By Chris Karel published March 7, 2017

Video Production,

So, I need a business video script. Do I have to write it?

If you are a marketing manager or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

The simple answer is yes. If you want to make a professional video, you will need to write a script. Don’t freak out! If you work with a video vendor that acts like a business partner, then you won’t have to write it by yourself. Remember, the script is one of the five things that separates professional from amateur video. When talking about professional video, I define a script as the executable plan used to make a video. Thoroughly thinking through how you are going to tell your story is critical. Shooting hours and hours of video with the expectation to figure it out later when editing is a painful and expensive strategy.

So, will you need to write it? –well, not from scratch, but you’ll want to be involved. Scriptwriting is a skill that any competent writer can achieve. With a little coaching from a professional scriptwriter, along with some key templates and examples, you can arrive at a professional quality script for all types of video products.

Let’s make it real. At some point, you may have to create an executive charge, one of the best forms of internal communication that legitimizes an initiative. It is often delivered “to-camera,” meaning your CEO or department leader is looking right into the camera lens.

To make your executive look the best, start your script with research. Look at your company’s internal communications and public relations related to the executive. Best case scenario, you can ask questions to determine how the executive wants to handle the video product. Maybe for her, she only wants a bulleted list of talking points, or maybe she wants you to ask questions that she’ll respond to, or maybe the message needs to be tightly controlled and edited by several people. Maybe you even suggest that she use a teleprompter.

If you have to craft the message, then write down what you want her to say as if she was delivering it live at an event. Then, perform it for a peer, and practice it in front of a mirror. Don’t skip this step. Your teachers were right when they gave you this advice years ago. As you practice it out loud, revisions will emerge naturally. So, revise the copy and share it with your executive. Ask for sign-off, and then share the copy with your video producer.

The video producer will put your copy into a three-column script that includes the elements needed for the production, such as camera direction, scene locations, props, wardrobe, lighting, music choices, graphic elements, and transition suggestions to get from one camera angle to the next. Then, you will get the opportunity to revise the script before production.

At this point you should get final approval internally from your executive or managing director and then work with your producer to finalize the document. Once you have approval, you will have an easy-to-follow roadmap for the actual video recording. You and the video producer will have a common place to document the video recording process. For example, the script can now be used to track the strengths and weaknesses of the performance, wordsmith any of the language, or move portions of the message around. Using the script during recording not only helps your executive stay on point, it also gives you and your video producer a place to denote the best takes so that the video editor can assemble a final video that looks great.

Thank you for reading. We love feedback at Cinecraft Productions; it helps us grow. Have a comment? Email me: chris@cinecraft.com. If you liked what you read, please subscribe.