You know when you and your buddy are watching a movie preview and he says, “I thought of that idea for a movie a long time ago.” Well, we’re not saying your friend is a liar, but the problem is you can’t own an idea for a story. The only way to make it truly yours is to work it all the way through, start to finish, and the best way to do this is by creating a story treatment. Treatments are not only helpful to you and the telling of your story though, they also function as a business card for your idea. Agents and producers don’t have time to read your 120-page screenplay, but they may have enough time to check out your 7-page treatment for it.
First of all, most producers won’t even consider a project without first reading a solid treatment and getting an idea of how the story will play out. So, like carrying an umbrella on a day with a slight chance of showers, it’s better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it. No one wants to take a chance of being surprised by the story you turn in for the first draft. They want to understand, exactly, what the story being told is and how it will unravel. Then, and only then, will they allow you to begin work on the script/
Now, any writer knows that pretty much anyone can write a decent first act. The set up is always the easy part, but then comes the never ending second act. This is where many storytellers lose the audience, which is a testament to the treatment’s indispensability. If you take the time to work out the kinks of the story, filling in any gaping plot holes along the way, you’ll save yourself tons of time trying to address those issues later on in the scriptwriting process, or even worse, during production.
Any successful screenwriter knows the value in the simple things like structure and discipline. They know that, sometimes, you can forge a bad script out of a good treatment, but never a good script out of a bad treatment. It provides a framework for the rest of the story and, also, works as the testing ground for its overall effectiveness. If you’re story doesn’t grab ahold of people in its treatment form, there’s no reason to assume the full script will be any more immersive.
Treatments are good for more than fleshing out the main plot points of the story and establishing the emotional arc of your characters. They can be helpful at other times during the writing phase, such as if you hit a snag in the middle of act two, or just want a more concise version of your story to pitch to producers. The bottom line is, in this world, it’s not just about telling stories, but selling them, and having a treatment on hand is your best pitch.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, a feature film, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.