An integral part of screenwriting, a film treatment is an efficient marketing tool to help pitch your ideas and organize the screenplay. A treatment is generally longer than a synopsis and far shorter than a script. It should ideally be between 8-15 pages in length, 10 percent of the completed script. Where treatments are concerned, less is more! Typically the manuscript is written:
• In prose form
• Using present tense
• In active voice
• With words that give a visual effect
• Structured into 3-5 definite acts
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There are a number of books that give you the conceptual knowledge of composing a compelling film treatment. You could refer to them and master the skill of creative writing. Schools for performing art and screenplay writing have mushroomed over the nation to cater to the youngsters aspiring for a career in Hollywood. Joining one of these institutes will help to lay a strong foundation for the journey ahead. Our professional film treatment writers have graduated from such universities and have written dozens of movie treatments.
A film treatment assists the writer to stay focused while writing his screenplay. In this event they are called ‘Original Draft Treatments,’ compiled while the script is under construction and may be as descriptive as the writer wishes. Treatments that are used to market the screenplay after their completion are referred to as ‘Presentation Treatment’. These are worded very carefully so that they can make good impact on the reader.
Good writing skill, a strong sense of imagination, and the ability to work hard are required to pen a film treatment that sells. The Internet has chipped in its bit by providing on-line step-by-step tutorials to guide the treatment writers. All the people you approach to sell your screenplay will ask for a treatment. If they like it, you will be contacted to either strike a deal outright or develop it into a full-blown screenplay. Either way, you will be amply compensated monetarily.
While writing a film treatment, keep a few pointers in mind:
• Know the characters of your screenplay well. Depict their distinctive features in the treatment. This makes the read an enjoyable one.
• Make a rough outline of the main plot and actions of your intended screenplay. By doing this, you will have greater clarity of the flow of the events in the treatment you are writing.
• Divide the treatment into scenes. State explicitly whether it is indoors or outdoors, time and location of the scene. Go further to describe the action of the scene and the characters involved.
• Every scene should be like a mini story, with a beginning, middle and end. Say how the scene is pivotal in giving a thrust to the story.
• All this sounds like it will end up being lengthy, but you have to discern the important from the not-so-important and compress the matter to fit into a few pages.
• Include as few dialogues as possible.
• Include a front page with:
1. A catchy title of the treatment
2. Your name and contact details