Knowing how to write a movie treatment is critical to screenwriting success. Movie treatments are invaluable tools that can be used to test stories before you commit to writing the full screenplay. They are a descriptive tool to get your story to others to read and hopefully the treatment inspires the producer to want you to write the screenplay. Movie treatments tend to be approximately 10 to 15 pages or 10 percent of the total length of the screenplay.
The movie treatment helps you to get out the most essential information about your story. Your treatment can be longer but not usually more than five pages long. The main focus of your treatment is to stimulate and tantalize the reader so they want more. If you write something boring then the chances of your treatment going in the trash increases. What you want is for them to pick up the phone immediately and hire you on the spot.
What should you include in a movie treatment?
Synopsis: Include your logline which is a one sentence description of the story. Your synopsis should be a short paragraph describing the main themes of your project, and its place and time, as well as a brief description of key elements in the novel.
Main Characters: Who are they and what should we care about your characters. What is their purpose in the story and what do they do to transform the story. The movie treatment should have a paragraph description of each of the main characters. This should be approximately 100 words per character. Without interesting characters and a main character that has a central goal that focuses all his or her actions, your treatment will read more like a series of unrelated events than a structurally sound story.
Story Structure: How does your story play out? Include interesting elements that you plan on implementing into your story. Most importantly, your treatment needs to adhere to the three act structure. There is a great deal of room for creativity within this structure and the vast majority of successful movies are written in the three act structure.
Screenwriting Services and Consulting Have an expert read your treatment and provide feedback. Aside from typos and grammatical errors, which are easy to fix, the characters and structure are the two areas that most often go wrong. Whether you have only a basic idea or a rough draft, working from a solid movie treatment will make the screenwriting process far more successful.
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