Kersh Media

Script Writing for Video

Our experienced, BBC trained team will work with you to understand your requirements and create a powerful script which complements the pictures we’ll see on screen.

Once the first draft is complete, we’ll work with you to refine and amend the script as necessary to ensure it’s well written, accurate and effective.

Our professional and creative team will help ensure your script is properly structured with a clear beginning, middle and end. And we’ll help you avoid common pitfalls like “script bloat”.

Good script writing is about good story telling and is the foundation of your production. It’s also much more cost effective to make changes at the pre-production, scripting stage, rather than wait until your project has been shot and edited.

Which is why Kersh Media include as many script re-writes as you may require at the pre-production stage at no extra cost.

Thoughts on Script Writing by Ron Whittaker

When I am asked to write a script, there are several basic questions that immediately come to mind that I need to ask the client:

  • What is this video supposed to accomplish?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • When and where will the video be shown?
  • What information do you want me to include, and how do you want me to present it?
  • What are the available resources and budget?
  • With whom will I work on this?
  • Who will approve the final draft?
  • What is the deadline?

I do my research and gather all the background information I think I will need. I try to understand my audience’s perceptions and attitudes. If I have to get my hands greasy by working on an assembly line in order to understand a process that I have to write about, then I do it.
I have to choose what concepts I will utilize to grab (the hook) and hold my audience’s attention. Here are some concepts to be used that are listed in INFO-LINES’s Write Successful Video Scripts:

  • Talking head. One person on camera delivers a straightforward presentation. The camera occasionally cuts to simple visuals such as charts, lists, or graphs.
  • Spontaneous interview. One person equipped with points to cover or questions interviews an expert on the topic.
  • Staged interview. Both participants have scripted parts. The interviewer asks prepared questions, and the interviewee responds with prepared answers.
  • Documentary. A narrator, usually off camera, takes the audience on a visual tour, reporting on the program topic.
    Voice-over narration. Visuals are accompanied by narration from someone off camera. The narrator may describe a job procedure being demonstrated or may comment on other types of visuals.
  • Demonstration. The person on camera describes while demonstrating.
  • Dramatization. Actors play roles in a scripted story.
  • Animation. Cartoon characters provide instruction.

I must be able to write my script logically step by step so my audience understands what is actually going on. I can’t lose them. Smooth transitions are required when I cut from scene to scene. Important points will be hammered home by using both video and graphics. If I can, I will repeat those points before the ending of the script.

When I write, I prefer to use the two-column audio/video format that shows the shot-by-shot relationship between the video column on the left and the audio column on the right. For the visual aspect of the story, I need to have and maintain a dynamic flow involving composition and camera positions. Here are some basic camera positions to be used that are listed in INFO-LINES’s Create Quality Videos:

  • Long shot. Provides a general view of subject and setting; establishes the scene by showing viewers all the visual elements in the scene; when applicable, shows how the size of the subject relates to other elements in the scene.
  • Medium shot. Provides a closer view of subject and eliminates unnecessary elements and background; covers about two-thirds of subject from head room to knees of subject standing.
  • Close-up. Concentrates on subject, excludes all other details of background.
  • Medium long shot. Closer than a long shot and includes more detail than a medium shot.
  • Medium close-up. Covers subject approximately from elbows to head room when sitting; shows good facial detail and some background; the preferred shot for newscasters, it is considered the most comfortable distance for viewers watching a subject who is talking directly to the camera.
  • Extreme long shot. Shows all background and details of a scene; more comprehensive than a basic long shot.
  • Extreme close-up. Limited to the subject’s face; creates a sense of immediacy and intimacy and has great impact on the viewer.
  • Objective. Camera records images from the observer’s viewpoint.
  • Subjective. Camera records what the subject sees; shots of equipment operations or processes may be taken from a high angle over the subject’s shoulder.

So I write my first draft. I have a great hook that captures my audience’s attention, and my closing nails down the story. I think I have kept one step ahead of my audience by answering every basic question I think they might ask themselves as they watch the video.

My visual presentation seems to be dynamic, not static. I inject a little humor into the script to change the pace. I think the style I use will hold the audience’s interest, and they will be satisfied at the end. Good stuff.

Did I tell you though that scriptwriting is a challenging endeavor? I think I did. Did you know that you can have the equivalent of a bad hair day in video production? It happens. You have the audio, you have the video, you mix it together, and it just doesn’t jell. This doesn’t happen often, but I have had to rewrite portions of some approved scripts down at the production studio as the videos were being produced.

After writing my first draft, I will probably have to rewrite my script a few more times. But that’s the only way to finish the business at hand. Rewrite! Rewrite! Rewrite! Until the video is finished.

Article courtesy; The Script: The Key Element in a Production, by Ron Whittaker

Read Ron Whittaker’s blog here

Kersh Media

We're based near the M25 and London. Video Production Kent, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Ashford, Dover, London, Canterbury, Thanet, Dartford, Surrey, Sussex, Essex

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