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Film Treatments

I'm currently working on a film treatment and was wondering how people find the experience of creating such a document?

I find there's no consistency in my process. There's times when I've written a first draft of the script then worked on the treatment, and vice versa.

Be great to hear your thoughts.

Thanks. Matt.

  • My experience is very similar to the one you described.
    It´s just very dependent on the project.

    11 months ago
    • Good to hear, it's a process I've never really thought about before. Until now.

      11 months ago
  • I normally try to write a detailed treatment first before starting the script. I like to do a lot of work on the characters, story and plot before I sit down to write the script. I don’t really enjoy the process of writing a treatment and character breakdowns etc but I find that it helps to keep me on track and tell the story I want to tell.

    That said, I have on occasion written a script first and then written the treatment afterwards. While at other times I have written a treatment first and then strayed away from it significantly while writing the script and have had to go back and completely rewrite the treatment afterwards.

    So I guess my process varies but I do try to write treatments for all of my ideas first. I find that it helps me to work out the story and I like to have that worked out fairly well before I commit to writing the script. So when people ask me for advice on process I suggest that they try to write a detailed treatment before writing the script. But of course each person has their own process, so it could be a detailed treatment, a vague outline or they might even go into the script fairly blind to the story. I know what works for me but it’s not going to work for everyone, I hope you find what works best for you.

    11 months ago
    • Thanks Anthony.

      One thing I've noticed about my process is that it depends on the film/genre that I'm working in.

      I'm currently writing a horror treatment, a genre that I've not written in previously. I think it makes sense that I've chosen the treatment first on this occasion to ensure I hit narrative/genre beats.

      Had it been a genre I'm more confident with then I probably would've gone straight into the script.

      11 months ago
  • From the first-person (writer/director) perspective, I find the key question is 'what's the point ?' Invariably, precious little, if the concept/ideas are clear enough to be already convinced to write a film about the subject.
    From the production perspective - even less, since the script will be the operative blueprint.
    From the funding perspective - that's probably where the need arises for such a thing, to convince others of the business case. Which tends to suggest a treatment is an independent piece of text with different persuasive parameters.
    It's a good idea, imv, not to overburden the essential writing process with extra revision - there'll be plenty of that involved already (!).

    11 months ago
  • Each to their own.

    To me, the ideas of planning out a script is just bonkers. Have an idea, start writing, and in the writing, comes clarity.

    At which point you tear up what you have written and start again :-)

    Other people plan it all out. Whatever works for you.

    11 months ago