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Writing A Television Treatment
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Most writers falter when writing a television treatment. This occurs because there is no definite formula for crafting one that will work every time. Television airs several categories of programs, each requiring specialized handling. Besides, the studios and the producers mostly do not follow any fixed formatting style for crafting treatments. Through the ages, TV has undergone so many evolutionary changes that the original structure of a treatment has been replaced by different ones for different production companies, channels, or networks. Writing a television treatment for a series is quite unlike writing one for a TV film. While the former lays more emphasis of detailing the character development, the latter needs a well formulated story.
Although television is a visual medium, it relies heavily on written material. Scripts and treatments form the foundation of writing success. The ability to clearly communicate your ideas to the people who will help to launch your project is reflected by the way you write the treatment for television. In the language used by TV people, summaries are known as treatments in dramatic productions and as program proposals in non-dramatic productions. Both serve the same purpose - bringing greater clarity to the ideas and to be more organized.
Writing a television treatment often reveals the gaps and weaknesses of your idea and save you much embarrassment later on. The document gives assurance to all concerned that they will be able to work in close collaboration with one another. The treatment attempts to convince the investors that the show deserves to be made, promising viewers an interesting and engaging program. Writing a television treatment is only the beginning of a series of tasks involved in getting your idea screened for the world to watch. There are some guidelines that may come in handy:
- Decide the genre you want to tackle.
- When creating an outline of the story, be sure to give breaks for commercials, before which drop a scintillating cliffhanger. This keeps the audience glued to the TV.
- If you are writing a series of episodes, let the pilot be extraordinarily dynamic to pull the crowds. Each episode should end on a high dramatic note, inducing the viewers to tune in to see what happened next.
- Follow the formatting style for the treatment required by the network with which you are working.
- Include all the turning points and write in present tense using active voice.
- Register your work with WGA to protect it.
Writing a television treatment is done by established writers and not by people pitching their ideas. Most the producers began their career in television as writers. You too can scale great heights by persevering and toiling hard to pen scripts, proposals, and treatments of excellent quality. Begin by writing a short biography of the creator of the show, add a description of the characters and finally use a story to give it a garnishing effect.
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