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Writing A Documentary Treatment

By Expert Author: Matthew Scott

Real life is depicted through writing a documentary treatment. A documentary is a genre of short motion pictures where the creative writing of actuality is brought alive on the screen. It deals with any one particular aspect of life and does not require fabricated characters or an imaginary tale. Life as it is or one caught unaware by the camera lens is a pure delight to watch. Documentaries utilize treatments or proposals that comprise a brief description of the person or topic being documented, why and how.
Often writing a documentary treatment helps the film gain funding. TV stations need to be persuaded to shell out the huge amount of money that is required. They need reassurance that the program will attract the audience and will be watched right till the end. Therefore, treatments have to be meticulously compiled. What the audience will experience as they watch the documentary on the screen in included in a treatment. The main purpose of a documentary treatment is to provide a common platform for understanding among all the people involved in making it, editing and in the distribution process. While writing a documentary treatment, research the topic thoroughly. Have up-to-date information of it so that it answers all the queries of the readers and later of the viewers. Every statement that you make should be backed by ample evidence of being correct.
Expand your knowledge about the subject to the fullest. The best way to obtain information for writing a documentary treatment is through the following:
- Libraries
- Conducting interviews with relevant people and institutions
- Professional treatment writers for hire
- Internet
- Contacting related people through phone calls, e-mails or letters
Different producers have their own preference for the format required. Check with them before writing a documentary treatment. Do not sound personal. Use colorful words that help the readers to visualize whatever you are describing. Avoid excessive use of adjectives. Instead, let the readers feel what you are trying to convey through the words that you choose. Adhere to present tense and active voice. Inform the readers what they are likely to perceive and listen to on the screen. Write, rewrite and edit the documentary treatment until the desired degree of perfection is reached.
Be very specific while stating all facts for a documentary project. The factual drama does not call for too much of music but whatever little it does include should be pre-planned. You are free to make changes in music later on. The treatment must mention who the presenter is going to be and why he or she has been chosen. The structure, a conflict and the end should be clearly outlined. In view of the budget, decide the length of the treatment. The scientific background, the people interviewed plus a little about the planned time for production can also be mentioned. It will show your total professionalism and involvement in writing a documentary treatment.

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