Whether you make your own explainer video script or an explainer video company to do it for you, it’s always a good idea to learn the basics. Today we’re going to teach you the classic (and still widely used!) Hollywood script structure translated to the explainer video script: the what, how and why of your business.
The Classic Hollywood Script Structure
Every classic Hollywood movie applies a 3-act script structure: beginning, middle and end.
1. In the beginning the main character is introduced along with his or her problems. These problems will be the main conflict of the movie.
2. Then, the story unfolds and the middle act begins, revealing and explaining how the conflict is solved; this is why the middle is always the longest part of the movie.
3. The story comes to a revelation moment at the end, where things get solved for the good or bad.
This same classic script structure has been used since the first black-and-white films up until the latest Hollywood flick. From Casablanca and The Godfather to Avatar and The Avengers, they all apply the 3-act structure every time.
The Explainer Video Script Structure
Now, in order to make a good animated marketing video, we keep this same 3-act script structure but we change the approach a little bit:
Act 1 (The Beginning)
"What is the problem that your business solves?"
The beginning is the introduction to a movie and in an explainer video script it won’t be different. We call it the “what” part because here’s when you show what the problem is that your business solves.
As in a classic Hollywood script, the “what” part must introduce the characters: your target audience will be represented by animated characters and the “conflict” will be the problem that your company solves.
In this example, the “what” part of the video starts from the beginning and ends when the main
character takes out a card with the brand logo (minute 0:45):
Act 2 (The Middle)
"How does your business solve this problem?"
Just like the middle act in the classic script structure, the “how” part in a marketing video script explains how the problem is solved: your brand appears to save the day and deal with the character’s problem.
Watch how the problem is solved in this cute animated video of ours:
By the way, this video was recently selected by Hubspot's top 20 as the best explainer video on the web.
Act 3 (The End)
"Why should your audience choose your business?"
Ok, so your business has solved the problem, but perhaps many other companies can solve the same issue. So the next step is, to explain why your business is better than any other. This is the most “salesy” part of the video; at this stage, you’ll need to describe your main features, explain your brand’s advantages and add any kind of information that shows how your business is different from the rest.
Sometimes, “how” you solve the problem is pretty much “why” they need to choose your business; this happens quite a lot so it isn’t a big deal. Write some drafts a few times, and learn which structure suits your script best.
Here's a good example of a clear "why" section in one of our best explainer videos, starting at 0:55:
The Secret Act
Wait, what? Well, this last act is not an act itself but a powerful marketing element: the final call-to-action!
It’s vital to point out what you want your potential customers to do after watching your video, whether they download an eBook or subscribe to a newsletter. To do so, place a clear call-to-action at the end of your video.
Don’t forget that you’re dealing with a marketing video, so you need to have a clear marketing objective and aim your call-to-action at that goal, such as this call-to-action: “Get our free eBook: "How to Write an Explainer Video Script”.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: we have great educational infographics, eBooks and slides about video SEO, animated marketing video promotion, social video strategies and more inside our Explainer Video Academy, so don’t leave before visiting and sharing it.