5 Tips on Writing for Animation

Ewan Roxburgh
May 20, 2021
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Planning, scripting, scheduling and budgeting are all a bit different from traditional, live-action video production. Haven’t done any writing for animation before? Here are some tips!

5 Tips on Writing for Animation

Know your scope

Time and budget are as critical to animation as it is to typical video. More movement and detail in an animated video take designers and animators more time. Scoping out the time and effort required to achieve a certain look and feel is necessary. If you’re going to write for animation you need to know what resources you have, how far they go and what’s the best way to deploy them. An experienced team of animators can help.

Know your style

Working with different styles and aesthetics is a good way to workaround time and budget constraints. Regardless, thinking about the style or animation is a must. Maybe your designer has done some style frames. Maybe you’re aspiring to match your client’s previous project or brand style. Whatever the case, if minimalism is your goal, don’t include painstaking detail. If your characters are stick figures, don’t write clothes. Are you using motion and graphics and text only? Well, then, no characters.

Know your brand

You really need to be able to assimilate the brand’s voice into the writing. Who are you talking to? What kind of language are they likely to respond to? What are their attention spans? Also, your brand has its own colours, and maybe go-to icons too. Ask. Know your brand. Write accordingly.

Know your tone

Your tone too must reflect the brand, subject matter, and intended audience. Think about how your audience is feeling. If they’re anxiously hanging on for critical details, maybe lay off the gags. If your objective is to exhilarate, inspire and delight, write in some punchy transitions or maybe some cute sound effects.

Be succinct

So this matters in two ways: you’ve got to be succinct with your audience because you’re competing for their attention with, you know, the entire internet. But beyond that, you need to be succinct in your visual descriptions. This makes life easier for designers and animators. Be precise. Be clear.

So there you have it: 5 tips on writing for animation. Go for gold.

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