How we train our writers.
When a new script writing job opens up at Fire Starter Videos, the article below is pretty much what we send applicants before their trial. I decided to publish it almost uncut, because I think there’s lots of great information that is particularly granular in regard to writing scripts for explainer videos. It will also give you an insight into our culture here at Fire Starter Videos and why our business is thriving in a very crowded marketplace.
Here’s the email…
You have to love our customers.
First, the job of being a script writer and Fire Starter Videos involves direct communication with our clients. Therefore your ability to write well has to be matched by your ability to make people feel special and valued. We are thriving as a business because we openly love our clients and have fun along the way.
Learning about about client’s businesses.
Obviously we have to learn a lot in our business because we make explainer videos for everything from medical devices, to high-tech stuff to insurance policies and humanitarian initiatives. That learning and articulation is done by you, the script writer.
At Fire Starter we have a structured process for this learning to occur.
- First, the client fills out this questionnaire (feel free to go through it – just don’t hit submit at the end).
- Next you will do a 20-30 minute telephone call with the client.
- Next you write the first draft of the script and then you revise the script where necessary to finish it.
How quickly do you have to contact clients and write these scripts?
Ideally we like to do the discovery call within 24-48 hours of the client completing the questionnaire. We expect a first draft of the script to be created an delivered within the next 24-48 hours.
Writing for the medium of animated explainer videos.
Whenever you write for us, the important thing to keep in mind is the medium for which you are writing. By that I mean, keep in mind that you are creating the bones upon which our artists will create the visual flesh. If you take a look at this video you will see what I mean. Notice how the narrative gives the artists something to work with?
Phrases like “Meet Mike. Mike is a Rockstar attorney.” That rockstar verbiage gives the artists a theme, and throughout the video that theme is used. It makes the video fun, engaging and accessible.
The art of great explaining.
As simple as explainer videos appear, there is an art to explaining things well. Here’s a few tips…
Relate the unknown to the known.
Sometimes we have to explain abstract ideas that on their own are confusing. The fastest way to get people there is to compare that complex thing to something simple that they are already familiar with. Sample 2 in our portfolio is a great example of this.
In that explainer video we compare the need for a keyboard that can be split in two, to the need for adjusting your car seat, office chair etc. It bridges that gap from “why would I need that?” to “Wow – I need that!” by way of simple analogy.
The ABCs of selling through online video.
In all selling, the process is simple. Identify the problem. Introduce the solution. Ask them to buy (or take some kind of action). Watch sample 10 in our portfolio for a text-book case study. In a 90 second video that’s about all you’ll have time for.
Find the essence – eliminate the clutter.
Your job is to extract the essence of what makes our client’s product, service or business great and then not crowd or dilute that essence with irrelevant or “me-too” messaging. Great scripts turn the lights on in people’s minds and then let those light shine by virtue of only the power that runs them.
How many words should the video script be?
Mostly our clients are looking to create an explainer video of around 90 seconds in length. Most professional voice actors read at about 2.7 words per second so that gives you about 240 words to play with.
Yes we do make a little more money the longer a video goes but you should not try to push the script out to make a few extra dollars. It’s short term thinking. Ultimately our success lies within our client’s success, so write the best script you can, in as few words as possible.
So that’s part of what we send our readers to orient them within the animated video script writing space. As you can see, there’s lots of great tips to creating killer video scripts.
I wish you well with it and we are here to serve you whenever you need us.