“How do I read a video script?” Video Answers. Episode 44. Part 3.

This is our 3rd installment on How to read a video script. In the first video, we talked about the 5 key elements of a 2 column AV script. In the second video, I introduced you to some of the abbreviations you’ll encounter in your video script. If you’ve not seen those videos yet, I would encourage you to take a look. They will give you a better context for this program.
In this final video on How to Read a Script, I’ll give you 6 practical suggestions that will help you approve your script with confidence knowing you won’t need extra changes later on.
Why is it so important to get your script right at this stage? Like most everything else in video production, each action is built on the previous. The video script is the foundation of: the shot list, the shoot schedule and the budget. So it’s better to make sure the script is right now, rather than after everything else that is based on the script is done.
Through the years, when it comes to client approval of scripts, I’ve seen the same snafus over and over again. What’s worse, it’s usually only when we’re on-location shooting with cast and crew that it’s realized, “I didn’t read the script as closely as I thought”. That’s why I want to give you 6 practical suggestions to approve your video script with confidence. These suggestions will save you time and money which is a direct result of last minute changes.

  1. Don’t forget the video column. Probably the number one obstacle I’ve seen is that people can get so focused on the audio column, that they forget the video column. So read that video column, within the context of your story. Pay attention to the locations, times of day, action, and titles.
  2. Expect a conversational tone. A good script is written for the ear and not the eye, which means a good script is conversational in it’s tone. We weren’t trying to write a technical white paper, we wrote a script, that will be spoken and shown. Which leads me to one of the most important recommendations…
  3. Read your script out loud. There is no substitute for reading your script out loud. I usually print out a hard copy of the script, close my door and walk around my office reading. If you’ve got a team that is a part of this process, sit down with them and have a table read of your script. Reading your script out loud is invaluable not only for catching typos but for getting comfortable with the way your script will sound.
  4. Read your script with feeling. The objective in reading a script aloud is to get a feel for the story. So read your script with dramatic flair, intensity, intention, and inflection to help you hear it differently.
  5. Re-read your script…again. When re-reading I’m always amazed that what sounded great one day, just doesn’t make sense the next day. That’s why I recommend that after you’ve read your script, sit it down for a few hours or days and read it again. You’ll be amazed what you’ll hear.
  6. Check your script against your Creative Brief. The message of your script should be in perfect alignment with your Creative Brief. That includes your objective, message, and your call to action. So as your reading through your script, have a copy of your Creative Brief close by to make sure your on- target.
Remember everything else is built off your approval of the video script. So use these 6 suggestions to approve your script with confidence.

  1. Don’t forget the video column
  2. Expect a conversational tone
  3. Read your script out loud
  4. Read your script with feeling
  5. Re-read your script…again
  6. Check the script against your Creative Brief

Use these 6 recommendations will give you the confidence to approve your script so you won’t need extra changes later on.

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