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Writing A Treatment For A Tv Show
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By writing a treatment for a TV show you are attempting to sell your story and start to develop the TV show screenplay. A TV show treatment is a short prose composed between the time you have gathered all relevant information about your concept and the time when you start writing the main script. It is longer than an outline and includes directorial style that is omitted by the outline. A TV show treatment should be written in present tense, describing the sequence of events as they occur. It reads as a short story. A treatment could fall under any one of the categories, namely:
- Original draft treatment - compiled while script writing.
- Presentation treatment - meant for making a presentation to a prospective buyer.
Writing a treatment for a television show means you are only selling the general concept of the show. If the executives like your work, they will pay and get you to write the entire script. At this juncture write as if you were writing a punchy review of the show without praising it. You cannot sell an idea unless you write it in the form of a treatment. The treatment for a TV show is sans any dialogues.
- The importance of writing a treatment for a TV show is second only to composing a script and breaking into the entertainment industry.
- Divide the idea for the television show into acts with allowances for commercial breaks.
- An ideal treatment for a TV show must not be longer than 20 pages. Lesser the better because the people reading it lack time.
- Every break should be preceded by a cliffhanger to keep the curiosity of the audience sizzling.
- On the top of the first page write the title within quotation marks. Skip two lines and write "By:" and your name. Do not indent the paragraphs and begin to type from the left side of the paper. Write short, easy to understand paragraphs.
- Capitalize the name of any character appearing for the first time. Use a comma, write his age and give a brief description about him.
- While writing a treatment for a TV show, mention only the pivotal points.
- Let the second act be longer than the first or the third.
- Read the treatment aloud to yourself. Check if everything sounds right.
- The treatment should not have flowery adjectives and must be flawless in every respect; no typographical or grammatical errors, no gaping loopholes in the serene flow of the story.
Read, re-read and edit your work before submitting it for approval. It is used by the development executive to pitch the intended TV show to the financiers and to the people higher up in authority. The style you use must be persuasive as well as snappy. Writing a treatment for a TV show before script writing is an excellent idea since it helps to assess whether it is viable. This will save you from wasting time and energy writing something that is unfeasible.
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