Lay out the video in a paper document in the order you expect it to run. The best way to do this is to create a document in table form with 2 columns and multiple rows. This will allow you to use one column for the narrative content i.e. what is going to be said, and the second column contains details on the visual content i.e. what it is to be filmed. Use a separate row for each set up. This will allow you to cut and paste the document around easily as the project develops.
We’ve never worked with a script yet that has remained in the same order throughout so having the script in table form is a great tip.
To start with this can be very rough to get the flow, with detail being added once the skeleton is formed.
The film should have a beginning, middle and end with each section required to deliver a separate part of the message. Avoid jumping around too much as this can confuse the message. Don’t worry about the precise order too much to start with, just write it all down. You can move things around later, but be sure to finalise the order as far as you can before you shoot. This ensures you film the right bits and in the right quantities so you don’t waste time filming loads of material that has little chance of ending up in the final film.
Circulate this document with your stakeholders and absorb their comments. If necessary obtain their sign off that the document is a fair reflection of what the content is to be. It’s a common situation for people to forget what they’ve asked for along the way, so having sign off avoids awkward conversations later.
If you’re including interviews in your film then think about what you want the interviewee to say and design a list of short questions that draw out the right points. Interviews are a great way to hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth and if you’re filming your company it allows the faces of the organisation to be seen. It’s common practice for the interviewer not to be seen or heard in the final video. If the duration is only 3 minutes, why waste screen time with questions? Ensure the questions are short, that they can’t be answered with Yes or No and that each question tackles just one point.
It’s a great idea to get the interviewee to recap some of the question in the answer. This puts it in context. For example if you were to ask “what is the weather like today” they should reply “the weather is very sunny today” rather than “it’s sunny”. Try to avoid them saying things like “as I said earlier” or list items with numbers. You may not use the previous items.
It’s common to interview each person for 10 to 15 minutes. This requires editing later, but in our experience this length of interview allows short soundbites to be extracted from separate answers and joined together.
Next read our Blog 3 of 7 – Preparing for the shoot
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