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Film Treatments

Film Treatments

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Published by Julie Thrasher
Practical Production Paperwork, Film Treatments
Practical Production Paperwork, Film Treatments

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Published by: Julie Thrasher on Oct 28, 2010
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10/28/2010

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Film Treatments
 A film treatment (or treatment for short) is a piece of prose, typically the stepbetween scene cards (index cards) and the first draft of a screenplay for amotion picture, television program, or radio play. It is generally longer andmore detailed than an outline (or one-page synopsis) and shorter and lessdetailed than a step outline, but it may include details of directorial style thatan outline omits. They read like a short story, except told in the present tenseand describing events as they happen. There are two types: the original drafttreatment, created during the writing process, and the presentation treatment,created as presentation material.LAYOUTThere are three distinct methods for presenting a treatment. As you arewriting for yourself, you can pick whichever method works best for you as youwon't be seeking anyone's approval.
1. HEADERS
This is a short hand outline of the movie where key moments or scenes areput as a header. This allows a reader to skim through your treatment if needbe e.g.THE BOMB GOES OFFThe passenger ship splits in two and swiftly sinks tothe bottom of the seaTHE WHITEHOUSEThe President rubs his hands together with a big grin.Soon the president is crowded by his top officials. "What did you do"screams one. A MACHINE GUNThe president pumps lead into his officials. As you can tell from the example, if you were writing the script of the above, itwould last for a couple of pages at least yet we swiftly condensed it to just afew, key lines highlighting the interesting bits
2. PROSE-STYLE
This method, you are basically writing your film down as a story minus theexcessive detail that a novel would have. Again you should keep length to amaximum (no more than 7-pages for a feature although treatments of 30+pages aren't that uncommon) so, taking the previous example and adapting itto the prose method would be:

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