Our junior partner wrote a script for our law firm's video shoot, complete with dialogue and instructions for the cameraman. Should we use it?

Well, it's possible that your associate is one of those screenwriting "naturals" who has a gift for evoking normal human speech and a cinematographer's knack for the proper camera angles. More likely, though, he just got a bit carried away with his assignment and hasn't quite grasped what's involved in shooting a law firm video.

All you're really trying to do, in the course of your shoot, is to capture your lawyers, staff, and possibly clients talking about your areas of expertise and the services your firm offers. What you'll wind up with on the front end may seem like a confusing jumble of commentary and camera angles; but, on the back end, after the footage has been edited, you'll have a coherent, engaging, two-minute-long video that you can upload to YouTube.

The reason a script is a bad idea is that it inhibits spontaneity during the shoot: if everyone only says what they're supposed to say, and even the cameraman feels constrained to execute artsy pans with vaselined lenses, you'll wind up with something very tense, very unnatural, and very short. Once your editor gets to work trying to salvage the footage and extract usable bits to incorporate into the finished video, you may find that you've only captured about 20 seconds of viewable video, and it's back to square one - this time without a script.

At Gearshift, we know that scripts are vastly overrated when its comes to YouTube videos - usually the best, most engaging, and easiest-to-watch videos are those that are shot without a working script because lawyers feel free to be sincere and say what they want to say. Questions? Call our YouTube marketing experts today at 877-477-7883 to set up a free consultation!


Jim Folliard
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Founder, Director, Cinematographer, Photographer & Editor