Writing A Movie Treatment

 By: John Halasz
The task of writing a movie treatment is not as intimidating as it may seem. Writing a movie treatment involves a lot of hard work, steadfast perseverance and at least a bit of inherent flair for creative writing. Compared to the huge rewards, all these seem too trivial. The gains, both in terms of monetary and the fame, are too great to be ignored. Since time immemorial, people have shown a strong affinity for money and distinction, which are possible through stepping into the literary realm of the cinematic world.

Screenwriters have an idea for a movie which they secretly nurture until they get a chance to express it in writing. Writing a movie script is a lengthy process, riddled with a lot many jagged edges that have to be carefully maneuvered through. Most of the aspiring screenplay writers exit in anonymity but a few fortunate ones get an opportunity to take it up as a profession and even succeed. Writing a movie treatment is perhaps the first step that a blooming screenplay writer takes when embarking on the journey to stardom. A writer has two options he can resort to. He can either hire an efficient agent who will represent him to the insiders in the entertainment world or he can contact eminent people himself. Either way, he has to try to sell the idea for a movie through a short pitch or sales talk.

Writing a movie treatment is the first step in launching a career in screenplay writing. When the film makers are suitably impressed by the pitch, they may ask the writer to provide them with a treatment. A treatment is a detailed, scene-by-scene narration of the story of the movie in making. Writing a movie treatment serves two purposes:

Acts as a guide for the writer - Writing a movie treatment is beneficial for the author in more ways than one.

It throws up any flaws in the initial story planned by him. He can iron out the kinks so that when he begins to work on the script, he will face fewer hurdles.

Writing a treatment forces the writer to stay focused. It acts as a road map. When the skeleton for the movie has been constructed, all that the writer has to do is to fill it with flesh and meat.

A movie treatment provides a clearer picture of the storyline to the executives. Since the time allocated for a pitch is too short, the producers/directors are only vaguely informed about the different elements of the script, such as the length, story, characters, setting etc. To do away with all ambiguity, treatments are required by the decision makers. In all probability the document will be circulated among the members of the crew to assist them also to get a general idea what they will be handling and they may begin to lend a thought to the planning aspect of the soon-to-be-made cinema. In this way, writing a movie treatment is advantageous for all parties concerned.
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