A script treatment is a summarized version of your script for a television show, screenplay or movie. A script treatment encapsulates your story’s significant elements into a convenient format as a tool for the producer’s input or for your personal creative process as a screenwriter.
A script treatment can also function as your promotional tool because a summarized version of the script is easy to share with potential producers, who may want to consider the worth of your script before they can choose to become involved creatively or financially. A script treatment can sometimes quite long, i.e. 30 to 40 pages, but this type is closer to a rough draft of your final script. The most common type is probably between one and ten pages, and can be called an outline.
Scriptwriters usually start by creating a script treatment with a brief one sentence description of the script. This one sentence is called the logline. The main characters, the antagonists, the type of conflicts between them and the genre (comedy, thriller or horror) are included in the logline.
Some script writers choose to expand their story in the form of an outline, where every bullet point signifies a scene. The final outline will be a rough scene outlining the complete story. The writers then continue expanding the bullet points until the whole outline is filled out into a treatment.
Other scriptwriters adopt a more definite approach by exploring various aspects individually and not always in a chronological order. They could have one or two paragraphs in which they describe most of their main characters in detail, with complete histories. The screenplay treatment may have a few paragraphs, each describing one key location. The main plot would be described in one paragraph while the subplots would be described individually.
Keep in perspective that script writing is quite rigid because of the numerous rules that have to be followed while writing one. However, script treatment writing has no actual rules. Basically, it is only a summary of the script, maybe with some character research. That a script treatment can range between one and ten pages or even much longer, signifies the flexibility accorded to this aspect of scriptwriting.
Choose the form that is suitable according to your purpose. A script treatment is an invaluable tool to develop the screenplay. The screenplay treatment created for your producer can be based on their preferred style. In both cases, maintain focus on getting your ideas into the paper as clearly as possible.
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