Some videos get off the rails before they even start.
One of my mantras with video production is to make sure the script is written before you start any other stages of the production. The script must come first.
It’s amazing how often Stephen Covey’s 7 habits keep rearing their head in business. And in video production. Put first things first.
Everything that goes into the production comes from the script. Sometimes people think they understand what needs to be covered and just get started, only to realize they need to go back and film some more things or worse end up with critical parts missing from their video.
The reason I insist on getting the script 100% right first, is for three reasons:
1. It ensures you have clarity on your message and the concept
2. It makes the production process smoother and more enjoyable
3. It means you only spend what you have to and aren’t doubling or tripling your expenses because you are redoing activities.
To help make sure your script is correct to ask colleagues to check it and give their input. If you’ve missed the mark or left out a key point, it is better to sort it out in the writing stage. The writing stage is the cheapest part of the production process and yet it is the most critical. It is the blueprint for your video. If you were building a house you would want to make sure it has the right number of rooms and is facing the right way. So it is with script writing. Does it have the right amount of topics covered and is it heading in the right direction?
Also, remember if you are writing a script for a video, then the visuals are just as important (if not more) than the commentary. Be as detailed as possible with the visuals and bear in mind you will need plenty of images to support your story. One image per 1 minute of commentary is not going to work. You will need a couple of visuals every 5 seconds or so. Just watch a good, interesting video and notice how often a new image is shown.
If the script is well written, any director should be able to pick it up, and quickly “see” the production. For example, if you imagine you see a close up of a person writing, you might describe the visual as “an old style ink pen is held in fingers. The words “Habit 3: Put first things first” is written on the page”. It is clear what is intended to be seen. Saying “a man is writing on a piece of paper” is open to a lot more interpretation.
Take the time you need to write the script you want. It’s the first thing you want to get right when making a video.