Write A Short Video Script

A strong video script helps the videographer and video editor do their jobs.

When you are writing a video script, keeping it short can be a challenge. For a short video, you must pack in all the necessary information in a small amount of time; artistic details and story elements are often left out in favor of communicating important points. As you write a short video script, keep in mind the purpose of the film, the interests of your audience and the ways your words will transfer to video and still images on screen. Because a video script will be more than the words on a page, include elements to help the director and video editor achieve your vision.


1. Outline the main points of the video to get an idea of how the story will flow. If you are making an educational or marketing video, focus on the main and supporting points; for a narrative video, hit major plot points. Mark where there will be transitions so that you can look for connections that move the story along. Your outline will serve as a guide to make sure you do not get off-track when writing the script.

2. Turn the outline into a first draft of the script. Fill it in with all the supporting details, conversations and voiceover notes. Write the script with your audience in mind, making sure to use language that can be understood and avoiding explanations of commonly understood information. At this point, don’t worry about length; you can always cut the script down later in the process. Read the script through to make sure it flows naturally and that transitions make sense.

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3. Transfer your script to storyboard sheets, which have a space for the voiceover or dialogue and blank boxes to sketch in visual ideas. Include one storyboard panel for each scene and transition. If you have external pieces, such as clips from an existing video, make a separate storyboard panel for each one. Break your script up and put it into each panel.

4. Collect the video assets that you want to use in the movie: video clips, animations and still images, for example. Make a note of each item on the corresponding storyboard panel, including a basic description and a clip length. It might help to draw small explanatory pictures to help you remember what images your words will accompany.

5. Edit the script to the allotted time. Cut out pieces that are covered by the images on the screen, like physical descriptions. Make sure your script has sufficient explanation of what’s going on onscreen, particularly if it is not a common process or sight. For sections that don’t have existing footage, make a note about the type of video shot you are looking for and edit the script as if the video was already in place.

6. For each storyboard panel, read the script aloud and make a note of the total time for each section; write it below each section of text. This helps the people who are shooting footage, interviewing subjects, and editing video by giving them an approximate guide for length.