Secrets of a good video script

Publication in Russian on the Zen blog

How to write a good script for a video - tips from an experienced screenwriter.

Publication from PiterPro_Production together with Mikhail Smirnov (founder and head of CMCproduction and SmartREC).

Hello! My name is Olya Kostyanova and I want to share my experience and advise on how to write a script for a video.

I work as a screenwriter in our video production. In this article I want to share my personal conclusions regarding how you can comfortably and effectively work on video scripts. Perhaps my advice will be useful for someone and will help them grow as a specialist.

The PiterPro_production film crew checks the script

Film crew

Don't sit in a vacuum!

I am a gregarious, collective creature. There was a time when, due to my inexperience, I believed that I had to do everything myself and think about everything alone. Why is this a bad tactic? Firstly, it is impossible to know everything. Even if you wrote/directed Dune, it's still impossible. Our brain does not contain the whole world, so it is important to contact society in order to find the right and best solutions for the plot. Sometimes someone expresses their idea regarding the development of the plot, and it is important not just to add it to the script, but to be able to correctly implement it from the point of view of composition. And subsequently, this same idea can become a branch to another idea that will already be born in your head. Or it happens that just a conversation can lead to new thoughts. As a result, the material will only become richer. And if you don’t communicate and don’t allow other people’s thoughts into your work, then you simply limit your field of vision and “sit in a vacuum.” That is, you don’t even give yourself the opportunity to create the “soil” for generating new ideas. Creativity is not a lonely activity.

So, if you have organized such a closed mode of work for yourself, I strongly recommend that you correct such an oppressive measure of conventions.

And of course, you can’t discuss your work with everyone. It’s worth sharing your idea with people of similar views. You must understand that the word of your interlocutor can also affect the plot, and if this does not scare you, then proceed to the discussion.

About the framework.

It is easier to write a script when a precise task is set that limits the screenwriter to a certain framework. The required timing of the video, the budget allocated for filming, the genre/presentation/style of the video - all this will only help in creating script material. It is by relying on a number of such requirements that you can quickly achieve a logical final result. After all, when we have certain boundaries, we don’t have to waste our time and energy on analyzing those ideas that do not correspond to the given guidelines. Also, oddly enough, these same frameworks motivate to intensify fantasy, since under such conditions there is a clear understanding of “where and how you can have fun.”

No, of course, you can write a script for an incredibly expensive blockbuster, but even in this case, you should understand where and to whom you will offer your work, so that your work and large energy costs are not wasted. That is, you should not “write on the table” - this is a thankless task.

The director checks the script on the set of a VW Jetta commercial

Film crew

Everything is fine. Directions for Actors

Film crew

What are the possibilities?

Whether you are writing a script for someone, for some competition, or for your own film, you need to imagine what opportunities the “conditional customer” has to bring the script to life. The same graphics come in different levels of complexity, so if you come up with the idea of ​​introducing it into the convoy of script material, you should figure out how wide you can swing it. Sometimes it is advisable to choose a compromise solution regarding the subtype of graphics. Interestingly, this does not mean that your work will be impoverished - such a step will simply help you identify the tools that you can confidently “juggle” when writing a script.

I think it's important to say that pricing in filmmaking needs to be considered. What equipment is required for filming, what is the number of filming locations, what specialists are needed - all this affects the total cost of the video. Knowing the budget framework, you can really understand under what conditions you can turn around. If it is possible to “dance” only in one location, then all the material must be invented for filming in only one location. And again, paradoxically, this knowledge helps determine the course of your fantasy, so it won’t have to wander in the dark for long.

Roughly speaking, imagine that your task is to create a high-quality interior design in the room of a “conditional client”. To do this, they tell you what the area of the space is and specify the dimensions of the wallet. You, knowing this data, select furniture of a certain price category and figure out what wallpaper is appropriate in the future interior. That is, in this case, the given framework does not interfere with you, but on the contrary, it gives you the opportunity to choose the best direction vector.

When there is a clear script, even young actors find it easier to work and filming goes faster

Film crew

Write = rewrite.

It doesn't matter whether you're working on an advertising script or a movie script, you don't write it once. It is important to review the material with a fresh, not washed-out look. This way you can fill in all the unobvious gaps and finalize the overall composition. It's like tasting a freshly prepared salad and evaluating what ingredients are still missing. That is, it is important to take a short break to objectively evaluate your product and choose the best solutions for its final version.

Thanks to all!

Thank you for reading my article and I wish you success in mastering screenwriting.

Our screenwriter Olya Kostyanova shared her secrets.

Creating a Script

Creating a Script

Creating a Script

Creating a Script

Creating a Script

Publication from PiterPro_Production
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Publication in Russian on the Zen blog


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