Developing a Script for a Video

The purpose of a video is to share the value of an idea, a service, a brand, a product, a business, or an initiative in a way that makes people care about it and react to it in a way that prompts them to take action. 

To do that we have to take every ounce of information available, distill it down to its core essence, and craft a concise narrative that is worth sharing. This is often a very difficult thing to do because we don't have time to say everything. A typical script is somewhere around 150 words for a :60 second video, to approximately 225 words for a :90 second video. 

Because no two videos are exactly alike, script writing isn't a rigid process. It requires some fluidity and nuance for each unique case. However, there are still guidelines we can follow to help craft a concise and memorable script. At ipsoCreative, we employ a template that helps us develop an outline and identify key aspects of the message. That template follows the acronym: P.A.S.T.O.R. 

Here is some insight into how we craft our scripts with the P.A.S.T.O.R. template:  

P // Person, Problem, Pain

  • Person — Who is this about? Who is this for? (the audience)
  • What are they like, how do they act, what do they want, how are they wired? etc. Not just demographics, but also psychographics (attitudes and aspirations).
  • Problem — What is the problem? What are the barriers?
  • Why does this problem exist? (cost, complexity, mis-information, lack of expertise, etc.)
  • Pain — What is their pain? (the felt pain, e.g. confused, afraid, curious, skeptical, in-over-my-head, etc.) 

A // Amplify, Agitate, Admit

  • Amplify — turn up the volume on the pain/problem.
  • Show them the cost of not solving the problem or addressing the pain.
  • Agitate — generate a little anxiety. Put your finger on the pain point.
  • Admit — admit the problem exists; admit that it is real and that you can relate to them; agree with how they feel.
  • Sometimes you just need to say, “We know how it feels to…”

S // Story

  • Try to tell a story about the solution, get the heart of it, explain it in a way that draws them into a possible solution.
  • The goal is engagement and curiosity, what will peak their interest? 

T // Testify

  • Testify about the value
  • Why does this matter? Why should people people care?
  • What value does this brand, this business, this product, this message, this service, provide

O // Offer

  • The offer is how ____ helps you.
  • “We’re here to help… and this is how…”
  • Take the value and offer it as something tangible

R // React

  • Initiate a reaction and provide a call to action (CTA)
  • Hook their emotions and build their confidence


Working through these questions with the client during a discovery phase helps distill down the message, identify the narrative arc, and is the beginning step to developing a script.