We all want the characters in our brand videos to stand out and be memorable… but unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
One of the main culprits that handcuffs writers is that there characters all sound exactly alike.
Your brand video may be only a few minutes in length but each character in your script is a living, breathing, thinking person with different goals and desires.
So how to differentiate them and give each character his/her own voice? A good place to start is to give your characters history.
Christopher Vogler, author of The Hero’s Journey, suggests that screenwriters write a complete biographical sketch of your main characters. I think this rule applies to the characters in your brand videos.
When creating characters for your brand video you should write out their…
• personal history
• family background
• job experiences
• dislikes and prejudices
• preference in food, clothing, etc…
It may seem like a lot of work for a short video, but your characters will shine because of your efforts. Hey, Ibsen spent two years researching his characters before he allowed them to speak a single word. And that guy was no slouch.
Your Characters’ “Super Objective”
A term that gets bounced around a lot at writing schools – and for some reason makes me think of Marvel Comic Book Heroes – is “Super Objective.”
Your characters’ Super Objective refers to what they truly want in life. These are the core values that most all of us share: to love, to be loved, to have authority, to be admired, to be respected, etc.
These Super Objectives don’t actually have to be in your brand video story, but a firm knowledge of them helps build your characters’ foundation. Creating memorable characters is all about adding layers. And knowing their Super Objective is an important detail.
Speaking of details…
(Nice segue, huh? … Cough.)
Understanding how your characters approach life and people is an important detail. Their humour, ego, self-awareness (or lack of it) will play a huge part in this.
Ask yourself how they cope and what defense mechanisms they use. What are their unique foibles and tics?
Like the Super Objective, chances are you might not even use them when it comes time to writing your video but just knowing these things helps to round out and develop your characters – and give each one of them their own distinctive and unique voice.