At SolidLine Media, we realize scriptwriting can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Our in-house Scriptwriters make it seem very easy, but sometimes when our clients want to try writing scripts they get a little caught up in the process. We wanted to share some tips about scriptwriting, so we asked our best writers how they do it. Take a look below!
Questions To Consider
First and foremost, you’re going to want to do some research about the project and fully understand the goal of the video. The first step in SolidLine’s production process is to have our client fill out the Creative Brief, a list of basic but very important questions about the production. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself prior to writing a script:
- Who is the target audience?
- How long does the video need to be?
- What does the budget allow for animation, shooting locations, and number of actors?
Steps To Writing A Video Script
1) Write a concept. Once you’ve answered these basic questions, it’s time to write a production concept to establish what direction the video will take. It helps to section the concept into different categories, such as the video’s goals, what it will look like, and the content’s medium (video footage, motion graphics, or both). You may not realize it, but writing a concept is half the battle of scriptwriting, as it is the video’s foundation. Now, instead of just having ideas, you have something down in writing. Your plan is in place!
2) Make an outline. After any necessary approval is given on the concept, take some time to jot down an outline of your script. Outlines work for everyone differently, but they serve the same basic purpose: they are the roadmap to your video. An outline may include notes about how you want to open and close the script, what your main points or scenarios will be, and any additional details to support those topics.
3) Write your first draft. Here comes the fun part! When we say ‘first’ draft we actually mean ‘rough’ draft. This draft is basically extended versions of your concept and outline combined together. The information may not have the best flow, but that’s ok. At this stage, just concentrate on getting the information down while using full sentences rather than notes. Keep an open mind and just write! The perfectionist in you can come out later.
4) Write your second draft. The next order of business is refining the rough draft and condensing the content. Cutting out the unnecessary ‘fluff’ starts here. Trust us, it’s harder to write a :90 script than a 2-minute script, because cutting information can be tricky and everything in your first draft seems vital. However, once you start sifting through the info and omitting certain pieces, you’ll be surprised to see how much your word count has gone down.
5) Write your third… Ok. You get get the picture. It’s true, you’re going to write and re-write this thing probably half a dozen times. There is absolutely nothing wrong with perfecting a script until you feel it’s 100% where you want it to be. It always helps to have someone proofread it for you, even if you don’t think it’s ready for proofing. Someone else’s perspective other than your own will present new ways of expressing the information and offer solutions if you’re stumped.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun!
Scriptwriting does not have to be difficult. In fact, we think it’s pretty fun! Keep an open mind while writing a script and don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re getting frustrated. Taking necessary breaks is key to good writing. Also, keep in mind that 144 words on black and white translates to one minute of spoken word. So, if you’re shooting for a :90 to 2 minute video, a 210-300 word count is where you’ll want to land.
If you’d like to learn more about our video production process, click here.