Digital Director's Rough guide to making a scripted video.
So, having taken on the job it's only fair that you should know what it entails. Well firstly you're responsible for choosing the project, and that usually means getting a completed script. Okay, here's where the amateur sector differs from the pro's, you're either going to have to write the script yourself or get someone to do it for you. Filming a published script will involve you in arranging fees etc. etc. all of which is probably outside your budget (oh yes, you will have a budget, more of that later.) and by having a tailor-made script you can work to your own ideas and resources.
Your next task is booking the crew, starting with the director who will, of course, have the same enthusiasm about the story as you do. It may be that you're going to direct the video yourself but don't be afraid to choose someone who you feel you could work with and learn from, especially on your first project. Having decided that you're going for gold, it's worth making a list of your resources before going too far along a particular road only to come to a grinding halt. Get a small pocket- book and keep it on you at all times, this will become your bible. The first thing to do is write your name, address and mobile number on the front page, because if you don't, sod's law guarantees that you'll lose this book as soon as it's full of vital information! Make a note of the people you've got available, what they've shown an interest in and, more importantly, what you think they'll enjoy and be good at. If you're getting a crew to work for nothing, keeping them happy is way up on your list of priorities, it's not a good idea to force someone into a job which they don't want to do. Your skills of persuasion will be severely tested here. Actors and actresses are called "talent" in the industry and it's a good idea to find out what sort of talent's available to you.
Whatever you do don't force a reluctant performer in front of the camera, it will look awful and neither the actor, the rest of the team or the audience will thank you for it. Making someone look stupid is the quickest way to make an enemy for life. Willing talent can be found all over the place! An excellent source is the local amateur dramatic society which will also have a pool of back-stage skills which can be used in videomaking. If possible, go armed with a broad outline of what you want to do and either a few pages of a script or some sort of demo tape of things you've done in the past. Be honest about your budget and expectations and you may well come away with a lot of your personnel problems solved.