September 22, 2016

Scripting on a Budget

Sean Connery, explosions, and car chases may be out of your budget, but that’s no reason to give up on online video. Producing a video is very similar to that of building a house. There is no one set cost to do it and if you can enlist friends and family to help you can cut the costs in half. We’ve been producing videos for our clients for over six years and have learned a lot of tips and tricks on how to keep your next video under budget.

how to write a video scriptI like my scripts under budget, not over. 

Before we start talking about scripts we need to speak about business. You don’t buy billboards because they look cool, you buy advertisements because you want to increase your sales or gain more impressions from clients. Online video is no different; you need a pre-determined goal to be successful.

Using the excuse “I want to go viral” does not count and is like telling your contractor “I want my house to be big!”. Specific key performance indicators or KPI’s are important to judging your video’s success and how you can improve on future videos.

Here are some examples we’ve had in the past:
– Introduce our staff to viewers
– Increase awareness of our new product or service
– Increase signups for next event
– Gain more email subscribers
– Increase Social Media followers

The goals you select will become the framework for our video. Try to be precise as possible when writing down your goals. The more specific, the better your video will convert.

With your goals selected you need to start brainstorming some ideas for your script. Keep these ideas concise and don’t spend too much time on one idea. Consider breaking into teams and have each team come up with 1-3 ideas. Then have each group present their ideas. At the end have everyone vote on their favorite idea.

When determining the budget of your video you need to think about the potential ROI for your video. Can your business justify spending $10,000 on a video because the risk of return on investment is so high or would a $2,000 be more applicable?

TIP: When budgeting your video don’t forget to include the cost of promoting your video once it’s complete.

Once you’ve selected your video’s budget, decide if you have the budget to rent locations or if you’ll need to “Make the Shoe Fit.” This is a term used in filmmaking when you alter the script or concept of the video to fit what resources you have on hand.

For example, if you have your script taking place in a haunted mansion, but your uncle has a free cabin you can use for free then you might alter the script, so it occurs in a cabin. This process will reduce the overall cost of your video, thus increasing your ROI. It sounds complicated but it helps you fill in the blanks of your script because you can only use the props and locations you have at your disposal.


Haunted Mansions aren’t as cheap as they were in the good ol‘ days

Work through your script while implementing your list available resources. Once your script is done, show it to a few people and receive some feedback if it made sense or if they had an idea. Receiving feedback from your peers and target audience before shooting can save time and money on potential re-shoots in the future.

With the script complete you’re now ready to start talking with production companies in your area or if you’re feeling audacious you can produce the video on your own. If you do decide to create the on your own or are looking for someone to bounce ideas off of feel free to shoot me an email

September 22, 2016