How to Make a YouTube Video Skit

Creating a YouTube Skit is fun and easy. The more you plan and know how you're going to shoot your video and what you're going to say, the better your video will turn out as you will have a better understanding of how to bring your creation to life.

A notebook full of ideas is essential for inspiration.
A notebook full of ideas is essential for inspiration. | Source

How to Brainstorm Ideas

The hardest part about writing any kind of script is coming up with the general idea. When under pressure to come up with an idea, often it is hard to brainstorm something that seems like a good idea. More often than not, your best ideas are always going to pop up randomly and when you least expect it so be sure to have pen and paper ready to jot it down. Many ideas are fleeting, especially if they surface when you're about to slip off to sleep.

Many find their inspiration while taking a shower, driving or doing mundane tasks such as cleaning or cashiering. The most important way to stay inspired is to keep a notebook full of random ideas that you've had. Don't worry if the idea doesn't seem to be that great at first - it can always lead to inspiration for another, better idea, and I have found that if you are in a constant state of creating ideas, your ideas will not only become more frequent but will also create better ideas.

Keep an Idea Journal
Carry around a small notebook where you can jot down your ideas. Put pen and paper within reach of your bed. Cellphones are not just for Facebook, you can also use the memo function on your phone to write down ideas when you get them. Transfer over all your ideas on a weekly or daily basis to keep them in one central location.

Where do you get your best ideas?

  • Bathroom/Shower
  • While driving
  • When doing chores
  • Before/after sleeping
  • Randomly
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Finding Inspiration

The world is full of weird and strange things. You don't have to look far for ideas. Friends, family, news stories, experiences that have been meaningful to you or ones that have caused you the most unrest are places to start.

They just discovered fifteen new species of birds? Could there be an unwritten origin story about them or were they dropped off by aliens to invade the world?

No idea is a bad one. If something strikes you as "maybe potentially" being something good, give it some thought. There's no shame in trying out a bad idea only to realize that yes, it was an awful idea. If you're too afraid to try to fail at creating a bad skit, you're never going to be able to produce anything. Don't fall into the perfection trap or think that you have to please everyone. Not everyone is going to have the same tastes or humor as you, so don't put that kind of pressure on yourself.

Sources of Inspiration

Things you know how to do
crafts, DIY projects, advice you can give
Friends and family
Crazy stories or memories, strange habits, weird ticks or obsessions. Family dinners, coversations
Experiences or Observations
Things people do, obstacles you've overcome or have dealt with, your most embarrassing/sad/happiest memory
Things you like OR hate
product reviews, exaggerating how much you like waffles, how much you hate the words "cray cray"
Recent news, trends, what's hot
spoofs of popular trends, hipsters, parodies

Writing Your Script

Once you have an idea that you want to explore or make into a skit, there are a couple of aspects you need to consider before writing out your script.

Things to Consider for Your Skit

  • How many people are in the skit? Will you need to find actors?
  • Who else needs to read the script? Do you need to write it so others can understand it?
  • Where will this be shot? What time of day? Do you need a location release form or special permission?
  • Do you need to storyboard out the scene before filming?
  • Will you need any props or special fx created? Do you need to worry about a green screen?

After you've taken these factors into consideration, you're ready to start writing your script. Keep in mind that if you're the only one who will be reading the script, you don't need to worry about spending time formatting it into an acceptable format (of course if helps you, by all means write it that way).

Is Your Script Taking too Long to Format?

If you're looking for an easier way to write your script, there is a free script writing software is Celtx.

When your first draft is done, it's essential to rewrite any scenes or lines of dialog that sound unnatural. A good way to tell if you're dialog is awkward is to read it aloud. Is it easy to read? Too long for a natural line of breath? Modify each line until you are satisfied with how it reads.

If your skit calls for more than just you, consider doing a table read or shooting over a copy of the rough draft to your actors or collaborators. They may have some suggestions to make the skit better.

Planning to Shoot Your Video

Once you've got your script done, it's time to visualize it and prepare it for shooting. Depending on the kind of skit you're going for or how complicated your skit is, you may need help visualizing what you want before you take your camera and actors on set.

Do you storyboard before shooting your video?

  • Yes, all the time
  • Yes, but only on complicated skits
  • No, I just wing it
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Visualizing Your Video by Storyboarding

Storyboarding is when you draw out the key scenes of your video, translating it from your script into a visual form.

It's a very powerful tool that allows you to see what your video looks like before you actually shoot anything. You can include camera moves, decide on the camera frame ahead of time and plan on where you actors will be entering and exiting the frame. You can even decide where each prop will go and important notes about lighting.

Things to Consider When Storyboarding

  • Camera Movement, if any
  • Stage directions, where the actor will be walking
  • Important lighting notes
  • Framing, how you want the scene to look (including your actors/props/set)

Filming Your Skit, Editing and Uploading

Once you're done visualizing and planning for your shoot, you're ready to bring it all together. Grab your camera, your lighting equipment, audio equipment, actors and anything else you'll need.

If you're filming outside, be sure to consider weather conditions and the wind - for both your camera's safety and the quality of your audio.

Be sure to film enough versions of a line, in case you decide you don't like a certain scene. Always remember to film more than what you'll need to bring your skit to life, especially if you're dealing with actors. Calling back people for a reshoot is a hassle, so make sure to get enough coverage in case you need to cut to a close-up to cover up filming mistakes.

After you get all of your footage, you're ready to edit your video and upload to YouTube!

Helpful Guides to Get You Started

How to Make Your Own YouTube Web Show - An in depth guide to creating a web series including designing and branding and brainstorming ideas.

Recording Better Sound for Youtube - A detailed guide with tips on how to improve your audio. Good audio is an essential step for improving the quality of your videos.

How to Draw a Storyboard - More information on creating storyboards to help visualize your script before recording.

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