How to Write a Treatment
Hi. This is Laura Turner and today we're going to talk about how to write a treatment for a film. The most important part about writing a treatment is to keep it short and sweet. You're going to want to make it short, but also very interesting. So, you're going to want to include the most interesting things about your film project. The best way to do this, is something that I call, the main dramatic question. You're going to actually want to phrase this question according to your protagonist and what your protagonist wants and then what is going against that protagonist. So, therefore, this dramatic question is actually going to be a statement in what I'm going to tell you. "The poignant tale of (blank -- your protagonist), who wants (blank -- whatever your protagonist wants, to be king of the world, whatever) but is thwarted by (blank -- your antagonist)." And you also want, in your film treatment, to give away the ending. You want to tell what happens. So, "In the end, (blank) wins (blank)." OK? You're going to want to be, of course, more poignant and creative with your treatment. You're going to actually want to write, you know, something that's more specific than what I just gave you. But, that's a good way to sort of plot it out. Say that your film is a story about a hero who wants something, but is thwarted by something else. It doesn't even have to be a person, of course. It could be environmental factors, things like this, or society -- stuff like that. But what you should do, is just try to keep it to about three to five sentences, depending on what you're writing for. If you're actually able to give more, of course give more, but I think, generally, you should keep it pretty short, so that you can actually get straight to the point. You can tell what's going to happen, what's going to be really exciting about this project that you're working on and you're going to show how simple it is. How easy it is to understand, but yet how interesting it is. So, it's not necessarily that the plot has to be so simple that it's about the hero who does something very simple and gets thwarted and all that stuff. It's that you should be able to describe your very complex plot in a very simple way. So, always remember that. And if you can't do that, I would suggest going back and looking at your script and thinking about, you know, what's wrong with this script and how can it get actually whittled down to something that's explainable within three sentences. And that is my opinion on how to write a treatment.