Join Rick Allen Lippert for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining informational video, part of Video Script Writing.
A new industry blossomed with the advent of small portable video equipment back in the 1970s. Back then, we called it non-broadcast video, because everything else that was made, was made to air on one of the three television networks. But rather than define something by what it isn't, other terms emerged. Corporate, training, promotional, industrial, marketing, and the ubiquitous AV. One thing all of these forms of videos have in common though, is that they convey information.
For that reason, I prefer to call whatever I'm writing and producing an informational video. And informational videos have goals. And I think you should limit those goals to three or four at most, per video. Informational script writing uses a different set of tools from screenplays, yes we hope to entertain our audience, but we're also writing a script that will solve a problem of some kind. Video scripts often need to specify shots and the use of graphics, often the information is presented by a narrator either on camera or voice over, or both.
The most common format for an informational video uses two columns, one for visuals the other for audio. Another method uses a modified screenplay format that includes a column on the right specifically for voice-over narration. The main consideration we need to remember is that we're writing for the ear, not the eye. However, it's still important to observe grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules. Because video script writing is ultimately heard by viewers, writers carry a responsibility to use correct English.
What we write influences how people speak so it should be proper. The challenge is balancing proper English with conversational word choices. And even though the public won't see the script, proofreading is a must. There simply is no room for mistakes. The best way to do that is to start at the end of the script and read it backwards from bottom to top, right to left. When you take yourself out of the writing, the mistakes jump off the page. And since everything we write is meant to be heard, the best way to determine its effectiveness, is to read it outloud.
Really aloud, not just imagining what it sounds like, or whispering to yourself. You really must read it out loud in your best narrator, or newscaster, or actor voice. So if you're an experienced screenwriter, coming to informational video scripts is very different. And if you're new to video scriptwriting, this is really different.
- Establishing the goals and purpose of an informational video
- Understanding the modes of persuasion
- Setting up two-column scripts
- Using script templates
- Analyzing the audience
- Creating an outline
- Writing the first draft
- Finalizing the script