T he longest part of any video project is almost always writing the script. If I were to put a number on it, I’d say 65-75% of the overall project time is script writing. The script is the foundation of the project and if it’s not done properly, the rest of the job is bound to end up a failure, or at least less than it could be.
Some handy tips
The script shouldn’t be written as if it were a press release or an instruction manual and it shouldn’t require the viewer to pause the video several times to go and look up the meaning of the words. It needs to be natural and conversational. A real human being is going to read the script out loud. If it sounds like an academic essay, it’ll come across as boring and robotic. It’s best to keep your sentences quite short. It’s also a good thing to keep in mind that the script is being written to accompany a set of animations (the animations will tell a large part of the story). The overall product is not to be read on a webpage, it’ll be the audio track to your animated video.
On average, a minute of video equals 150 words…ish. We generally aim for about 90 seconds or approximately 225 words. Most clients think 400-500 words will fit nicely into a few minutes and are shocked when the word count comes in at less than half of that.
Read it out loud
As the client, you’ll be somewhat involved in the script writing process. Some clients write it up and then we refine it and turn it into a video script. Sometimes we write it and send it for review and then it goes back and forth until it’s perfect (or as close as we can get it). Either way, you should read it out loud. Or better yet, have someone read it to you. We do it constantly and it’s amazing how often it looks (and reads) great on paper (and in your head) but once someone is actually reading it aloud, it can sound completely different.
We have a super secret special typing machine that automatically conjures up video scripts at the push of a few buttons. You can’t buy these in the shops..at least not yet (though, Amazon may have it up for pre-order). Ours was sent back through time from my great, great, great grandson Grundlewee (I’m told that’s a very popular name in the future).