Your Script is Your Lifeline
Bebe is sitting in a café sipping a latte. Her laptop rests on her knees, and she is eager to crack into writing her first video script.
In the beginning, like most people, she just wanted to jump in front of the camera, press the record button, and start talking about her passion for what she does, and why she does it, and how she helps her target audience. However she cringes when she looks back at her early filming attempts at “winging it”. She promised herself that she is never again going to sit through hours of rambling, awkward, disorganized footage wondering if she can pull something out of it during the post-shoot editing process that is worthy of sharing with her target audience.
Bebe wants to “do it right the first time” from now on, and save herself lots of time and frustration. A friend told her about the “7 P” rule which she recalled as being something like, “Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance”. Maybe there were only 6 P’s? Regardless, Bebe decides that she needs a template to help her script out what she wants to say as well as what the she wants her audience to see and experience; an all-in-one script template that she can use for every video that she produces in the future.
What is a Video Script?
A video script is your step by step plan for creating the complete viewer experience.
When people hear the word “script” they typically think of it as being “the words” that get spoken, but a video script goes way beyond that. Your script is the framework or blueprint for your entire video production process. It guides you through the journey from planning, to filming, to editing, and eventually releasing your video presentation to your audience. Your script is the glue that keeps everything together, and your lifeline when “stuff” hits the fan.
You must remember that video is a visual medium. If it was just about “the words” you speak, you might as well just record an audio podcast that your audience could listen to in the car while driving to work. With video presentations, you just don’t “tell” your audience your story, you “show” them.
When it comes to delivering effective video presentations, a good script will create a more structured filming process, which means you will make fewer mistakes, and waste less time.
When you know exactly what to do, what to say, and what to show your audience, everything goes much more smoothly on shoot day. A good script will help you stay focused and on topic. Having a good script will make you feel less nervous too, so you will appear more confident on screen.
Your script will contain these essential components…(more in the book)
What’s Your Story?
Before we get into how to create and document your video script, first let’s rewind and learn about the aspects of good storytelling. You might only be filming a 30-second introductory video to your website, but every good script tells a story of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a complicated story, but every good story has a structure.
Your story needs to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Every good story needs a protagonist or “hero” as well. The hero is who or what your video is all about. The hero is the main subject of your video and could be a person, your target customer, product, service, or brand.
Ideally your viewers intuitively “get” what your story is about, without you needing to explicitly spell it out for them. Your story should appeal to their emotions in some way. If you are in business, ideally your story should spur your viewers to take the desired action after watching it too.
If you are in the business of selling something, entertainment is all well and good, but telling a story just for the sake of it may attract attention and viewers, but not necessarily buyers. Many advertisers have made this costly mistake. They have created some amazing, funny commercials over the years, but when viewers are interviewed afterward, many of them don’t even recall what brand the commercial was for, let alone what action the advertisers wanted them to take after having viewed the ad.
One memorable example was a TV commercial a few years back for the Japanese automobile manufacturer Mazda. The ad had a catchy theme tune, with a “Zoom Zoom Zoom” chorus that everyone knew and could sing the words to. However, when viewers were asked what car was being advertised, most people said “Toyota”.
Millions of advertising dollars have been poured down the drain creating TV commercials that win creative awards for the advertising agency, but don’t sell any product for the brand paying for the advertising campaign.
This is another example of the key principle I mentioned at the beginning of the book. We must begin with the end in mind. Once we know the outcome we want to achieve, we can design the story our video is going to tell to fulfill that purpose.
All of this may sound a bit overwhelming, particularly if storytelling feels like a foreign concept to you. Don’t worry, because I am here to tell you that there is a proven “formula” for telling stories, and once you know the formula everything just clicks into place.
To help you understand the formula, we first need to understand these key concepts…….(more in the book)
Where I can, I’ll share more chapter excerpts with you covering various topics from the book. Also if you want to be notified of the book release date, plus get access to exclusive “behind the scenes” goodies like my personal tools and checklists, templates, downloads and illustrations to help you with your video presentations, then let me know here.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Ps: Have a burning question? Want me to cover a topic? Reach out to me here.
Or perhaps you are stuck and need a little guidance? Let me know your worries here.
Otherwise, keep creating and keep it fun!