December 13, 2010 \ Geoff Birmingham
Scriptwriting – When it makes sense for video and when it doesn’t

Scriptwriting is something that many people ask about.  Often, folks believe that they need scriptwriting so that people who are speaking on camera will know what to say and deliver information smoothly.

But usually, after a bit of conversation, clients realize that a script doesn’t make sense for them.  Perhaps the strongest argument against writing a script is this: most of the time your on-camera “talent” will sound…scripted!

Scripts make sense in some situations.  Perhaps if you are producing a 30-second commercial or if you have a busy executive who just wants to be told what to say.  Literally.

For many organizations, however, they are trying to communicate something that sounds authentic – they don’t want to come off sounding like a commercial, in other words.  If this is the case, then our recommendation is to skip the scriptwriting and just find people who can speak about your organization with passion and, of course, authenticity.

This is all well and good, you might say, but what if the person on camera is stumbling over his words, losing his train of thought, and generally being inarticulate?  Fair point.  This is where the magic of editing often plays a role.  A good editor, if the conditions are right – there’s plenty of good broll – can often make even someone who is rather incoherent sound eloquent.

Of course, if your interviewees are both authentic and articulate, your editor will be grateful.