Starting the right way
While you might hire a professional script writer to write your video script, and involve a corporate video producer to make your company video, you should be fairly clear in your own mind about what you need, as these professionals you may use will take their lead from you.
Some scriptwriters and video producers will add value to what you do, or challenge some of your ideas in order to arrive at better ideas.
But many, after an initial flourish of creativity to give you confidence in them, will follow your lead. If you say “jump”, they’ll say “jump”.
The message here is that you can’t necessarily rely on a scriptwriter or video producer for business advice, even if it’s a welcome bonus when you get it.
(Having said that, at Rossiter & Co we’ve always proactively offered advice to our clients)
Take a blank sheet of paper.
Now quickly scribble all the things you think your company video ought to say.
Do this quickly. Don’t be too picky or too discriminating. Just let the juices flow and get the key business points out as bullets, rather than whole proper sentences.
Your company presentation such as a powerpoint may help you, but often it’ll be over-detailed for what you’re trying to achieve here.
Once you’ve jotted down the key bullet point content for your business video, take a fresh sheet of paper, but use your word processor this time.
Do the following:
> Divide your blank page into three columns
> The left column should be narrow, like a margin.
> The two remaining columns should be approximately equal
> Leave the outer columns alone for now, and just write in the middle column.
> Write your bullet points in, with lots of white space between each line. One bullet per line, with no paragraphs. Deliberately go for plenty of white on the page.
> start to develop your bullet points, using the following guide: Actual spoken script should go in the middle column, while explanations of what this might mean, or locations you may want to film should go in the right column. Or any visual ideas. The right column is for extra stuff you think of.
It should look like this (see pic)
It’s not important that your company video script is perfect at this stage.
But your draft should have all the key points in and, where appropriate, some explanation of what this might involve visually, such as “shot of our plant” or “shot of our product in use” etc.
What is important is that because you’ve used lots of space and white on the page, every point will stand out clearly on its own. Nothing will be buried in paragraphs, which make excellent hiding places for weak ideas.
Avoid paragraphs. Stick to one-liners, and plenty of white space.
It’s a good idea at this stage to involve others, such as colleagues, your best sales person, a technical adviser, team leaders, etc. Show them your initial ideas. Explain it’s broad brush but that you need to get their input. Better still, let them know that you value their input.
Once you introduce your script ideas to others you’ll get genuinely useful help, usually mixed with a few irrelevant or petty comments.
This is all fine. Stay with the programme.
If you fail to consult others and later on you find there’s a big hole in your video script, or a wrong emphasis, or a poor explanation of a point, then it’ll cost time and money to fix.
It’s far better to involve others early, particularly field sales staff, who can give your video script a “reality check” (you wouldn’t be the first head office person to write a script that doesn’t have a cutting sales edge in the field).
Consulting others will:
> See if your video script ideas will stand up to scrutiny by your company’s clients
> Ensure the script is wholly realistic and doesn’t get carried away in some way.
> Garner useful input from knowledgeable colleagues.