6 Ways to Craft a Great Script

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

by Digital Strategist and Script Writer Laura Wolfart, Digital Brew

When working on a video project, for fun or for a client, it is always a good idea to start the process by drafting a script.

A script will give you the structure necessary to turn that single daunting project into multiple smaller, and more digestible goals. It also helps you and your team to stay on track while out on shoots. And as a big added bonus, it shows your clients that you are organized and prepared.

With all those advantages, there are no excuses to not work on your script writing skills. Follow this tips to rock your next video.

1. Formatting

The best way to view the verbal part of the script along with the visual components of your video is to divide your page into two columns. I prefer to start writing the verbal part of the story first and then I come up with the visuals. But I have spoken to people who prefer doing it the other way around too.

Here’s an example of how I format my scripts.

2.Story

A great way to start off your script is by jotting down the ideas you have for your storyline. At this point, you don’t have to worry about how good it looks. Just dump your ideas onto paper, or onto the screen. What you are trying to accomplish here is coming up with a theme for your story.

Make sure to include every little detail you can think of. You may not use all of your ideas in your video, but it’s always good to have something to refer back to if you feel lost or start suffering from writer’s block.

3. Characters

Your characters work as the glue between your video and your audience since it is through the characters that the audience will form an emotional connection. That’s why it’s worth spending some time at this stage to create solid characters that people can relate to.

If you are working with short videos, stick to one character. Three max! As you need to give each of the characters a chance to “interact” with the audience enough to create an emotional bond between them.

4. Goals

It’s time to define the character’s goals. Every good story contains a well-defined goal that the characters are trying to achieve. Remember the Wizard of Oz? Each of the main characters were looking for something. Dorothy was trying to find her way back home. The lion was looking for courage. The tin man was looking for a heart. And the scarecrow was looking for a brain. So what are your character’s goals?

5. Conflict

What is stopping your character from achieving their goals? What obstacles will they find while on their journey? That’s called conflict. And you need to create conflict in your story for your audience to care. Why? Real life is not easy and perfect. To make your story realistic and your characters more relatable you need to make them work for their goals. By doing this your audience has the opportunity to sympathize with your characters.

6. Resolution

Your audience has stuck around to watch your video because they formed an emotional connection to your characters. They saw them going through some sort of conflict. The reason why they will watch the entire video is to find out how the conflict will be solved.

For corporate videos, you want to make sure the solution to the character’s problem happened because of your company if you are working on a video for yourself, or your client’s company if you are making a video for them. Let the audience know that you were able to provide your characters with the tools necessary to make it all happen.

Feeling ready to start? I certainly hope so. It’s extremely fulfilling to watch your scripts come to life in the form of a well-produced video. Good luck!

About Digital Brew

A full-service video production company that believes in forming connections through visual storytelling. Inspired by your ideas and goals, they craft explainer videos, film logo animation, brand videos, commercials, and just about any type of video your company needs. The team thrives on giving you tools that drive measurable success.

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Comments
  • Nick Sabadosh said…
    Tuesday, October 11, 2016 2:31 PM
    So I agree, a script can be essential. "Story" is indeed what can separate a great production from a poor one (and this applies as much to Hollywood as well!)

    But as long as you're going to do it, may as well learn the proper format. It's ok to start with something rough like the 2-column concept you propose, but why not just go that next step and learn the correct way. I recommend everyone search for "spec script formatting" to find plenty of examples and guidance. Also many of great books on the topic.
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