One of the most important steps to creating something memorable and mind-blowing is the script. This is possibly the single most underrated and overlooked step in amateur film/video making, but is the most crucial for anyone who is serious about creating something unique and superb! Even if you’re Johnny Knoxville and you’re about to enter the ring with a bull while you’re blindfolded, you’ve got to put some thought into what you’re going to shoot before you shoot it. And if your ideas cannot be translated in the most uncreative and boring formats known to man (a word document) then you can expect corresponding results… a video lost in translation. Why? Because making videos isn’t about edgy film angles, a $10,000 camera, and color correction… it’s about telling a story with convincing characters to suck the viewer through their video device and make them believe it’s REAL! If you’re going for something comical and people don’t laugh when they read your script… it’s not funny. If it’s supposed to be sad, someone should read it and hand it back to you saying, “Wow! I got a little choked up.” If not, dig deeper.
It seems obvious and there are undoubtedly people saying, “So, if it’s supposed to be funny… it should be funny? Right. Thanks! That’s the dumbest and most obvious thing I’ve ever read.”
But “creatives” are the WORST at understanding this. Because they have probably been creative their whole life which means they have probably been drawing things and creating things and playing music that other people can’t their whole lives. So, after a lifetime of, “ooh’s” and, “ahh’s” they think that they have the “Midas Touch” and anything they create is a “Spielberg”. Isaac Bashevis Singer, a writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978 said, “the wastebasket is the writer’s best friend.”
The solution? Write, write, and write some more. When you’re finished with your third draft, cut the words in half. Then let someone else read it. And be prepared to hear the feedback. And if you’re smart… you’ll listen.