Shooting scripts – the AV approach

In the class, digital storytelling, we’re learning a lot about what make a videos successful. Humor has funny little a way of getting a message across while entertaining consumers at the same time, making them memorable. It takes a lot of planning to create a successful spot, too. Before writing fiction, for instance, it is essential to script out and storyboard the video. For this post, we’re going to focus on shooting scripts and I’ll provide you guys with two humorous examples. 

The shooting script works like a blueprint. Just as the builders study the blueprint first, and keep going back to it even as they build, the director follows the specifications of the shooting script. It’s a set of directions for the director (and the actors and the cinematographer and the art director and others on the production end).

Shooting scripts come in different styles. The best known is the one-column feature film style with its rigid rules of what’s capitalized, what’s left-justified, what’s centered and so on—but we’re not going to follow that template. We in Digital Storytelling are better served by the two-column audio/visual (AV) style because it makes a point of showing the close correlation between words and pictures.


Okay, soo here we go!


Foot Locker x adidas “No Rings” featuring Damian Lillard


Athlete Damian Lillard talks on his cellphone in the living room with the basketball game on and bragging about his new adidas gear, when inadvertently offends all of his friends.






[Wide shot]: A group of guys sitting in living room, watching basketball game on television. They are facing away from camera. Damian joins the guys & sits down on the sofa, with his left hand holding a cellphone to his ear and puts down a shopping bag with his right hand.

Game sounds through shot 14


DAMIAN: Yeah, just picked up some fresh  adidas gear from Foot Locker


[Medium shot]: Shows Damian, dressed head-to-toe in adidas gear, on the phone, fiddling with his shorts, looking down

DAMIAN: Look good play good, right?


[Close up]: Damian looking down, slightly nodding

DAMIAN: The last thing I want I want to be is one of those guys that never won a ring, tah (laugh sound)!


[MS] Barry (on left) & L.T. (on right) quickly glance from the game to at Damian with blank faces.

Damian’s knees “dirty” the shot in the left of the screen



[MS] Looking back at his friends, Damian has a guilty face and lowers his phone from his ear



[MS] Barry and L.T. still looking at Damian without a blink

L.T. shrugs both hands in disarray


Barry: Wow.


DAMIAN: Barry…(sigh)…L.T.


[WS]: Shows the opposite view of the living room with all three guys in the shot. A new pair of knees “dirty” the shot in the left-hand bottom of the screen


Damian, still holding his phone, explains himself with his hands in the air. Barry and L.T. look back at Damian

DAMIAN: I meant one of those…basketball players that never won a ring


[MS]: Chris, sitting in a chair with his right hand to his face, scowls back at Damian. Damian’s head dirties the shot.



[MS]: Damian turns toward Chris, colorfully uses his arms to explain himself, pointing liberally at himself and back at Chris. He’s still holding his cellphone.

DAMIAN: No, Chris- I didn’t mean you I meant one of them legends



[WS]: Chris still scowling back at Damian.


Damian, smiling and guilty, lifts his arms and looks up to his left.

His face drops.

DAMIAN: who lost in the finals, over and over!

DAMIAN: (laughs)


[MS]: Shows Karl standing in the doorway, wearing a grill apron and holding a plate of hamburgers. He stares blankly at Damian while Damian looks back. Barry is scowling at Damian with his hand resting on his knee. He is standoffish.



[CU]: Karl slowly walks inside holding the plate of hamburgers. He doesn’t blink.

KARL: Burgers are ready.


[MS]: Barry looks back at Karl and waves him over to join everyone around the TV.

L.T.: Karl! Come back!


[WS]: Shows everyone around the TV. They are all looking in the distance, respectively. Barry watches Karl walk away.

L.T: Karl!


Black screen with white text, “IT’S THE PLAYOFFS”

adidas gear cascades across the screen




Accent sounds


Foot Locker logo

“APPROVED.” Social media signs

Accent sounds


Wide shot of the living room full of Damian, Barry, L.T. and Chris watching the basketball game, washed-out white.



Adidas logo “SHOP ORIGINALS”

Basketball game sounds




Accent sounds



FirstBank – Identity Theft Protection


Josh waits for his order at the coffee bar. His friend walks up to him, wearing the same shirt. Further awkwardness is soon taken care of.






[WS]: Josh standing alone, facing the coffee bar as he waits for his order.

A friend jovially approaches and greets him.

Josh nods.

The friend takes a step back and calmly points at his shirt then back at Josh, smiling

Josh is aloof and locks eyes on the coffee bar


A smiling man in a suit walks up to the friend and he looks at the suited man as he grabs him.

Busy coffee shot sounds through shot 5


FRIEND: Oh hey Josh…


JOSH: Hey what’s up man?



FRIEND: Uh oh…Looks like we’re twins…

JOSH: Yeah…


[MS]: The suited man rips the shirt down the middle, off the friend’s back.

Josh faces them, watching casually.

The suited man grabs the entire shirt and walks away.

The friend looks around in disbelief

Josh watches the man and looks at his friend. He nods confidently

Ripping sounds






JOSH: Sorry about that, he’s with my bank


[WS]: The friend, now bare-backed, still holding his hands in disbelief, stares a Josh


A barista walks over behind the bar with two drinks in hand and places one on the counter

Josh takes his drink.

She reads the next drink and puts it down


The friend covers his chest with his left hand and takes his drink with his right hand.





BARISTA: ‘Got a triple no-whip skinny mocha


BARISTA:…And another triple no-whip skinny mocha


[MS]: The shirtless friend looks down eagerly at his drink when the man in the suit quickly approaches and bats the drink out of his hand, onto the floor.

The shirtless guy looks away, frustratingly

Josh walks away, without a care.

Sounds of coffee spilling


[WS]: The suited man takes one last look at the friend then follows Josh out the door.

The friend is left shirtless, with spilled coffee at his feet.

White text: “We’re here to protect your identity.”






A guitar melody begins through the end


Animated First Bank Logo

Text: “Member FDIC”




It’s amazing that so much thought and detail go into just 30 seconds of video. Could you imagine the amount of shots in a 2 minute video…what about a 30 minute video!? Touche to all the creatives out there!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s