The script is the heart of your video production. So what makes a good video script?
Concise, conversational and easy-to-read.
Video script writing is the exact opposite from technical writing or academic writing. Those forms of writing use complex sentences, ten-dollar words and are usually very wordy. That is NOT what you want with a video script.
First, keep in mind that a video script is to be read aloud. Viewers will HEAR it rather than READ it. Therein lies the major difference. It’s called writing for the ear instead of writing for the eye.
On a practical level, it is also writing for your narrator. No narrator, not even the really good ones, sound good stumbling through endless tongue twisters. Convoluted, run-on sentences are not only a nightmare to read; they are also hard for the audience to understand.
So forget everything you learned from those stodgy English teachers. (My best friend is an English teacher; that is not a criticism.) It’s ok for video scripts to be full of sentence fragments because that is how people actually talk. If it makes sense when heard, then that is what you want.
The single best way to evaluate a video script is to read it aloud. Have someone listen to you if possible and see how well they understand what you are saying. Do not worry about using short, choppy sentences if that is what SOUNDS good. Inflection, tone of voice and pacing will have a lot to do with how well the script is understood and those things do not come through on paper.
Back when I taught TV production, I told my high school students to write scripts by pretending they were speaking to a friend. If you wanted to tell a friend this story, what would you say? Write that down. Then, go back and modify it. Make it sound more professional. Make sure your needed details are there but cut out the fat. Make sure the meat is prominent. Make sure the words you have chosen are descriptive, colorful, yet easily pronounced and understood.
Video script writing is a style unto itself. Remember too that whatever video you use also conveys meaning. Ideally, the video and the spoken narration work together in order to communicate. So if your narrator says, “Political leaders spoke to the public,” and you show a hot air balloon deflating, then you have added considerable meaning without relying on words. That little trick is one of the things that makes video production so much fun! Make sure and click that link above to go to another post on script writing that gives several examples you can copy and use yourself.
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips.
Internet Video Gal