Is Your Treatment…

Is Your Treatment Less of a Treat?
(How to Make it Sell for You)
The function of a treatment is to sell your screenplay. There are no right or wrong ways to write a treatment—just more effective ways.

What to WriteFor the record, I’ve only been asked for a treatment a handful of times, although, along with all my marketing material, I always have one written up. Typically, if your pitch goes well, you deliver a completed movie script. (This isn’t a reason not to write one, it’s simply an observation.)

RELATED: The Noodles and the Tanks: Pitching Hollywood

If you haven’t written your movie script yet, this is a great way to draw up a draft of your story. I’ve written treatments too lengthy to hand out to studios, and then kept them as a plot outline that helped guide me in writing the full screenplay.

What is a Treatment?
A treatment can be considered a prose narrative. It presents the main story idea, characters and conflict in a way that helps the reader to understand, quickly, what the movie script is about. If a screenplay is the blueprint for a film, the treatment is the blueprint for a screenplay.

What Goes Into a Treatment?
A treatment can be anywhere from one to thirty pages. But, let’s face it, if you’re writing up to 30 pages for a treatment, it should start to look more like a film deck (more on that later), rather than a treatment, and realistically no one wants to read that many pages. So, go for brevity.

Here’s What it Should Include:

RELATED: The Single Sentence That will SELL Your Script

After you’ve written your first draft, go back and shorten it. You don’t want to summarize each scene, or even convey the exposition. Let the movie script do that for you. The treatment is vivid and dramatic. Ultimately, it’s the short story of what your movie script is about.

Jennifer B. White is an award-winning director, writer and Hollywood copywriter and tagline writer. All her opinions and photos are her own.  

Leave a Reply