How do you write a corporate video script? If you google ‘film scripts’, you’ll be inundated with hundreds of complex and dull looking documents written in the same font, all looking exactly the same and complicated to understand! A corporate video script is presented in a completely different way.
While a screenplay has many rules, covering things like formatting, terminology and presentation, a corporate video script is much easier to get your head around! Our BBC trained script writer has written scripts for everything from light hearted drama films to health and safety videos and explainer animations, so we have a pretty good idea of what makes a good script.
A corporate video script uses a table layout. There are usually three columns, separated into rows at moments to separate moments where the visuals or narrative change.
By structuring a script in this way, it’s simple anyone involved in the project can see what is happening at any given point in a film. Without needing to understand complex film terminology.
Column 1 – Narrative
The narrative column contains all of the dialogue that will tell the story of your video, such as voiceover narrative, on-screen presenters, interview comments or a combination of the three.
If this is voiceover or presenter script, a minute of narrative equates to around 150 to 175 words, so be sure to keep an eye on this if you want to keep your film within a certain length!
If your corporate video is mostly interview-based, the narrative column in the script will need to be written a bit differently. We of course don’t want to script interview answers word for word and spoon feed them to the interviewees. That’s not only a bit shifty but also takes away the naturalistic and spontaneous delivery that you want from an interview!
Column 2 – Visuals
The second column in a corporate video script explains what visuals will be shown on screen during each scene.
Traditionally, this will be footage that is captured during a filming day. But this section can also include details on stock footage, photography or animated scenes for projects such as explainer videos.
A script writer will pay close attention to what is happening in the narrative column when describing visuals for a corporate video. The visuals want to support the narrative so they need to be relevant, exciting and can sustain the length of the narrative.
So if you have around a minute of voiceover narrative, you’ll need more than a shot of someone walking into a building to over it! If the video is completely animated, there may be a storyboard alongside the script that shows illustrated examples of each scene.
Column 3 – Graphics and On-Screen Text
The third most important column in a script describes any on-screen text or graphics that is to be seen during the video. These could be, names and job titles of the interviewees, animated titles, technical terms used in ‘call out’ graphics or call to action text for the end of the film.
Including on-screen text in the script is particularly important if it is likely to include a lot of phrases or terms that need to be checked for accuracy before production. Plus ensuring all spellings are double checked before editing takes place.
Just like the ‘Visuals’ column in a script, any ‘on-screen text’ should be there to support the narrative and not be fragmented. Adding in on-screen text that isn’t referred to in the narrative in any way is likely to confuse the audience.
The script is the backbone to every corporate video. Even if a film is mostly interview-based, a script is the only way to show how the film will be structured and explain the story before filming begins.
It’s vital that a script is shared with all stakeholders in the project during the writing stage too and that any feedback is considered and worked into additional drafts before it is signed off and production begins. Making script changes after filming or editing has started can be both time consuming and expensive, especially if it involves reshooting or scrapping scenes entirely.
So spending as much time as possible to make sure this stage of the production is perfect before filming, is well worth it!