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Film Treatment

By Author: Timothy Gonzalez
Total Articles: 40

Composing a film treatment is among the most exhilarating experience that a film script writer can experience. A tough task but one which gives him a feeling of deep satisfaction, penning treatments that ultimately are reeled into the camera and entertain millions worldwide is any writer's dream come true. A film treatments is a short synthesis of the film's story, a slightly longer version of an outline. It consists of a description of how you want the film to feel when the project is complete. The pace, the tenor and the character arc of the intended film find a place in the treatment. A film treatment is a great tool to raise funds. If the readers - potential film makers -- are impressed, they may agree to shell out the money to produce the film. Once that major hurdle has been crossed, all other challenges seem to pale in comparison.
Writing a film treatment is the step between the time when you have gathered all the relevant information on index cards and the time when you write the first draft script. The ideal length is still a matter of controversy. We can safely say that the length is irrelevant so long as you have included all the important elements of the story. There is no need to detail the camera direction, crew or dialogues. The film treatment comprises the basic plot, and it is written in present tense, prose form. There are two main types of treatments, which depend upon the time and purpose of their composition.
1. Original draft treatment - This is slightly more detailed and longer and is written to guide the author during the screenplay writing process. It may vary in length from 30 to 80 pages, using A4 sized paper, and 12-point, Courier New, single-spaced font.
2. Presentation treatment - This is compiled for the purpose of showcasing the concept. It is a short, scene-by-scene description of the idea, but it should not miss out on any of the important elements that thrust the story forward. The same formatting style is to be maintained in a film treatment of this kind.
Treatments for motion pictures are either a leave-behind document for after the sales pitch, or a road map for the writers as they weave their way through the script writing process. The logical and interesting narration of the concept helps the writer to be creative while restricting the unnecessary aspects. A well written film treatment must carry the following information:
• A suggestive title of the genre
• Writer's name and contact information
• WGA registration number
• The logline or the whole summary in a sentence or two
• An introduction of all the characters
• The story's why, who, why, where and how
• The set-up (beginning), conflict (middle) and resolution (end). This is often referred to as the three-act structure.
It is essential that anyone reading the treatment should be able to expand it into an approximately 100 page, completed screenplay. This means that a film treatment is a salable commodity by itself. There are many professional treatment writers who can help you to write a film treatment.

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