Make no mistake about it. We’re definitely in the weeds now.
We’ve been talking about how to write a good script, and hopefully you’re not afraid to get personal. Maybe you know the direction you want to go. Maybe you even have a few ideas jotted down. This month we’re going discuss how to bring it home and get your script done. So, first things first, you need a thesis statement.
Suppose you’re building a house. You may decide you want to build a ranch instead of a multi-story. You know you want a modern yet classical design, and you want it to be energy efficient. Those are all great ideas, but you can’t build a house from ideas like that. You need a good set of blueprints. A thesis statement is the blueprint for your video.
So how do you craft a good thesis statement? Remember that English composition class in college you slept through? Of course, you don’t. You were asleep. Or maybe you were awake but couldn’t imagine a day when that knowledge would be useful. Well, today is that day, so here’s your refresher.
A thesis statement answers the question, “what is this video about?” Don’t worry if you get stuck trying to answer that. It’s hard. That’s why we say thesis statements are “crafted.” And when you’re crafting your statement, think URP:
Your video should be about one dominant message. Do the different parts of your thesis hold together logically? For example, your first job as a home builder may be factually correct, but if it doesn’t contribute in a meaningful way to the story of why you do what you do, then it doesn’t belong in the video. (However if it contributes to a useful metaphor, then it might be relevant.)
Be reasonable about what you can do in 2-3 minutes. An average person speaks at a cadence of 150 words a minute. So a 3 minute video script should be about 450 words. Make sure your thesis statement expresses a thought, idea, or message that can be completely expressed in 450 words. As a point of reference, this blog post is 498 words.
When it comes to crafting the statement itself, cut to the chase. Don’t worry about openers or closers here. You have 5 seconds to tell someone what your video is about — Go.
Imagine it’s career day and you have to tell a room full of 13-year-olds what your video is about. No fancy lingo allowed. Don’t try to sound smart. Just tell us what you want to say.
Just like most people don’t hang the blueprints on their wall once the house is done, a good thesis statement doesn’t have to be specifically spoken in your video script. But it needs to be there to provide a plan as you go along. Your thesis statement is also very important for the next step in the process: editing. So, stick with it.