Written from Experience

The Script Writing Process

As a script writer, it’s my job to make sure your key messages talk directly to your target audience. I see my job as the communicator. I don’t invent or fabricate content, but rather I shape and manipulate key messages to produce a video script that delivers to the brief.

The Brief
To write the script, I need to know the content, the creative style and the target audience. The Brief, as it's commonly known, may be a formal document written by the director, production company or the client. Alternatively, you may prefer a verbal brief - where we chat about your aims and I take notes - either way is absolutely fine. To support the brief, there may be additional material such as manuals, which I'd find helpful in writing the video script.

First Draft
As a corprate video script writer, I mix the content and the creative vision and deliver the results as a first draft video script. The first draft will look something like this:



Customer walks into a Branch and approaches a Teller.



Good Morning. I’d like to withdraw some money.

As you can see, the script is divided into two columns. The left column contains the visual directions and the right side features the dialogue to be spoken by the actors. The two columns work in tandem with each and should be read together. I find that reading a video script works best if you imagine what’s going on in your head, if you can ‘see’ the action taking place.

Please consider the first draft as exactly that. This isn’t the final copy, but a first draft, which as the client, requires your feedback. You should check that all the information is covered. You also need to make sure the tone is suitable for your audience.

Accompanying a first draft, I generally write notes outlining the reasons behind the choices I made. This is so, as you’re reading through the script, you have an explanation as to why I’ve made particular editorial decisions.

I generally appreciate clients, who mark up my first draft with ‘track changes’ or simply give me a call to discuss the amendments. Giving your feedback within one week of the first draft being delivered also ensures the process continues smoothly. It also means that the information is still fresh in my mind. 

Second Draft
Once you’ve given your feedback, I make the necessary changes and then issue a second draft script for final approval. Again final approval is best done within one week.

Once the video script is approved, the director and production coordinator will begin the process of breaking-it-down in preparation for filming.

Read more articles on video script writing.