How to create your own killer script

Who knows your story better than you?

Getting creative and putting your expertise into writing your own script can be a rewarding experience – and you don’t have to be an expert writer to craft an effective script.

Read on and we’ll spill all our script writing secrets…

To get started, you need to write a brief. It’s the key tool to refine your message and get on point with your script.

Questions to answer in your brief include:

  • Why are you making this video? Mind you, this is not why does the company or campaign exist, it’s about this specific bit of comms.
  • What is the one thing you want your video to say?
    Who are you trying to reach? 
  • Where are they? Are they captive in your meeting room, or are you trying to catch them on social media? 
  • How do you want to convey your message? Humour, Outrage, Urgency, or Surprise? Or something else!  
  • And lastly, what do you want your audience to do? Sign? Donate? Go and see? Nod proudly?

Now you know what you are doing, you can to turn it into a story. Stories in  video do not need to be complex.

Simplicity is the key to nailing a short video. Stick to 1 or 2 characters, one event, one argument.

Remember – a 60 second video is between 120-150 words. 

An effective script flows like this:

First up… the hook. You have 3-7 seconds to grab your audience! You can play with a question, recent events, clever puns, links to pop culture or killer stats… The sky’s the limit!

Take a look at this video we did for Action Aid’s Decent Work campaign recently. The relatability of loving a bargain (set to a quick succession of recognisable brands) is then contrasted with a darker question ‘but have you ever followed the thread? It unravels fast’. Add a worker looking direct to camera making our clothes, and a clever play on words and you have a classic hook… and our attention in under 5 seconds.

Then: Why should we care? Why Now. This is the stage in which you introduce the problem and tie it to something that you audience can connect with. Is the problem affecting them? Could it? Get them involved now.

Next… Get to the solution. Time to introduce the hero of the video! The solution to the problem you established could be… you! Your organisation, the campaign you’re running, or something else, like change in behaviour or increased awareness around your topic.

For this TVC we made with the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the solution to the problem of harassment at work is clear: A union membership provides support and protection to workers

That leads us to…

Resolution – Leave them with a call-to-action. The viewer should have their next steps very clear. “I need to share this video, contact my MP, donate….etc

Now you have a script…but what will be on screen? Describe the visuals you’d like to see next to each line/s – Try to show and not tell. Anything that can be told through visuals, should be. 

Now is a good time to start linking any media you’ll use. Think news, headlines, screenshots of shot footage – anything that will help you sell the idea to your team will be helpful.

And that’s it! If you’ve followed each step you should have a solid draft. Now it’s time to bring on the production!

Want your own free script template, with prompts and examples? Download your free copy here.

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