How to draft an outline video script and calculate runtime

You’ll need an outline draft video script in order to know how long your video is when looking for an accurate price.

Just estimating 1 to 2 minutes (or 2 to 3 minutes) won’t get you an accurate price.

There’s too much price difference between one and two minutes of runtime video.

It also makes it more difficult to compare different quotes like-for-like.

Drafting an outline script 

This takes less than five minutes because it doesn’t need to be perfect as it’s only for estimation purposes. Here’s what to do:

  1. Quickly write down the main messages you need in your video. You can maybe copy this from suitable text on your website, or a powerpoint. Or just quickly write down what comes to mind. It doesn’t need to be perfect at this stage.
  2. Do a word count of your quick draft.
  3. Divide your word count by 130. This is the word rate a voiceover speaks per minute, ie, 130 words per minute or 130 wpm

The result is the length of your video in minutes. Now you can get your accurate quote.

Here’s an example: 

Say your draft word count was 260. When divided by 130, the result is 2 minutes, the length of your video.

A common problem is an overlong outline draft script, that comes out at around 4 minutes, instead of the one minute or two minutes  you had in mind.

To correct this, cut out all the nice-to-know lines of your script, and keep only the need-to-know lines. 

Keep editing the script down until you have only the essential content.

Using the above calculation enables you to know how long your video is likely to be. 

This is important as many customers start by asking for a minute of video only to find out during production that they really needed two minutes or more.

It’s better to get it right in the beginning than incur increased costs later down the line.

Studio Rossiter offer a free Script Runtime Estimation Service. Write in and ask.

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