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Writing A Screenplay Treatment
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Writing a screenplay treatment is telling a story step by step, a short version of the screenplay. A treatment that flows smoothly and is engaging to read holds great potentialities for the author. It can place him on a higher pedestal that he could only dream about. Treatments make good selling tools too, for, not only are the screenplays sale-able commodities but today even an idea for a movie can fetch a high price.
Most studios, producers, or other eminent personalities involved in the making of a movie, teleplay, video games or a theatrical play have their own team of writers on their roll. They buy ideas or screenplay treatments and get them expanded into screenplays according to their own line of imagination. This puts greater weight on writing a screenplay treatment that is of extraordinarily superior quality. It is very important to register the screenplay treatment with the Writers Guild of America because stealing of ideas is not unknown in such an industry, which is filled with rivalry and competition.
Writing a screenplay treatment should be single spaced and use 12 point, Courier New font. The treatment is the narration of the story as viewed by the writer. It is written in present tense, following the paragraph structure. Screenplays move forward from one scene to the next every two pages. Similarly, treatments move ahead but faster; from one scene to another with every paragraph. New characters should be introduced by typing their names in capital letters for the first time. Tagging the names of characters with a brief description of their physical and mental make-up is an excellent idea.
Include the minimum of dialogues. About one exchange of dialogue per scene will do. Incorporate them into the paragraph very naturally. Dialogues only add to the weight of a scene but should be used sparingly. Writing a screenplay treatment needs a sound grip on the story and how it unfolds. Treatments must maintain the tone and pace of the intended script. The writer should not miss out any important scene or event, thus leaving a gaping hole in the story.
Writing a screenplay treatment is not the end, but rather the beginning of a series of re-writing and editing. The more you work on it, the finer it will become, fetching more interest and funding. The treatments better the screenplays and vice versa. The author sees new dimensions and novel ideas flood into him as he begins to delve deeper into the story and characterization. Crafting a treatment that sells is a time consuming process.
Some writers tear down screenplays just to learn how to write treatments. Movie treatments, like movies, should have a dynamic beginning, a middle that is engrossing and end on a note that is etched into the memory of the reader for a long time to come. The length of the treatment can vary greatly and the format depends upon individual preference of the buyer. Writing treatments is an ideal tool to garner the interest of the professionals of the entertainment capital of the world.
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