Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing the script and making the shot list, part of Making Video 2: Teach Something.
- Let's now really drill down into the specifics by taking a look at our plans for the script. As far as the scripting process is concerned, there are many different approaches depending on the type of video project and the comfort level and preference of the talent. Some approaches call for writing out every single word, others are largely extemporaneous and only rely on a general outline. For the vast majority of the projects that I do, I take the time to script pretty extensively.
Because even when I'm comfortable enough with the material to go off script, it's always there for me to fall back on. It's great to have something solid to refer to when I get stuck or when I need to make sure to say something clearly and concisely. In talking with Pamela, it's clear that she's very interested in a pretty straightforward script that takes the viewer on a recipe from start to finish. With a few tidbits of advice and extra commentary thrown in. Pamela actually does already have quite a bit of experience writing scripts for video so this is part of the process that she's quite comfortable with.
But for those who aren't as familiar with the process, it's good to cover the basics. So, because she's the expert in this space, I want to let Pamela explain the process in the way that worked best for her. So Pamela, we're taking a recipe that you wrote and translating it to the video form. And you do have experience in creating scripts for cooking shows and the like. So I just want you to take us through the process. How did you take the recipe in text form and bring it to a video script form? - Sure, well it was pretty straightforward.
As you said, I already had the recipe written, so I just went through what's going to be the most visually appealing for the audience and also what's going to be the most informative. So they already know how to scrub vegetables but there are opportunities to show, here's how to chop an onion for example, that maybe I can slip in some education. - Wonderful, alright. So traditional recipe format, finding those educational moments, which I think really does relate back to building your brand of being approachable and relatable and for your audience that might have questions, you're sort of anticipating those ahead of time.
And figuring out what it is that you can offer in terms of kitchen tips and that sort of thing. - Yes. And I just wanted it to be the most, also entertaining, something that they're going to enjoy watching but also say, yeah, I think I can go cook this right now. - I'd like to give you an overall look at Pamela's script. As you can see, she's got a really nice plan here. And it takes us through each phase of the process. And now that we have this, let's talk to Pamela in greater detail about how she wants to work with her script.
Now if she likes, she can adopt a more word for word approach of delivering the script, which would likely involve incorporating a teleprompter. Allowing her to look directly into the camera while reading the text. A teleprompter is a device where the words are displayed on a screen in front of the camera lens and are reflected using a sheet of clear glass or a beam splitter. There are some fairly inexpensive teleprompters available that you can use with a smartphone or tablet. Or she can simply use the script as a general foundation and go off the cuff for most of it.
Now this may require quite a bit of rehearsal to get comfortable with the content and the flow. So let's talk to Pamela about what she prefers to do. So Pamela we do have some options in terms of how you deliver this script to camera. We can go the teleprompter route or we can go totally extemporaneous or a hybrid of the two. What are you comfortable with, you think? - I think I would prefer to be extemporaneous because I don't want it to feel too rehearsed or too commercial. I want it to feel more relaxed and conversational.
Really approachable, again, going with the brand. - Wonderful. And of course you know the recipe very well, so however you need to improv should turn out totally fine. In terms of, you know, working with a collaborator, in this case me, how do you want this relationship to be? Do you want me to be on script and kind of making sure that you hit each point? Do you want it to be more of a directorial relationship where I'm just sort of giving you a sense of how you're coming across on camera? Do you want me to hang back? What are you comfortable with? - Well I think I want it to have a really organic feel and a really natural feel, so if you can just tell me where maybe I'm veering off course and maybe sounding in a way that the audience isn't going to relate to, that would be helpful, but as far as sticking to the script, I'm not incredibly attached to every single word.
- Wonderful, okay great. Well I think we both know what we want in our roles and we can get started planning this a little bit further then. - Awesome. - Alright, so there we have it. Pamela wants to devote plenty of time to rehearsal so that she doesn't have to rely on a teleprompter to deliver her lines. She feels this would best match the fresh California vibe she's going for. And that's great, I think she'll do just fine with this approach. Now finally, let's talk to Pamela about her script and how she envisions the video playing out in terms of different shots.
So Pamela, you've written the script and that's the hard part in terms of figuring out what you're going to say, getting the logistics down of the recipe and how we're going to translate that to the video form, but we really do want to nail down the actual visuals of what we're going to see during all of this. Most of the time, you know, it's going to be you actually in your kitchen, preparing the food, but I'm interested to know exactly how you envisioned the breakdown of visuals to be. We have two locations, we have the counter location, we have the stove location, and you say you want to do insert shots, but tell me a little bit more about that so that we can go forward in developing our two column script.
- Okay. I think that I would like most of the video to be shot with the wide angle, like we talked about before, but then I want several cut aways, close ups, of my hands chopping vegetables, or sprinkling herbs on the pan. So I'm not really sure how to achieve that though, in terms of a second camera? Do we shoot it twice? - Certainly both of those are options. So if we did single camera for the shoot, we would shoot you in the wide shot and then you would do the entire recipe again, and we would shoot those cut aways.
However if you're open to it, I think this would be a really nice opportunity for a multi camera shoot. And so we would just take two iPhones and we would set one up in the wide shot and the another up to capture those close ups. And then everything would be perfectly synced and we wouldn't have to recreate anything. It would just automatically be happening. Multi camera shoots are quite easy to set up if you're good with that. - That sounds really great. I'd love to only do it once. (laughing) - Sounds good. And then anything that we do need to capture can be kind of one off takes where if we didn't quite get the good close up on cutting the onion we can do that again but we don't have to do everything again.
- That sounds perfect. - Okay, awesome. Well I think that we'll plan on doing a multi camera shoot in both the counter location and the stove location. - Perfect. - Okay, so it's clear that Pamela wants a pretty classic cooking video approach with this. She wants most of the video to show her addressing the camera but she's also interested in additional close up footage of her hands chopping and mixing and so on. So let's now take this basic idea and move forward in making a two column script.
Which is a very efficient way to plan out a video. In the left column is what we hear and in the right column is what we see. So for each line of the script, we have a plan for what we want to show. After a bit of work, Pamela and I came up with this as the basis for her two column script. As you can see it's very clear when we see Pamela, what type of shot it is, and then we also see when we cut to other elements on screen. We can treat this as a living document, so as we come up with additional ideas, we can tweak this as necessary.
But now that we've got a specific idea for how this video is going to play out, let's talk about scheduling some of the shoot logistics.
- Video workflow and techniques
- Teaching on camera
- Writing the script
- Shooting on location
- Editing video in HitFilm Express
- Adding music and graphics