We Can Just Write a Script, Right?

Fair question. Now, one (maybe two) for you.

  1. Can you write?

1a. If not, can you get a stenographer?

If you answered yes to either, then you can write a script!

And you probably knew you could. Scripting is, in many ways, the easiest part of the video production process. It doesn’t require art skills. It doesn’t require design knowledge. And, thanks to whatever fancy device you’re using now, it doesn’t even require a writing utensil. With basic literacy and subject matter competence, anyone can write a script. A good one, even!

It’s just too bad your audience won’t read it.

It’s a script; they’ll hear it. So it has to sound good. But since a great VO delivery can do that — even for a mediocre script — the real key is writing a script that looks good.

How can a script look good? By being a video script. By matching its tone with the graphics’ style. By sharing the stage with the visuals rather than being a showoff-y, know-it-all, say-it-all lexical diva.

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Because when the script and images are speaking together (a classic example is to have the voiceover say, “This,” while the visuals show a specific thing/concept), your audience is paying more attention.

They’re perceiving your message in multiple ways. They’re creating more neural connections and imprints. They’re not just hearing you; they’re not just seeing you; they’re getting you.

The tough part: writing a good script is very different from writing a script that looks good. The latter does require art skills. It does require design knowledge. It might even require a writing (or — gasp! — drawing) utensil.

Above all, it requires experience and collaboration. Maybe between a scriptwriter (like me) and a design lead (like the one who drew that purrrty thing up above). Or between your content expertise and our storytelling expertise. Or even between your legal department and our style department.

 So, yes, you can just write a script. And it’ll probably be good. But that doesn’t mean it’ll look good. Don’t hold back from putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys, or voice to Siri, or...), but don’t forget that there’s more to it than words.

Written by Chris Molnar, Story lead.