Simple tips for scripting great video products

When you finish the research for your video product, it’s time to start the script. Don’t let the research drag on too long. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that they need to go on gathering information before they can begin to write a script. This is one of the deadliest forms of procrastination; we feel like we’re working all the time, but when the day is over we haven’t gotten anything done.

The only way to avoid this trap is by setting deadlines. Establish a clear time frame for your research. It’s always good to give yourself not quite enough time to get the job done-then start writing the script. During the scripting process, you will make new connections that show you how to enrich the script by adding to it or taking away from it. Invariably I find myself needing to do new research in the middle of a script as new ideas push their way to the surface.

The more I work at this, the less up-front time I spend researching a project-I know that the scripting process will trigger new insights that call for new research as discoveries are made, so how do I know what to research before I get it all down on paper? The bolder I become as a writer and project developer, the less time I spend on research before I write a first draft of my script.

People with little experience in business-and I’m talking about any business, not just video production-believe in the myth that good decisions are based on facts. All successful entrepreneurs and business people know that good decisions are based on opinions. Start with a hunch based on experience and intuition, then apply your skill and ability to develop that concept into a script. The best time to research your facts is after you’ve finished a first draft of your script.

Depending on the type of video you decide to create, you may want to write a storyboard along with your final script. A storyboard is a visual representation, drawing by drawing, of what the key scenes in your video will look like. A storyboard helps you see the whole video in your mind before you shoot it, and it is one of the best ways to trigger your creativity. Cartoons and animated films use very detailed storyboards, of course, and many directors of live action also use storyboards.

If you are planning to hire the services of a production company to create your video, make sure to work closely with them during the planning process. If you are creating a how-to or motivational video in your area of expertise, you are the best person to write the script. Concentrate on getting your ideas on paper and then work with the production company to arrive at a final script.

One last tip: Use humor whenever the script allows for it. Laughter is one of the best ways to connect to your audience and build a bond of trust.