A video script is a product of Concept, Structure, Content, Style, and Format. Mindfulness to the role of each of these elements will result in scripts that are targeted to the audience and goal of the video.
An attention grabbing Opening and a memorable Closing that ties all of your content together are vital to the success of your video.
Let’s begin with the Concept. The Concept is the instrument used to share your story. A standard voice-over-picture video is very common but not very creative. Incorporating music, prerecorded video clips and/or interesting images will help your video stand out.
Ideas for an educational video:
• Students or children participating in an event
• Teacher/Student testimonial
• Pictures/Video of students artwork, dance or song
• Video of scenery, location, cultural significance
• Or a combination of the above.
Structure is the way you build your story. The structure of your video should engage your audience and provide transition points. Transition points are imperative to your script. They provide a smooth transition from one tone to another. You can do this by a shift in music, a change of thought, a turn from narration to testimonial, or from dialogue to visual montage. The transition points are used to move the audience toward a goal. In the simplest terms: Beginning, Middle and End.
The most common structure for informational videos is:
• Call to Action
The educational video example could be structured in several ways:
• To follow one concept from creation to explanation
• Or by switching back and forth from the student’s, the teachers’, the experts, and the participants’ points of view.
The structural outline is further developed into a content outline by digging deeper into your story.
Content is what goes into the script. A video project with an unclear goal will have many problems and take twice as long – or longer – to produce. When in doubt, throw it out. Less is More.
Style affects the look and feel of the video. Many education production styles are patterned after broadcast television styles such as news documentaries, PBS, BBC, and National Geographic.
Speaking of style, what is your writing style? Remember you are writing for show so give it some depth, an attitude and some flare. Complicated sentences full of commas and clauses have no place in a video script. Short declarative sentences and phrases give meaning to the narration. Wondering if you are on the right track? – Trying reading your copy aloud while you type.
The opening is the most crucial element of the script. In a 6 minute video, the first 30-45 seconds should introduce the subject, the concept, the questions, and the style. Most importantly, the opening needs to engage and stimulate your audience.
How to end your video? A great format will bring the script to completion without having to impose an ending.
Know your audience, find a strong concept and engage the viewer, and use strong structure and educational content rather than style to deliver your message
A few more script writing tips:
A. Capture the correct tone and setting for your message.
B. Students and teachers want to watch videos that are educational and to the point.
C. There should be no punctuation or proofreading errors. A dropped comma or a missing question mark can change a meaning. Make it clean and professional.
D. Do your research and read as many scripts as you can. You will find and generate some great ideas!
E. Have a theme. Be sure what your video is about and be clear on exactly what you want to convey.
F. Avoid inserting explanations or clarifications of things that aren’t revealed in dialogue or action. If it hasn’t been given before, there’s no point to it and the forward motion of the story stops. Keep it short and sweet; this allows the video to portray your ideas smoothly.
G. Never pad your video with dialogue and scenes that are added only to fill up space.