Before my final semester at Georgia State, I had never filmed or produced anything in my life other than quick clips of videos on Instagram.
But after being heavily involved in my digital journalism class, I can most certainly say that is no longer the case, and I have become more advanced in knowing and understanding how film and video factor into journalism and news broadcasting.
My partner, Lindsay, and I made four different films for our class, each running about two minutes long. With each film, we also turned in a script, which was meant to help organize our film process and ease the struggle of placing b-roll and voice clips together. Much like writing an outline before a research paper, your script is meant to highlight each important portion of you film to ensure no information is missing or left out. As the backbone of your piece, it can also help identify problems before they arise.
With our first few projects, Lindsay and I got caught up in filming interviews, b-roll and and our audio clips, that we would end up writing our script after we filmed. This was definitely counter productive and provided little to no help on each project.
But with our last film project, we wrote the script a week early, highlighting all the questions we wanted to ask, places we wanted to film, and appropriate b-roll to capture. It certainly made the process much smoother and fluid.
In an article by The Balance, we used these tips often for our scripts:
- Write for the ear
- Avoid passive voice
- Use present tense where appropriate
- Write stories about people
- Actions verbs add verve
- Be careful with numbers
- Skip cliches and journalese
- Write to video
- Sell the story
- Move the story forward
With these helpful hints, our final project had a great script and an even better final video!