At TruScribe, we’re often asked if we have a template or tried-and-true, always-successful approach to scriptwriting. The answer is no, and yes: we don’t have a template, but that is part of why our approach to scriptwriting is always successful. Let’s define the TruScribe approach to scriptwriting and identify the attributes that make it such a great start to our video production process.
Beginning with the template idea, I want to be very clear that it’s absolutely natural to seek a quick, plug-and-play-styled solution to any phase of a project. Some project decisions are exactly this straightforward: inclusion of a disclaimer at the bottom of a frame, for example, doesn’t require a lot of collaboration—it just requires the request (and the fulfilment of that request).
Scriptwriting is radically different. It’s unique to each and every project, and proceeds differently for all of them. This kind of open-endedness can be a bit non-standard for many professionals, so let’s unpack what it means in the TruScribe process—and why that open-endedness is just what scriptwriting needs.
Pooling Resources and Questions
In our full scriptwriting process, TruScribe copywriters receive materials from the client to prepare the copywriter for a conversation. That conversation ensures that both client and copywriter are on the same wavelength in terms of themes, tone, and everything the two parties think needs to be discussed in anticipation of the generation of the script’s first draft.
One of the materials the copywriter receives is a set of responses to carefully-chosen questions, designed to help the client brainstorm. These questions help the client identify vital elements of their message for the copywriter’s consideration.
Our principles of content creation (guidelines we call Scribology) help us foreground the client’s message above all else. To define and sharpen that message, questions might include ideas like:
- Why is this message important to your company?
- What do you want your audience to do as a result of watching your video?
- Is there a communication problem other media has not solved that you want to address with this video?
- If your audience was to finish your video remembering only one sentence, what would you want that sentence to be?
- What kind of voice and/or tone should the piece utilize?
- What kinds of clever approaches can we take to really make the message retainable? Examples include humor, interesting data, or character studies.
- Do you have visuals in mind already? This can be a great thing to consider, even early on—image types and metaphors can have a large impact on your script.
The client is also free to contribute other materials as well, such as PowerPoints, marketing decks of all shapes and sizes, training tools, or anything else that would enhance the copywriter’s understanding of the video’s subject.
With materials in hand, and after a productive conversation with the client over those materials and more, the copywriter will be ready to prepare their first draft.
Iterating as Partners
Once that first draft is completed and made available to the client, the client has their first round of review on their script. They can mark up the script document as needed, proposing any desired revisions and communicating with their copywriter through comments and thoughts added in the margins or bottom of the document.
Already, we can see why a template falls short in comparison to the beginning of the TruScribe process. Filling in a cookie-cutter list of “items to include” will never produce the type of detailed, focused attention to an individual topic that our clients need with their script.
We replace the template with collaboration. Ours is a process driven by dialogue and interplay, regardless of what stage we’ve reached together. That’s why we offer not one, but multiple rounds of review in our scriptwriting phase.
Of course, sometimes we reach a successful final script on after the second draft. Sometimes, we even receive Approval and finalization after first drafts, and we’re always thrilled when this happens. Nevertheless, we’re always ready to co-create with our clients until we’ve moved through all review rounds, and arrived at the messaging that is truly ready to go to an artist.
Easy Review At Every Stage
In addition, our fully customizable, as-you-need it scriptwriting phase incorporates as much review during those rounds as the client needs. If a client’s legal or compliance department has revisions to request after viewing a first draft that the client had not yet been able to communicate, it’s no problem—the second draft will reflect those changes.
There’s no limit on who may see TruScribe work product when it comes to the client’s organization, so our clients never need to worry if their script will pass legal review. Legal and any other stakeholder with less direct involvement in the project can see the script at any time, and add their thoughts to any review round.
Scriptwriting should set the tone of a good business video project, getting the client acquainted with the creative process and presenting them with exactly as much assistance as they need in clarifying and generating their final message. It should present an extremely high amount of choice to the client, while providing enough guidance that this freedom doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Collaboration Creates a Strong Foundation
Good whiteboard scriptwriting like TruScribe’s is a partnership, in which the client and copywriter work together to identify the message and then articulate it just as the client needs to hear it. The client brings their expertise in the subject matter, resources, and goals; the copywriter brings their skill in translating these materials into a quickly-understood, high-impact script.
As the jumping-off point for the drawings and voiceover, a strong script is foundational to strong drawings and strong voiceover. That’s why we give our clients the absolute best experience of the process that we can via our collaborative approach. Plug-and-play is certainly an appealing approach to much of our day-to-day processes, but a client’s message isn’t something we can compress into this one-size-fits-all operating mode.
Message is the core of any whiteboard video, and the design principle that all others amplify. TruScribe pairs you with a copywriter ready to listen and absorb that message, and work with you to create just the script you need it to ensure your viewers understand and retain it.