Punching Up a Script for a Social Media Video

by | May 31, 2018 | Scripts, Writing

How do you take a script you’ve been given for a social media video and punch it up to make it even more fun to watch? This was the challenge I had when working on a video for a new apartment complex.

The first thing writer Sarah Edwards did was take factual information about the apartments and turn it into an amusing story about a group of friends deciding on where to hangout.

Here is what she sent to me:

Opening of Sarah sitting around with friends, hanging out on phones and trying to make a plan for the night.

Friend one: Hi guys, what do you want to do tonight?

Friend two: Let’s go grab a drink and maybe some food and make a plan from there.

Friend three: Ok, well where should we go to do that?

Friend two: I’m so indecisive today. Someone else decide. Let’s first agree on a neighborhood.

Friend one: How about Northeast?

Friend three: (shrugs) Let’s go somewhere else.

Friend one: Uptown?

Friend two: I want to try something new.

Sarah: What about East Town?

Friends together, WTF IS East Town?

East Town is a neighborhood that people don’t really know much about yet but there is so much going on! A few of my favorite things include:

Quick shots in front or inside these locations:

Guthrie Theater (quick shot inside the Guthrie all dressed up)

Day Block Event Center

Wasabi Fusion

Sarah:Oh, and maybe you want to be within walking distance of all of this stuff? Maybe you want to live at a dog friendly apartment. With a coffee bar and underground parking. And bike storage and on-site concierge.

(shots in front of these amenities)

Last shot of Sarah in concrete pool.

Sarah: Oh and believe it or not Minnesota does get pretty hot in the summer and we need to take full advantage of those hot summer nights. So imagine yourself living here. With a pool. Oh, and if you want to invite me over that would be pretty sweet.

The foundation for the story was great, so I went through and did a few things to punch it up:  

  1. Give characters names. Names invoke ideas as to who the character is, so the person playing that character can become that character, and feel slightly less inhibited to do goofy things, especially if that person is not an actor.
  2. Change simple words into slang words.  For example, I changed the word “Drinks” to “Draaanks.”  It gives personality to the character and stays in peoples memories longer.
  3. Add unique props and visuals.  I added a dog, a man blow-drying his hair, a pizza-shaped pool floaty, a coconut drink, a bag of groceries from Trader Joe’s and a sandwich. Why? Cuz I love using weird, colorful props to try and stay in peoples’ brains long after they’ve watched the video.

Here is what I sent back to her. The items I added are in BOLD:


Sarah and friends, LINDSEY, ROBERT, FRANCESCA and BENNY zone out on phones, somewhere between asleep and pajama-mode.  

Lindsey, antsy at everyones phone gazing breaks the silence–

LINDSEY: GUYS, what do you want to do tonight?

Upon hearing this, ROBERT looks up from his phone.


Which snaps FRANCESCA out of her phone daze–


BENNY: And then we get more draaaaanks, ya dig?

FRANCESCA: I’m in, I’m in—where should we go?

LINDSEY: I’m so indecisive today, guys whatchoo thinkin’?

ROBERT: (coolly, trick up his sleeve) Oh I got a little somethin’ somethin’.

BENNY: Definitely not Uptown, right bro?

ROBERT: Nah mang.

FRANCESCA: Northeast?

BENNY: Ha, Northeast? No-way.

ROBERT:  You ready for this?


BENNY: Sarah, give it to ‘em.


Both dudes are now dressed up super suave-like drinking cocktails, looking like a pair of James Bonds.  A title pops up, that looks clean, fresh, classy that reads “EAST TOWN”, with a sparkle.

Snap zoom in on Lindsey and Francesca.


FRANCESCA: –is East Town??

Sarah: Hold on a second.

Sarah reaches for a dial. One end is labeled “CASUAL CONVERSATION” the other is labeled “SALES PITCH MODE”.  She rotates the dial to sales pitch mode.

SARAH: (energy and excitement) East Town is a neighborhood that people don’t know much about yet, but there’s so much going on….check it out:

Quick montage of whip pans from place to place. Possible montage using their drone footage?

SARAH: Oh and maybe you want to be within walking distance of all this stuff?

SARAH: Or you wanna live at a dog friendly apartment.

Sarah attempts to say this through a lick-attack from a dog.

SARAH: With a coffee bar and underground parking.

Barista slides a coffee down the counter to which Sarah catches (or misses).

SARAH: And bike storage and on-site concierge.

Sarah puts away a 70’s style kids bike with a banana seat. (maybe also a joke about the concierge).

Sarah lays on a giant pool floaty in an empty pool.  Sunglasses, umbrella drink, whole 9 yards.

SARAH: And believe it or not Minneapolis does get hot in the summer so imagine yourself living here. With a pool. With water in it.  Oh and if you want to invite me over that would be pretty sweet.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future blog post or would like to hire me for personal consultation on a video you’re making or if you’d like to hire me to make a video for you, feel free to contact me via the CONTACT page and I will get back to you as soon as I can.  Thank you and keep creating.