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Old January 26th, 2016, 11:11 AM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canton, OH
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researching for video script writing

I know this may be a bit off topic but hopefully there are some of you with some valuable advice. As the sole video producer at my company I find that I'm being asked to produce videos for a variety of end users. Some days it's for our customers who are trying to learn how to use our software, other times it's more of a marketing video trying to entice new customers. Now I've been asked to create one directed toward accountants and how partnering with us can be beneficial for their business.

I have always just created videos based on scripts that others have written and that visually appeal to myself and the script writers. But I want to change that and start doing more research about who we're trying to reach to make sure the video has the most impact that we're hoping for. So, with that in mind I started googling things like "accountant videos" or "marketing videos for accountants". Nothing I'm finding is really giving me the information I was hoping for - are there certain types of videos and visuals that connect with this type of audience better than others?

Can anyone suggest a better way to go about researching this type of stuff for the pre-production process? Thanks
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Old January 26th, 2016, 11:29 AM   #2
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Re: researching for video script writing

Hi Geoff,

Realistically, if you are intending to produce a video for a specialist market, you need to be talking to specialsts in that field. Accountancy is a technical subject so you need to find out from representatives of that profession, what their expectations would be, what would be the key areas of their specialism that you could address in your video.

The same applies to any specialised subject, you need to understand your subject to avoid making subject mistakes that could make you or your company look foolish or incompetent.

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Old January 26th, 2016, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: researching for video script writing

Yes, I agree, thanks. And I just thought to myself, why aren't I at least starting with our in house accounting department? Thanks.
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Old January 26th, 2016, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: researching for video script writing

Accounting is really boring subject matter. Ask your colleagues for ideas to lighten things up a bit... maybe give them a chance to tell a war story or two about clients & their screw ups and show how that's relevant to the subject at hand. Sit down interviews cut in over graphics and such make the piece more tolerable, and they give your colleagues a chance to brag about being on teee veeee.

Just a thought.
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Old January 26th, 2016, 10:40 PM   #5
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Re: researching for video script writing

Here's one which might be of interest. Other linked clips in the users channel might be helpful.

A DoP friend of mine and myself shot the Perth indoors interviews, the call centre, R & D, conference table and kitchen coffee vision for an Eastern States producer who shot the exteriors, client vision and did the post-production.

Very essential is to thoroughly consult and prepare. Take care not to waste the client's productive time but yet drill down to what the actual purpose of the presentation is to be. Determine if there is a corporate style-guide. Comply with it, don't fight it.

Get the project locked down to an agreed purpose and content. Limit the input by the client to facts and purpose and getting on with the business they do best and letting you do yours. Try not to allow them to engage in the ongoing creative process. - They are good at what they do, not what you do.

That's what you are there for. Apparently if you do not do this, the guidelines inevitably loosen, mission drift will occur and there are tears at the end.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 26th, 2016 at 10:47 PM. Reason: error
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Old January 27th, 2016, 06:14 AM   #6
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Re: researching for video script writing

Thank you everyone for the input. But it seems there I may have been misunderstood a bit, so just to clarify this video isn't about a certain accounting firm or for an accounting firm. We produce payroll and accounting software and we want to partner with accounting firms who would use our software for their clients, or simply refer us to their clients for them to use on their own. So we're putting together a video that we want to describe this relationship we can have with accountants to help them make more money. It's about us and how we can help them grow their business. Not about a specific accounting or CPA firm.

So knowing that, I'm just trying to keep in mind the accountants that are going to be watching it and how to make the video more enticing to that audience. Trying to research what visuals and such appeal to that audience. Sorry if that wasn't clear originally. Thanks again.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: researching for video script writing

Based on my quick research, they like puns...

But seriously, find the core value proposition and focus on that. The style should imply it to be simple, easy, friendly, reliable, professional, and with good support. If you can find a hook that makes the name stick in their heads, all the better.

So... what tools do you use for script and shot development? In the past, I've used Word while applying basic screenwriting formatting (and I've forwarded such examples to colleagues in the case that they want to make a first cut script). For storyboards, I generally take a stack of printer paper and scribble my first cut. Working collaboratively in a corporate environment, I've scanned them into PowerPoint and passed it around for people to add comments, re-order things, etc. The bottom line is that we get full consensus before we shoot.

The toughest thing is to pare things down to the essence. Software engineers often want to mention every last feature. It's hard to get a group to settle on a singular message. One guy wanted dual messages so bad that he wanted one storyline (in text) on the left and a different one simultaneously on the right(!) I explained that this was like telling a story around a campfire. You don't have two people tell different stories at the same time!

Recently, I got an iPad Pro and Pencil. I find Celtx to be a good scriptwriting tool. There are lots of drawing apps available. Paper (by 53) could be a good choice for simple storyboards. At the higher end, I might use Procreate, which has layers and allows each layer to be resized, positioned, and rotated. That could be nice for sketching something in, moving it over for text, etc., yet keeping the quickness of scribbling as compared to the time consuming nature of creating, positioning and aligning squares, blocks and lines.

Anyway, there are lots of tools available that can do the job. What might be the primary differentiator is whether you create the script and shots personally, with group review, or with collaboration. This sounds like a situation where you need to get group buy in, whether you let them touch the script and storyboard or not.
Jon Fairhurst
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