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Wistia's Scripting Tips
The steps we take to prepare scripts for our videos, from our scripting questionnaire to Google doc collaboration to the table read.
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We've heard many companies describe scripting as their primary pain point in the video production process, and it makes perfect sense. There's a lot to consider when you’re writing a script. It acts as the blueprint for your video, and the more you think about things like tone, word choice, and audience engagement ahead of time, the better your end product will be.

The scripting process

Here at Wistia, our scripts generally aren't complete until after multiple conversations and cups of coffee. Since we've made our fair share of videos, we've developed a system:

  1. Start with a basic questionnaire that includes questions like “Who is your audience?” and “Where will this video live?” Pass it around the office and gather answers from stakeholders.
  2. Tweak the script using Google Docs so that multiple people can collaborate and comment in real time.
  3. Once a draft is complete, do a table read to ensure the script sounds natural and cohesive. Get rid of buzzwords and unnecessary jargon.

Once you're feeling good about your script and it's time to shoot, it's useful to split up long paragraphs into easy-to-memorize chunks. This way, your subjects can deliver shorter lines without sounding like nervous robots. Later, these lines can be edited together with B-roll, artistic jump cuts, etc. You can even make your own DIY teleprompter to aid in the process of reading, memorizing, and performing short lines.

Getting started

Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting started. If you're stuck on the first line, it might be best to work out the meat of the script and come back to this later.

Here are a few first lines from our own videos. Feel free to borrow and mold to your liking!

From a blog post video:
“Hi! I'm Danielle from Wistia, and here are five of my favorite iMovie tips.”

From Learning Center videos:
“Hey! This is Chris from Wistia. I'm about to show you how you can turn a conference room into a studio.”
“You can shoot HD video on an iPhone, but if you just pull it out of your pocket and click record, it's not going to look great.”

From the front page video:
“Fact. 99.9% of internet videos are not going viral.”

Keep it clear and conversational

Scripts do not need to be profound works of literature, but they should be clear, conversational, and engaging. If you are at a creative loss, look up some videos for concepts comparable to your own, and note the conventions that are used. Often, it only takes one or two examples (good or bad) to get the ball rolling.

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