WRITE THE SCRIPT

What is a video script?

 

A video script is the written plan for your video project. It is a chronological list of scenes, action and dialogue that you want to appear in your video. It includes all the elements you want to use in your video. Some examples of elements you might want to include are:

People, places, props, costumes, subtitles, voiceover, sound effects, music and text.

 

Why write a video script? 

 

There are many reasons why creating a video script is important.

It will save you a lot of time and frustration when you begin and while you are filming. Another important reason for writing a video script is that it will give you the ability to make changes quickly and smoothly. The problems you may face trying to change any footage while the video is in post-production/editing can be minimized by writing and using your script. 

 

Writing a script can help encourage collaboration when making your video with a group. A lot of different people may want to have their ideas added. By writing a script and inviting feedback you will help facilitate the effort as a group. 

 

You can use tools like Google Docs script template to help yourself or everyone in your group to have their say on what to include and what to cut from the script. This allows you to use the power of different voices and different perspectives. 

 

Two Column Script Template-Google Docs:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ac58GtFu3z9vPbf9waVcMp_JfNWVFTGRyvI-_nGQF_Q/edit

 

Plan your script: 

It is important for you have a basic idea of what you are hoping to create. If you do not plan at the script stage, it could lead to unexpected frustrations as you work on your video project. If you come across any problems at the script stage, changes can easily be made.

Below are some important questions you may want to keep in mind as you are developing ideas about your video:

  • What is the video about?

  • Are you answering the contest question, Why Vote?

  • What are the key messages you want to get across?

  • What is the judging criteria?

 

How do I create a script for my video?

 

The script is a set of directions for whoever is shooting the video. If you are working with a group, you want the whole group to be clear about what is supposed to be happening with both the visual and audio elements before and during shooting the footage. 

 

Creating a simple table with two columns is an easy way to format your script. It is easy to read and to envision how the video will look and sound. Below is a brief two column video script example:

VISUAL

Out of the shadows, a figure slowly walks towards the camera...

The figure moves closer towards the camera. 

AUDIO

Tense instrumental music plays softly

The creaking of floor boards is heard 

Two children are heard whispering to each other, but the words can't quite be heard. Then you hear the children scream RUN!

You can add as many sections, columns and pages as you need to cover all the shots in your video.

 

Tips for writing your dialogue: 

 

  • Write it the way you would say it! 

  • Read your script out loud. This is the only way to find out if your dialogue sounds natural. If you make changes, read it out loud again.

  • When you are satisfied with your dialogue, you’ll know how much footage you need to shoot and what shots you need. 

  • If you’re using a voiceover, make sure you reflect this in your script and note that you will need to shoot some extra footage to accommodate pauses in the dialogue and visuals that you decide not to use. 

 

Write out your visual and audio elements: 

 

This is really important if you’re doing any sort of voiceover with visuals that cut to different shots. But even if your video is a single shot of someone talking, write the visual and audio into your script. 

 

Write your script, then trim to fit: 

 

You have 30 seconds to 3 minutes of video time to work with. 

You can plan for about 125 to 150 words of dialogue per minute. 

When you start writing, focus on saying everything you want to say, include any dialogue you want other people in your video to say. When you’ve got all the dialogue written, you can check your word count. You can then start editing your text until it fits your time limit. 

This method helps you to keep only the dialogue you need. 

 

Once you begin to shoot your video you should follow your script as much as possible. Minor changes are alright, but avoid making major changes. 

 

After you have completed your script you can start storyboarding!

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