Motion Factory Blog
Industry insights, advice
and general musings
from the Motion Factory Team
Posted by Travis James Annabel
As the lead writer for Motion Factory, I can’t stress how important a proper script is when it comes to producing a video or film – regardless of whether it’s a 30 second social media marketing video or a two hour feature film.
Without a proper vision from the get go, a video of any kind will descend into a mess pretty quickly. And what a proper script does, is put that initial vision onto paper in a way that makes it easy to envision.
Many people will write a few lines of dialogue and call it a script – but there’s so much more to it than that. Despite what many people think, a script isn’t just something that helps on-screen or voice over talent say their lines. A proper script will also guide the filmmakers with description, structure and often purpose.
I do a lot of scripting, both commercial and editorial. While the techniques for each are very different, there is one key similarity – the scriptwriter, and by extension the filmmaker, must be able to read the script and envision the entire production.
But it’s the differences between commercial and editorial script writing that are the most interesting. When I write a commercial script, structure is the number one key focus. More often than not with a commercial script, you have a short period of time (usually under 2mins) to get across numerous key selling points of a product or service, as well as contact information, a call to action and any other number of additional things. There’s often a lot of information that needs to be conveyed in a way that’s both engaging and concise.
Editorial script writing is very different. When you’re writing a script for a short film, feature film or television episode, structure remains important, but the story absolutely comes first, and often the structure will adapt to the needs of a story.
But if there’s one thing that remains the same between commercial and editorial scripting, then it’s the need for the script to provide a comprehensive vision of the video or film before it’s shot.
Next time you’re considering spending money on a marketing video, make sure you do your research. It’s important to ask the people you’re getting quotes from what gear they use – weed out those that will swear black and blue that reckon a video shot on a mobile phone with a handheld gimbal is worth charging money for (hint – it’s not, you can do that yourself for next to nothing). And, make sure you ask that they provide a full script for your approval prior to shooting – because I guarantee if they’re not, then the production is going to descend into chaos quickly.
Producer, videographer, editor - Motion Factory's Director of Photography has a huge passion for film making.
Travis james annabel
Filmmaking has been a passion of Trav's for as long as he can remember.