Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Getting Ready To Produce Your Video? The Script Is Key To A Profitable Production

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under All Posts, Video Production

Planning a video production is much like planning a vacation.

When you get ready for a trip, you not only make arrangements ahead of time, you also determine where it is you want to go, who you’re going to travel with, what you need to take, what activities you want to do, etc. You need to know what you are going to pack, then assemble all of your clothes and toiletries. Planning makes the trip so much easier.

This is the same type of organizing you will need to do before you begin any type of video production. It isn’t just a matter of getting all your tools and equipment together; your crew, your talent, and other resources. Your first step should be to spend time developing a comprehensive and detailed production plan. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting a wedding or a feature film, planning is key to a profitable production that is as free as possible of problems.

The most important organizing tool for a special interest video is to start with a shooting script. Much thought needs to go into your script because it will be the basis for additional planning.

There are scriptwriting computer programs available to get you started. One of the ones we’ve used is First Draft, but you can do this also with any kind of word processing document or even a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.

On a special interest type of video, you’ll typically set up your document in tables with three columns. This is called an audio/visual script format, as opposed to the one column format used for dramatic feature films. We give you an example of this in our free How To Sell Your Videos kit you can access to the right of this post.

Column 1 is for numbering your shots. Think of this as numbering each paragraph in an article. Numbering each chunk of your script makes it easy to group shots into location or time of day, and allows you to check off each one as it is completed. For example, shots 1,2,5,9 and 23 may share the same location or camera angle.

Column 2 is for camera direction. This is how you previsualize the shot or what the viewer will see as she listens to the audio. Describe in as much detail as possible what the viewer will be seeing or what the camera will be doing.

Column 3 is for narration and any other type of audio, like music or sound effects.

Get really detailed when writing your narration and deciding on your camera direction. The more specific you are, the easier it will be on cast and crew when you start production.

Even if your production consists of you turning on your camera and you talking to your audience, planning out what you want to say will make a huge difference in the quality of delivery.

If your production entails shooting on location or under certain circumstances, i.e, you need to shoot on a rainy day, it is even more imperative that you know what you are going to shoot because you may not be able to come back and reshoot later. In that case, having a contingency plan is key.

If you are shooting a live presentation you may not be working with a script, but you still want to do as much advance preparation as possible. I’ll cover how we plan and and work with these types of productions in future articles.

The script is just the starting point. Often, after you have written the script and envisioned the shots, you can make a detailed list of locations, props, time of day for shots, a call list for talent, etc. You may then want to group your shots by location, which often may not be the chronological order they are in within the script. This will make your shooting schedule so much more efficient. We cover many of these tools and techniques in our DVD, My Secrets To Producing Successful Special Interest Videos, available by clicking here.

You know the adage, time is money. That is very true when it comes to producing videos.

We have worked with directors and producers who did not work with a well thought-out plan and as a result we saw them spend unnecessary time and money, not to mention adding stress to their crew, talent and themselves. We’ve experienced the craziness of not being well prepared ourselves, and now make it a top priority to take the time to plan the production and try to think of anything that may go wrong.

For more information on producing your video, consider investing in our DVD, My Secrets To Producing Successful Special Interest Videos or our book Shoot-To-Sell.com. We cover the basics of script writing in more depth as well as other techniques and tools we use in successfully producing our videos. So if you are at the point where you need more detailed help, you’ll find it covered there. (We just put our DVDs on a close out sale and drastically reduced the prices so this is a great time to consider adding this DVD to your educational library.)


2 Responses to “Getting Ready To Produce Your Video? The Script Is Key To A Profitable Production”


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rick Smith. Rick Smith said: New Blog Post: Getting Ready To Produce Your Video? The Script Is Key To A Profitable Production http://ow.ly/17fXzN […]

  2. […] today along those lines. If you are serious about making money selling your videos, you also have to think in terms of scripts, story boards, or shot […]


What do you think of this post? We'd love your comment! Let's get a discussion going.
Oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!


Get Adobe Flash player