What is a good web video script

52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

And, in 2017 over 74% of the traffic in the internet will be driven by using quality video content.

Why?

A painted image is more alive to us on paper than it is in our mind. When the image is in motion it is life itself. To stand out, the brand needs to tell its own story in a unique voice.

Since web videos tend to tell a slightly longer story (in terms of duration) we examined the tenets of writing a successful script for a web video. We have had our share of hits and absolute clunkers so this post is born as much out of curiosity (to see what works and whether it works for other people too) as a desire to nail down the few things that we ‘feel’ work.

The Individual Subject as the ‘Hero’ –

Big themes are relatable only when they are conveyed through the personal stories of individual characters. The archetype of the ‘hero’ as introduced by Joseph Campbell can be associated with both the ordinary and the extraordinary, the fictive and the non-fictive. The journey of the hero is replicated not only in the journey of the main character but is also retold through the course of our very lives.  He is the hero, the one who sacrifices his all to save the world.

Campbell believes that everything begins with a story and mythological symbols are true to being weaved into the script of both ordinary human lives and superhero lives. The hero has his ups and downs, he fails only to learn from his mistakes and fight back. The figure of the hero is inspiring and assuring. It makes the commoner believe that he can rise from the ordinary and achieve something that seems to be out of this world.

Dialogue –

Dialogue between characters should be free flowing and everyday. The lines should paint a picture of the characters’ lives for the audience. You can position a counter-opinion as the main obstacle which is thwarted by the protagonist using arguments embedded in the brand’s core benefits. It is important to craft dialogue in a way that creates empathy with the characters. The audience is likely to care for their hopes and conflicts if they understand what drives them. In the context of a web video dialogues serve another practical purpose, well written dialogue can be used to reduce the on-screen action. The main conflict can be situated and resolved in the banter between the characters.

Humour –

An effective but challenging tool in the toolbox of the storyteller. Scripts that want to tickle the audience’s funny bone are tough to craft. What is funny to you and me may not be funny to someone in another city. In our experience it is a good idea to locate the humour in an existing context; cinema, folk tale, popular behaviour etc. The web is littered with videos that someone thought would be funny but are just poor scripts trying too hard.

Comedy on the web is a fast maturing content category. Your video is likely to compete with professional stand up artists and others who are not governed by brand guidelines. If you are certain that your brand needs a dose of the funnies, it may be a good idea to co-opt someone who has experience in crafting humour based material.

 

 

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