How to write a video script in 60 minutes!
The Script is the soul of your video. Even if you have kickass visuals, without a good script your video is bound to flop. If you analyze any video with more than a million views, you'll see that they all have a strong script.
Now don't take my word for it. Let's check out Hollywood!
Remember "King Arthur"?
I hope you don't!
This was one movie which had almost everything - A humungous budget, a decent cast, all the media attention pre-release, in short everything!
Everything except a decent script.
It was the greatest disaster of the decade and was able to garner only a mere $30 million in the US despite having a $175 million budget!
Busting a few myths!
Many of you reading this will be wondering - "Okay Kesh, I get it. Having a kickass script is vital to success. But how do mortals like me write a script? I mean, I didn't even pass high school English!"
Nothing to worry pal. Even I used to flunk in English. I even got kicked out of a class because I was writing my mind out. In school, writing should be two things:
- It should contain complex retrograde dictionary language
- The sentences should be so long that it should challenge the attention span of the reader
If normal people couldn't understand your essay, you got maximum marks. This is the reason why most of us are still subconsciously scared of writing.
I was there too. But here I am writing a blog on Scriptwriting. So here's my two cents on this:
If you can talk, you can write.
That's right. The best writers are people who can connect with their audience in the most simple and direct manner. This is something which comes naturally to you while you're talking. All you have to do is, channel this into your writing.
These are the characteristics of a good Script:
- Simple language
- Short Crisp Sentences
- Conversational in nature
Did you do your homework?
Before you even start writing the script, you have to collect some intel. The effectiveness of your script will directly depend on the quality of intel you gather.
Know your Audience.
Knowing your audience is the most important aspect of not just script writing but any type of content you create. If your content is not laser targeted for your audience, anything you do is bound to fall flat.
So how do you know your audience?
By interacting with them! Always be in constant touch with them via social media. If someone loves your product so much, ask them politely if they'd be willing to fill in a form so that you could better understand their needs!
You can also visit forums and websites like Quora to dig deeper.
You basically need to know 2 things:
- Their Goals
- Their Pain points
Your script should either assist them in achieving their goals or should solve their pain points!
The 3 Core Elements of a script
Scripts come in different shapes and sizes. But all of them contain these core ingredients:
1. The hook
The hook is the most important part of your script. It is the first 8 seconds of your video for a 1-minute video. The hook decides whether the people seeing your video will stay or not.
If you want to learn to write hooks, just go to youtube and see all the videos that have more than 1 million views. Analyse the script and see why the hooks of those videos are so appealing.
You should make this a practice: Every time you see a Youtube video, think why you are still watching the video after the 8th second. What happened in those 8 seconds which sparked your interest and made you stay?
2. The Patty
The patty is the meat of your script. This is what determines the overall quality of your video. So many people come up with kickass hooks only to blow it all up in the patty.
This is so important people: The patty should live up to the hook and even outperform it if possible!
You don't want your patty to be stale. It has to be scrumptious!
These are 3 factors of a juicy patty:
- Provide Value: What is the takeaway for your viewers? How are you adding value? Always think on these lines. Now value need not always be informed. It can also be entertainment.
- Live up to the Hook: Make sure that there is a smooth transition from the hook. It should be relevant. That is, people shouldn't feel that you cheated them to watch the entire video with a shady hook.
- Engaging: Even if your video is providing value unless it's engaging, people will just drop out in the middle. So it is very important that there is no fluff in your script. Also, each sentence should be a natural flow from the previous one.
3. The call to action
The CTA is an often overlooked part of the script.
According to most people, CTA is equal to:
- Subscribe Now
- Share with your friends
- Comment Below
These words have become so overused that people mentally ignore them these days. If you want to stand out, you should learn the art of writing CTAs that naturally blend in with your patty.
Let's say for example your video is about "7 video scripts that nailed it", the CTA can be something like "Now if you want to write similar scripts, check out the blog post on '5 Killer tips to write a kickass script'. Link is in the Description!"
Write a script in 60 minutes
Clear your mind: 5 minutes
This is a very important step which can transform your whole script! Just spend 5-10 minutes doing something that'll clear your mind. It could be meditation, a walk in the woods or even listening to music.
Do not underestimate the power of this step. in my opinion, by skipping this simple step you are killing your chances to write the best script you possibly can!
Briefing: 20 minutes
This is when you prepare and set yourself up even before the writing process. You have to ask yourself a lot of questions so that you're super clear on how you want the output to be.
For example, let's imagine we have to write a script for a video promoting SHELTON"S TOMATO CHIPS to athlete kids.
I've made a checklist for you. I've also written sample answers to give you an idea of how it can be answered.
