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researching for video script writing

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Geoff Swartzresearching for video script writing
by on Jan 26, 2016 at 6:38:25 pm

As the sole video producer at my company I find that I'm being asked to produce videos for a variety of end users. Some days it's for our customers who are trying to learn how to use our software, other times it's more of a marketing video trying to entice new customers. Now I've been asked to create one directed toward accountants and how partnering with us can be beneficial for their business.

I have always just created videos based on scripts that others have written and that visually appeal to myself and the script writers. But I want to change that and start doing more research about who we're trying to reach to make sure the video has the most impact that we're hoping for. So, with that in mind I started googling things like "accountant videos" or "marketing videos for accountants". Nothing I'm finding is really giving me the information I was hoping for - are there certain types of videos and visuals that connect with this type of audience better than others?

Can anyone suggest a better way to go about researching this type of stuff for the pre-production process? Thanks

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Mark SuszkoRe: researching for video script writing
by on Jan 27, 2016 at 11:12:44 pm

Get the book:-)

I count John as a friend, and his book helped me make a career out of writing scripts for the kind of thing you're doing. it's worth owning and will save you time, money, and stress. I don't get anything in exchange for the plugs, though:-)

While you wait for delivery, I'll offer some personal opinion FWIW.

Just because they're accountants, doesn't mean they aren't still human. With the same interests and motivations the rest of us have. But since by definition, they have a higher level of numeracy than an average civilian viewer, you don't have to hold back as much, or talk down to them, when it comes to data. Making your business case to them for using your company's services should concentrate on making the numbers self-evident in your favor. Your audience is already trained to seek out and identify causal relationships. Use that. Feed it. Give them the feeling that they are intuiting this information/conclusion independently, rather than just being spoon-fed.

Accountants have their own sub-culture, and their own perception of how the world perceives them. Without playing to stereotypes, you can still make small visual references to these "tropisms" of accountants, and they will pick up on the fact that your company "gets them". Little things like how their work spaces are decorated or not, how tidy they keep a space, how much precision they incorporate into their every waking moment.*(Overblown, irrelevant and lengthy anecdote goes here)

"Show, don't tell", still applies; your graphics and animations need to cleanly convey their concepts in a single glance. These people are trained to understand how a chart or graph can be manipulated to make something bigger or smaller-looking than it really is. Keep the mographs painfully honest, but leave out extraneous data that has no bearing on the conclusions.

Next, you might add some anecdotals; some testimonials, but only from people who carry independent credibility, and some standing with the accounting community. You will get more bites from the somewhat dry and nerdy testimony of an independent and well-regarded outside authority or happy customer, versus any number of
actor recreations" or "spokespersons".

*It reminds me of a session where we recorded interviews with a crop-duster pilot. Who of course made a huge deal right off the top of the fact they prefer the name: "Aerial Applicator", and why the distinctions are important. (Hint, it's about precision and professionalism). This guy was an ex-military jet pilot, an aeronautical engineer, also a test pilot, and makes his living slinging his plane and body around trees and telephone poles and wires at fifty feet or less off the ground, going over 200 miles an hour, pulling three-plus gees in knife-edged "bat-turns" about every twelve seconds. All day. His daily commute makes the Daytona 500 look like kid stuff. His every body movement, his manner of speech, all conveyed very careful consideration and complete precision in his thinking before saying or doing ANYTHING, no matter how banal it was. Watching him reach to take a sip of water, his every move was, obviously, planned, considered, intentional, and executed with a minimum of wasted motion. Because he HAS to live every waking moment of his life that way - the second he stops, in his work, he's in mortal danger. He can't turn it off and on for fear of being "off" at the deadliest moment. ...and it's become part of the fabric of his personality. You can get all of that from just watching and listening to him in a few minutes, and so if I ask him his opinion about something in his sphere of expertise, by God, he's not going to give estimates or say "it was about so high..." No, he's going to give measurements in fractions of a meter and exact degrees and dimensions and specific colors, etc. like Joe Freaking Friday in Dragnet making out an arrest report, and you are going to believe every word he says about "whatever". Because he deals strictly in factual data, on a life and death level. Not an easy guy to kid around with.

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Bill DavisRe: researching for video script writing
by on Jan 30, 2016 at 9:48:53 pm

Man I enjoyed that story Mark.

Niiice post.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

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Mark SuszkoRe: researching for video script writing
by on Feb 1, 2016 at 2:31:15 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Feb 3, 2016 at 4:23:45 pm


I am, btw, available for freelance script writing and/or consulting, on the side.

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grinner hesterRe: researching for video script writing
by on Apr 9, 2016 at 7:17:51 pm

I have found when an artist tries to follow others' work, that is exactly what they do. I have likewise found nobody wants to buy that and seek artists who create new visions for them. I know no better way to limit ones self than to aspire to be like someone else.

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