The toughest thing about scripting corporate video is knowing when to shut up.

That is, sometimes the picture has to do the talking, or the music has to do the talking, or graphics have to do the talking. Some think scripts are just words, words, words. Tell ‘em what you’re going to say, then tell them, then tell them what you said.

That worked in the 50’s and 60’s, but now your kid knows more about video storytelling than you or I do. They’re immersed in it. All of the above is even tougher in the world of clients… and their clients.

Big business has gotten bigger, and more uptight. Marketing may let an ad agency take some risks, but corporate video is seen as the stern schoolteacher who sticks to the syllabus. The world is one big training tape to those not intimate with video’s possibilities. Their idea of creative is an on-screen narrator walking and talking and pointing to things, or voiceovers and animations or text. But corporate video is where the faithful get motivated, and the skeptical can be converted.

Corporate video can be cathartic. Depending on the level of strategy and creative, it make bring people to tears— and realizations. This all starts with the script, and the script starts with a vision (or put more pedestrianly, a plan). How do we achieve our goals? How do we get to these people? What do they have in common that we can use as a point of entry? What beliefs do they have (as a majority) they we can anchor our premise and our proof? How do we use parable, or story, to allow them to come to their own realizations, realizations they will own— because they thought of them?

It’s a tricky business, but when it works it changes lives and corporate fortunes. It’s tough to take changes when you don’t know where your next job will come from. But smart CEO’s are interested in results. They need to promote risk-taking, not nail-biting. And let corporate video producers do their jobs.