Script Writing

Join us over the course of the next three weeks as we pull back the curtain and dive behind the scenes of the production process of an animation. We’ll break down the stages of creation into three parts…

This week, discover the alchemy of script writing as we dissect the crucial phase which sets the stage for the entire creative process. In week two, we will cover visual concept formulation before finally looking at animation in week three, the moment that breathes life and movement into a project.

Script Writing

Collaborative Phase:

Every animation starts with an initial meeting where we begin mapping out the client’s vision. Pre-call research is absolutely crucial. Delving into a client’s website and social media presence allows us to get a better picture of the tone and language they tend to employ as well as their core values. We often work on explainer videos that involve tricky processes so it’s important to wrap our heads around technicalities so we make sure we are getting the most out of a call.

During the production kick off call, we ask a series of questions to ensure we get a firm grasp of the subject matter. This is our opportunity to hear how the topic is explained by the client in their own words, which is invaluable to building a grounding that will result in a great script.

During the call, it is imperative to define the animation’s intended audience. Understanding the amount of background information that will need to be provided is crucial to ensuring maximum engagement and comprehension. When addressing an audience that is already well-versed in the subject matter, we are able to go deeper into intricate details. The script is crafted to cater to this more informed audience including advanced concepts, industry-specific jargon and technical terminology. On the other hand, when an audience requires background information, our script takes on a more explanatory and introductory tone. The language is more accessible and clarity is the priority.

An animation’s target audience will guide its tone:

  • Addressing policy makers will require a highly professional, informed, solution-oriented animation script. Presenting detailed insights and aligning the content with the policymaking context ensures maximum impact. 
  • A more straightforward script with easily digestible, relatable ideas is best when addressing the wider public. Incorporating storytelling elements and real-world examples that emotionally resonate is a great way to connect to a broader audience.

Length and longevity:

Our animations vary in length, but to get the most impact we like to keep them quite short – from 30 seconds, up to around the two minute mark. A voice actor generally speaks at around 150 words per minute, but if messaging is going to be delivered purely with on-screen text, then that number goes down to 80. That is why understanding the purpose and planned uses of the animation right from the project’s inception is pivotal, allowing us to tailor the script style accordingly – be it a more explanatory tone for voice overs or concise, punchy and active text for on-screen messaging.. 

Facts and stats vital to the message are often woven into the final script. While statistics can add substantial weight to messaging, incorporating them requires a thoughtful approach, considering their potential impact on an animation’s longevity. The dynamic and evolving nature of statistics necessitates careful consideration to avoid tethering the video to a specific point in time.

Putting Pen to Paper:

Distilling complex messages succinctly requires a lot of thought. 

Crafting a script within the constraints of a time frame demands meticulous consideration where every word counts and must be pithy and powerful. As we script, we are considering what will be happening on screen – what messaging will be carried out visually rather than verbally. This is what is so unique about writing a script for an animation, it’s a piece of oration that works in tandem with visual aids. This means that things can be explained very simply in words and then the messaging can be fleshed out with images and text on screen. 

Scriptwriting is the first step and back-bone of an animation! It’s a point of departure that sets the tone for the rest of the process.