How to Create Engaging Unscripted Videos

Tools and plans for creating engaging unscripted videos


Both professional video producers and students who are learning to produce high quality videos often follow the best practices outlined below for creating unscripted videos.



The video is compelling if it provides motivating content that hooks the viewer from the beginning of the video and keeps the audience's attention.

Events and messages are presented in a logical order or in an artistic way.

Production Values

Video Continuity/Editing

The video is edited with only high quality shots remaining. Video moves smoothly from shot to shot. A variety of transitions are used to assist in communicating the main idea and smooth the flow from one scene to the next. Shots and scenes flow seamlessly. Digital effects are used appropriately for emphasis.

Audio Editing

The audio is clear and effectively assists in communicating the main idea. Background audio is kept in balance.


Additional lighting is used to eliminate shadows and glares. All scenes have sufficient lighting for viewer to easily see the action and/or subject.

Camera Techniques (Exposure/Focus)

All shots are clearly focused and well framed. The camera is held steady with few pans and zooms. Close-ups are used to focus attention. Cinema-verte videos may be exceptions to these guidelines as long as they are consistent with the subject matter.


The graphics and/or animation present an overall theme that appeals to the audience. It also enhances main ideas with a high impact message. Any graphics explain and reinforce key points.


Copyrighted information for photos, graphics and music is clearly identified by source and nature of permission to reproduce.

Moving Images

Motion scenes are planned and purposeful, adding impact to the story line. "Talking heads" scenes are only used when crucial to telling the story.


Video clips show no slack time. "Three beat" timing (three actions per clip or three clips per event) is evident. Also, the length is consistent with the intent of the video.


This How-To assumes that the unscripted video has already been prepared and is awaiting review.

References and Resources

  • This How-To is uses copyrighted material from material by Joan Vanderveide ( at the University of Wisconsin - Stout.
  • Another excellent rubric for producing quality videos can by found at Coco's Classroom. The striking thing about this was the fact that it was produced for students in K-12 and shares many of the same criteria as that of Ms Vandervelde's work.