How to Script Elements of a Marketing Video - dummies

How to Script Elements of a Marketing Video

By Kevin Daum, Bettina Hein, Matt Scott, Andreas Goeldi

A marketing video concept can easily be communicated verbally or simply in a written paragraph or two, but to turn an idea into production, you need a detailed script that tells everyone in the production process what action takes place and what words are spoken in the video. By using the written script, the producers, director, actors, and production crew can all figure out their roles in the production.

To estimate the length of your script, assume that one script page equals roughly one to two minutes of video, depending on how much activity is taking place and how much detail you write into the action.

Every element of your script needs to be detailed in a way that your actors know what to do and say. You need to describe these elements:

  • Location: Fully describe the physical setting where the scene takes place. Pay careful attention to any details in the set or location that can help the producer find a place that matches the feel of the video.

  • Camera angles: You may want to use wide shots or close-ups depending upon the effect you’re trying to create. These need to be specified for each shot.

  • Transitions: Are you going to cut, dissolve, or fade into the next scene? Your editor needs to know what you have in mind. You should detail as much about the transition of every shot and scene so both the director and editor have a clear vision.

  • Activity: The script specifies every action that takes place in the shot. It can be a small action such as having someone smile or big action that tells what everyone is doing in the scene.

  • Music and sounds: This is the place to specify the type of music you want to set the mood, be it jazzy, classical, creepy, or humorous. All your sound effects also need to be incorporated in their proper locations as well as any voiceovers by announcers.

  • Slides and graphics: Any slides with your company info or graphics that have titles overlaid on action should be specified in the script so editors know where to put them.

  • Props: Your producer has to find every item that is held or used by an actor. Make sure it’s clear in the script so she knows what to acquire.

Each of these items is represented in specific ways on the script page. A typical professional-looking script looks like this:

MEDIUM: Scene opens on the front door of a suburban house.
It is snowing. The door opens and 2 Kids, Steve-8 and
Jane-6 come out excited and giggling. They hold lunch
boxes. As they leave the shot A mom is standing in the
   Be careful Kids.
   Jane, snug up your scarf.
Dad sticks his head out the door as Mom starts to leave.
   Bye honey. You guys be careful
   out there.
(She is smiling)
   Don’t worry darling, we have
   it covered.
                     CUT TO
MEDIUM: Shot from the side as Mom and the kids step
onto an escalator.
MEDIUM CLOSE UP: Shot of Mom and the kids riding the
escalator. Several shots ensue from different angles
for roughly 15 seconds. The kids look bored. There is
elevator music.
                      CUT TO
We see their feet step off the escalator and then
another shot of As the shot zooms out we see all three
step off the escalator into a car.
As we zoom out we see that they are driving off in a
Monster Truck.
WIDE: we see the truck"s taillights go down the street.
                     CUT TO
Are you going to extremes to keep your family safe
on winter roads?
                     CUT TO
Make it Easy this winter.
(Off Camera)
   Get the #1 rated All Season
   Tires at ABC Tires.