From Alien to Young Frankenstein: Using Sample Scripts for Research
Improving your video script writing abilities involves two things. First, you need to practice writing video scripts. As with any writing niche, the more you spend practicing your craft the better you will become. Second, you need to find ways to up your game. Find the best video scripts in existence and start from there. To get started here is a great source, Film Script Writing.
At Film Script Writing, you can find at least one Hollywood movie that stirs your coffee. Whether you are a “Pulp Fiction” type of person or more into “Jerry Maguire,” scripts abound on this site. They feature the classics ranging from horror to comedy to animation. Personally, “The Big Lebowski” and “Dead Poets Society” strike a chord, but sci-fi fanatics are more likely to pick up “Alien” or “The Empire Strikes Back.” Once you have chosen a script to start with, commence reading. Don’t stop there. Then choose a script from a film you’ve never seen, or in a genre with which you aren’t comfortable. Branch out and you’ll pick up parts of script writing you may lack, such as mystery or romance.
After you’ve read through some scripts, pick up one that you admire and strive to write like. Start writing. As you write the script, copy the words verbatim. As a content marketer, you may not be aware, but the greatest novelists from Ernest Hemingway to Cormac McCarthy to William Shakespeare were copiers. Writing the words of others before you helps you learn structure and cadence, as your body and mind get into the habit of putting words on paper. Keep in mind these scripts are for educational purposes only, so make sure that your writing is for your eyes only.
The next part of this process is to rewrite your favorite scripts. Have fun with this! Think about what would happen if the Dude were to impregnate Maude, or Darth Vader were not actually Luke’s father. Make the script your own. In doing so, this forces you to think of how you would construct the lines of a script using the tools of concrete words and action verbs. At the same time, you give your creative conscious some stretching, even though you aren’t spending all of your energy creating a completely new story. Similar to fan fiction, rewriting video scripts will let you explore new ideas and concepts, while keeping you in the constraints of script writing.
Writing video scripts for sites like YouTube creates a different situation than Hollywood film writers. However, if you want your videos to go viral, you need to think in blockbuster style. Play around with movie scripts as a practice for improving your script writing abilities as a content marketing professional.
Miranda B wrote her first video script about military men searching for zombies on a tropical outpost for a client needing a video game script. She’s loved script writing ever since.