent over from the client, looking online to find out more about them and the product/service/initiative in question, and picking up the phone and speaking to the client if we are unsure about anything.

We love learning, and we have written scripts for videos on a whole host of topics. These include: blockchain, financial abuse, lymphoedema, enrollment processes and even fuel recirculation units!

WRITING AND VISUAL IDEAS

Once we are happy we know enough about the direction of the animation, the project, and the client, we can begin the writing process.

It’s difficult to describe the exact approach for a script as obviously every project is different, however we do try and consider each one as being a journey from A (the opening) to B (the “call to action” and conclusion) within which we need to hit every required key point. 

After the first draft is down, the internal feedback begins. 

We’ll pass the draft over to the project’s leader. They will then go through it – leaving comments and thoughts – before reading it with a timer running to see what length it comes in at. At this stage they may also note in their visual ideas to give the customer an idea of the picture that is building up. Of course, storyboarding will take place afterwards for more detail in this area.

If it’s not quite up to scratch and/or drastically over time, it’s back to re-writing!

Once we’re happy this stage is done, the draft is sent over to our client for their thoughts.

CLIENT REVIEW

We’re fully aware that no matter how much research we do we’ll never know the client (or their products/services/initiatives) like they do. 

This is why any changes/additions from the client at the review stage are important – they give the script more meat on its bones and makes the client an active participant in its creation.

Their contribution also provides us with clarification about whether or not the tone and style we’ve gone for in the draft is right for the organisation in question or not.

This is really important, as we need to make sure that the organisation is speaking to its target audience in their language.

Once the client has put their tweaks down it’s back to us for what will hopefully be the final time! 

FINAL STAGES

When the script is signed off by the client and the project moves over to my colleagues and onto the animation stage my involvement in the project dwindles…but doesn’t end!

We’ll be on hand to carry out a SPAG (spelling, punctuation, and grammar) check for any on-screen text the animation contains (if required), before doing the same for any subtitles put on the final version of the animation.

After that is done, the video script writing is done too – just in time to start on the next script!

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