The Briefing Checklist
1. What is the topic?
Comeback lines for athletes who are mocked in parties.
2. To whom are you making it?
3. What is the Purpose of your Video?
Subtly promote SHELTON'S TOMATO CHIPS while helping them out of a pain point.
4. What type of emotion do you want to bring in?
5. What is the core message?
Be proud of the fact that you are an athlete!
6. What is the CTA?
Check out the Blog
7. Key Points:
- I'll win the Olympics
- I'll get Medals
- You look Fat
- I can take 100 pushups
- Girls Love my Abs
Target Audience Intel (Done beforehand)
- More Energy
- Better Stamina
- Win COMPETITIONS
Their Pain points:
- Can't Eat Yummy Food (Unhealthy)
- Fat Body
Just go with the flow: 30 minutes
Make sure you lock yourself in your hut so that no one can disturb you in these 20 minutes. In this era, it would mean switching off your mobile phones as well.
You have done the homework, you have done the briefing. You have the framework: now it's time for pure action.
This is also where the creativity kicks in. For the same reason, this can also be the most intimidating step.
Till now, it was all about using your intellect and thinking. Now it's all about getting into the creative flow. Though not compulsory I would suggest you spend another 5-10 minutes in doing meditation or anything of that sort before starting.
I'll share a key hack that's always helped me get there:
Imagine your buyer persona is sitting in front of you. Write as if you are talking to that person. This will help you in two ways:
- It'll make your script conversational
- It'll help you get into a flow
It's very interesting! If you are TALKING to a person, you rarely lose any flow, right?
Now let's take a look at a sample script I created in 17 minutes based on the briefing and intel:
Hook: Have you ever felt like a CHAMP in the gymnasium only to feel like a CHIMP in the party? When your friends are munching those yummy burgers and chips, all you can have is banana!
Patty: Don't give into them and eat a couple of JAM PIES. That's gonna make you fat in no time! Instead hit back at them with these comebacks:
1. You're gonna be watching in the stands while I win the Olympics - or ehem..wait..you'll be too obese to reach there in time!!
2. I can take 100 pushups by the time you finish those cookies.
3. I'd rather munch on my medals!
If you get tired of saying these, you can just take out your can of SHELTON'S-TOMATO-CHIPS and munch like a KING! Yep..no words required pure attitude! It's the best health supplement for athletes!
CTA: Check out "Ten party tricks only Athletes can DO": Link is in the description!
So finally! You've written a script! Before you go and treat yourself to a chocolate muffin or a power nap, you need to review!
This will take your script from "Meh" to "WOW!!"
Just check the following things:
- Is there any connection between any two sentences?
- How is the hook? Can it be made better? Consider alternatives!
- Does the CTA look like a good value proposition at the end of the video? Is it a natural connect?
- Is the tone right?
- Is it conversational?
- Are the sentences crisp?
This is a Wellcast video targeting teenage girls. It has gathered more than a million views! Once you see it, we'll analyze why the script is kickass!
Firstly, the hook is gold! It is very relatable. Every teenage girl would have gone through the same experience. They narrate exactly what goes on a girl's mind as she approaches a crush.
Now the intro comes after the hook. It goes like this:
Hey Lovebirds, welcome to Wellcast! Do you want to ask someone out but is afraid of accidentally injuring yourself instead? It's okay. this week we are gonna be talking about that stupid, awkward, awful, awesome feeling of liking someone. And, we are going to make you do something about it. We are going to give you 4 tips for asking him on a date!
Most people would've started their script this way.
But Wellcast chose to have a Hook before the intro and that makes all the difference! In the intro, they have also set expectations by saying that there are 4 tips awaiting them.
So even if some find the first couple of tips unworthy, they'll stay until the end.
In step 2, that is the patty, they have subtly introduced Wellcast Journaling as a solution to the problem. It doesn't look salesy, it doesn't look shoved in. It is so natural and apt, people will love it for being there!
The CTA is to tweet and mail. I wouldn't agree with this CTA as it is so cliché. It would've been better if they had asked them to check out another piece of content like "Real Life stories of girls who actually asked their crush out!"
Story Boarding: the bridge from script to video
The script is the soul. When someone else other than its creator tries to translate it into images, the authenticity gets lost.
In my opinion, it's very important that the scriptwriter does some sort of storyboarding at least on a minimal level.
But how do scriptwriters do that without any drawing skills?
Animaker has tens of thousands of character animations and other assets. If you can imagine something, it can be done in Animaker.
Just drag and drop animations, take screenshots and voila - you have a storyboard:
Moreover, your storyboard can always be converted into an animated video as you're using Animaker. It's like having your own in-house creative studio!
If you want to explore the Animaker Universe, check it out now!