Scriptwriting For the Newbie

It might seem like an easy task to create a video to put on YouTube, but they take quite a bit of planning and even some trial and error in order to make them flow naturally and get a point across. Sadly, so many videos out there leave something to be desired because the planning time just wasn’t there before the camera started rolling. In an effort to rid the world of unfortunate videos, we’ve put together this list of tips for making a great one.

Get ready for your close up!

Create a storyboard

The first thing you need to do is have a clear goal for your video. Do you want to sell a product, improve your engagement on YouTube, or demonstrate a skill?  Whatever it is, you’ll want to create a storyboard that maps out the following:

  • How long the video will be
  • The order in which things will happen
  • What will be said in the script

Not all videos will need a script. If you decide that yours doesn’t need one, it’s even more important to have a storyboard before you turn that camera on. It’ll help keep the flow of your video on track and act as your guide during filming.

Writing your script

If your video does require a script, make sure it’s written in language your audience will understand and relate to. For example, if you’re demonstrating something technical, but your audience is the general public, you’ll want to explain things in layman’s terms. Your script should say exactly what each person in the video will say, word for word and who will say it.

When the script is being read, it should sound natural and the people who are speaking should appear to be relaxed on camera. If folks in the video are nervous or aren’t sure what to say, it’s going to come across poorly, so try to choose someone who well prepared and comfortable in front of the lens. Practicing with a few dry runs with the camera turned off before filming is helpful in soothing the jitters too.

Get your visuals together

While you’re working on the script, think about what kinds of visuals you can add to your video. Any time you can use charts, photos or other graphical elements, your ideas will come across more easily. Visual elements will help reinforce your message so use them as much as you can. You can even script in some things to include in postproduction.

Include every detail

Even details like wardrobe, shooting locations, camera angles and types of shots belong in your script. Also, don’t forget to include the actions the folks in the video take and what kind of music or sound effects will be played.

Scriptwriting takes patience

Don’t be surprised if your script takes a lot longer to write than you thought it would. That’s totally fine. It’s a skill that takes a long time to master and some people spend their whole careers working on it. So, don’t worry and don’t be in a rush. Invest the time so that your script presents your message in a way that’s compelling and to the point. After all, you only have a viewer’s attention for a short time. Make it count!

Leave a Comment