WRITING A TREATMENT
Treatments are a very important part of the pre production process. It serves a number
of functions. One being that it is an extremely helpful tool for you, the movie maker man,
to organize your ideas and concepts of the project. Two is that you are using this summary
version of your screen play or script to convince someone that your movie is worth them
spending money on to get it produced, or showing at their festival or theater, or what have you… Production companies get thousands of scripts that need producing.
There is no way that they are going to sit and read all the scripts.
So there is usually a treatment on top that gives a brief description of
what happens in the movie, to intrigue the reader into looking into the script.
Another difference between scripts and treatments are that a script has a very technical format and the treatment is written in paragraph form. It is also meant to be short but descriptive.
“If a screenplay focuses the story for a film, the treatment does the same thing for a screenplay. A treatment could be considered a written pitch; something that catches the buyers attention and makes then want to see more.” (Kenneth Atchity and Chi-Li Wong's book, Writing Treatments that Sell http://www.filmmakers.com/features/screenwriting/treatment.htm)
The format for the treatment that you will be writing for your video project ideas will be a lot looser than in the industry. This is what I want to see::::
2. Brief description of plot
3. A Statement of purpose (what is the point you are trying to make with your piece? What are you exploring in your documentary or dramatic or experimental movie? What is the theme? What do you hope to prove?)
4. A short paragraph describing the visual style which also lists some of your influences and other mediums of art that you will be using as a model for your project. This can be a song that has a feeling you are hoping to also capture in this project, a painting, a story, anything. It’s just a nice tool to help you open your mind to visual and audible stimuli out there that doesn’t necessarily directly relate to your movie.
You can make this as short or long as you’d like! Just remember, this can be used throughout your shooting and editing process to keep you on track and focused on what you are doing. You don’t have to impress me, I already think you guys are all winners! But you do have to convince me that I’m lending you thousands of dollars of a equipment to watch a totally sick movie in May…