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After a successful pitch, treatment writing is the next step in the writing process. Understands the what, why, how, when, and where of treatment writing to start a successful screenwriting career. Treatments are a crucial component for screenwriters to have in their arsenal.
WHAT - A film treatment is a short summary of the story, in prose form - a step between outlining the idea and writing the initial draft of the screenplay. Treatments form the focal point on which the successes of screenwriting careers depend. After the decision-makers OK the pitch, they generally ask for a written abstract of the script. Treatment writing ought to be given the weight it deserves and be accomplished punctiliously. There are main two types of treatments - original draft treatment and presentation treatment. An original draft treatment is longer and more detailed, between 30 to 80 pages. A presentation treatment is the marketable version of the treatment.
WHY - Treatment writing is done to further the sale of the screenplay that is either ready or under construction. Film makers or agents are perpetually running against time and cannot read a screenplay cover-to-cover, preferring instead to get a rough idea of the entire story in the form of a treatment before deciding to read the script. Treatments often act as a road-map for the writer. A well-written treatment can be a reference point for the author who is weaving through the screenplay. Treatments help keep the screenwriter focused.
HOW - For treatment writing, highlight all the key elements - the sequence of events, development of characters, and a scintillating beginning, vibrant middle, and brilliant end. As the reader skims through the pages of the treatment, he should become so engrossed that he does not want to put it down before reaching the last page. There are essentially no hard and fast rules about penning a treatment other than avoiding flowery language, filler words, and too many adjectives. Include some catchy dialogue, but keep it to a bare minimum, and always use the present tense.
WHEN - Treatments are either demanded by movie personnel or written as a hand-out after pitching the story to executives. As explained earlier, treatment writing is the stepping stone between an idea and making the movie, theatrical play, video game, or TV show.
WHERE - Treatments are used by agents who represent screenwriters to the executives in the entertainment industry. They can be used by executives to have the movie financed or circulated among all the members of the crew, providing a general idea of the flow of events. It helps people draw up the plans regarding the shots, music, location, costumes, lights, etc. By reading a treatment, the director is able to visualize whom he wants as the actors and how to best bring the idea to life on the big screen.
It is the writer's duty to craft an ingenious and attention-grabbing treatment, which has the potential to become a box office hit. By following the aforementioned tips, treatment writing will be more successful. Finally, there are professional treatment writers and editors for hire who can help.
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