Tips for creating a script for short videos

Applications for creating and sharing short videos have increasingly conquered the public in Brazil with their mini-novelas. One of them, Kwai, launched the TeleKwai project in the country, a new dramaturgy format with vertically produced mini-soaps and mini-series.

A well-produced script facilitates the production of content and can make videos with more personality and dynamism. With that in mind, the Kwai gathered some valuable tips for those who want to produce a good video in the form of a mini-soap opera or mini-series, prepared by two TeleKwai participants: actor and director Felipe Reis, who has five channels (Dystopia, Meu chapa, Guru, Fala Comigo, and Scammers!) on the app, and DR Produção’s content director, Phil Rocha, who manages the channels O Lado Obscuro, A Nossa História, Histórias de Amor, Mensagem Unexpected and Abra o Coração on the platform.

Image: Amanda Vick/Unsplash

How to create a script for short videos

1. First steps

Before producing any content, you need to plan your script. A good way to do this is to answer the following questions:

What will the content be?
The first step is to define the subject of the script of your mini-novela. Whether you’re going to follow the genre of drama, horror, LGBTQIA+, romance, stories that are motivational with a moral lesson, if it’s going to be a new recipe, or even portraits of your daily life.

What format?
Will it be random episodes or a series? If it’s a miniseries, it’s very important to define that each episode needs to end in a moment that generates curiosity in people so that they want to see the continuation of this story.

What audience do you want to watch your videos?
It is important to distinguish the age group, gender identity and location of the users you would like to have access to and view your videos. This makes it easier to think of subjects that can become a theme for the scripts.

How will the content be made? Establish the duration of the video, whether it will be made in a narrated way, with special effects, with the insertion of animations, with the participation of other creators, etc.

2. Create a Storytelling

After answering these four questions, the next step is to create a storytelling, that is, a brief description of the scenes and what will happen between them. Describe what will appear in each scene, which scenario will be used (a white wall or an open place, for example), who will be the characters in the video, what will be the ingredients of the recipe or the makeup of the beauty tutorial. Remember that it is a narrative that needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end.

According to Felipe Reis, to create fiction scripts and mini-novelas, more than an idea, you need a story, with a good character and, above all, an excellent conflict. “The plot conflict usually goes against the protagonist, preventing him from achieving his goal, that’s what will make your story interesting. It doesn’t have to be a fancy idea, often a simple idea, one that we don’t get lost in telling, ends up yielding great stories.”

For Phil Rocha, it is also important to establish strategies to create an efficient roadmap. “It is essential to study the format of the content before starting to produce to understand the language and the main characteristics of each style. The appropriateness of what you will address or the message of the production that will keep the audience interested throughout the video. In addition, you have to be creative and utilize the available resources in the best possible way,” he explains.

To make the video stand out in the feed, the beginning must be in a very impactful way, and this will draw the attention of those who are scrolling. “There are some tricks for us to achieve this result. One of them is, for example, to start the video with a very striking sentence, which can be used later using the flashback feature. Let’s say we are going to tell a murder story and at the end the character will say to the killer ‘I can’t believe you killed such a person’, the video with that sentence at the beginning will arouse curiosity and make users watch until the end”, complete Phil.

In mini-soaps it is also important to define where each episode should end. The open-ended plot has to imply that it will be resolved in the next chapter. This will pique the curiosity of the viewer.

3. Finally, produce!

It is very important to review the script completely and read it aloud to get a better understanding of how the lines and scenes within the video will look. After that, your content will be ready to be recorded and published. “An important tip is to read with the actors who will participate in the scene before recording, so that each one can adapt the text to speak in a more natural way. In this reading, you will already understand what works and what does not”, concludes Felipe Reis.

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