Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drafting a script for hire

I'm currently writing a draft of a video script commissioned by a social agency to be used to promote their services to their client base. It's a drama but has to give information on what kind of practices the client base will face in the field and how to deal with them strategically.

So it's not art.

Yet, it's definitely creative. Creativity at the service of information. One of the reasons I wanted to do this script is because I support the activities of this social agency and I think that I can raise the level of their communications from a fairly conventional and uninteresting level of their earlier videos to bringing a more realistic and dramatic aspect to a new video.

I spent a lot of time interviewing members of their client base, the people whose story I'm actually trying to tell. And of course, it's through this research that the best story ideas, incidents, and even lines of dialogue come from. If you have a good understanding of dramatic structure, harnessing the research to the story will help the script write itself.

But it still has to come to life and that's where I, as a writer, come in. The real risk is that the audience for this video will be able to smell b.s. So I need to tell the truth and yet get a fair amount of information across. Video is not great at information or statistics. What video IS good at is behaviour, characters, story.

Hopefully the script will allow the agency to have their cake and eat it too. At least I enjoyed doing the research and writing it.

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