Breaking down the structure of script writing
We all know how vital script writing is for any video production. Without it, there basically is no content to the video except moving pictures and an out-of-place background music.
Script writing basics work the same way in any kind of video but certain structures must be followed especially when writing for a specific kind of video.
So for this entry, let’s break down the structures of sales and marketing videos, video infographics, and short films.
Sales and Marketing Videos
Sales and marketing video script structure follows a certain flow to make sure that their product, service, idea or event is marketed properly. The goal for this kind of video is to have their audience on board on what they are offering. The run of this video is usually constrained at 30 seconds to 150 seconds, depending on the type. It is meant to be short but concise in content delivery.
- Problem — solution — call to action
- Introduction — problem — solution — call to action
- Question — solution — call to action
These are the common outlines I have noticed from watching a number of explainer and sales videos online. Let me give you an example of how they work.
Problem — solution — call to action
Check out this video from Piotr Wojtczak called Algory. The problem was immediately presented in question format followed by listing out the other issues their potential target audience is facing. The solution immediately follows, presenting an answer to the problem.
Introduction — problem — solution — call to action
Securly Auditor from Plainly Simple presents a background on bullying as an introduction for the audience. This gives the viewers a brief idea on what the aim of the video is.
Question — solution — call to action
See how effective asking a question is by watching Inyard.com’s video below. Starting off with a question is a great way to relate with the audience.
I’ve noticed that most video infographics use a common outline.
- Closing statement — possibly another question
In fact, when you look at it, you’d probably say that it’s not that hard to make one. (here’s a newsflash — it is hard). Video infographics tend to be long and tedious — it’s what most people think. That’s why, it could be hard to entice a target audience to click on the video especially when it’s long.
The challenge here for the writer is to make it interesting. Follow the usual outline then feather in some anecdotes. That way, you have a video that makes it casual and has a bit of tone in the writing structure. As opposed to a flat video crowded with stats and facts that to be honest, can be quite — hate to say this but, — uninteresting. (Pro-tip: uninteresting is the last thing you want in a video infographic)
It’s also helpful to come up with what I would call a leveled-up title. Chances are, with a normal title, you’d probably attract the audience already interested in the topic itself. But with a more creative title, you’ll attract potential audiences out from your target group.
See the following example of a fictional title for a video infographic about the shark fin trade:
A normal title would go like this…
“The effects of the shark fin trade on the ecosystem”
The title above is too nondescript that you don’t actually need to have a sub-header
On the other hand, a leveled-up title would go something like this…
“Sharks are not fit for the dinning table: How the shark fin trade is killing the species and the ecosystem”
Note how bland the first title looks compared to the second one which somehow exudes a sense of urgency and importance.
But let’s face it, we all have those days. If we can’t think of a nicer than normal title, highly-crafted visuals always helps! Visuals and voice-overs also play a key role for video infographics so it’s always good to keep those two elements in mind while writing the script.
See the following examples of video infographics I found.
Ah, short films. The challenge of fitting in a three-act story in a limited time.
Short films use the three-act structure which is broken down into the following:
- Act 1 — exposition or set up
- Act 2 — rising action
- Act 3 — resolution
It is given, that in the short span the film is shown, a strong beginning is a must. It is also highly critical for writers to engage and immerse their audience with the film. Keep in mind that words aren’t always necessary. In the exposition where everything is set up, sometimes, showing rather than telling is the right way to go. (believe me, too much dialogue especially when not needed, can distract your audience)
A scene from the film already tells a story. A shabby flat with decrepit furniture can show the financial status of a character. The dimly lit room paired with the eerie silence emanates the feel of horror and suspense. In other words, it subconsciously sets the tone to give the audience an impression of a character’s personality, the feel of the story, and a whole lot more — basically the things that you can’t convey just by writing.
Check out the following short films below and watch how they managed to engage and hook their audience.
Hopefully, by breaking down every script writing structure for the kind of videos mentioned above, you’ll be able to write easily. It’s always better when things are broken down to parts in order to make a better content. Also remember that writing is a constantly-developed skill. Don’t get too bummed out if the first one didn’t meet the mark and keep in mind that the following revisions will be better.