What is a treatment?
• Prose description of the story written in the present tense
• Like a short story, emphasizing the action happening now
• Dialogue is summarized, rarely spelled out
• Focus on external action – what the audience SEES
• Crucial = choose action VERBS
Do you have a hook?
• Something to bring the audience in to the story emotionally
• Get the viewer to bond with the protagonist & want what they want: a promotion at work, an apology,
vengeance against a bully, a cute girl
• More compelling if you start with ACTION & explain back story later
Does your character have a story goal?
• Is it specific or vague/ethereal?
• The simpler and more focused it is the more the audience will side with the protagonist, e.g. ET wants to go
Does your story have rising action?
• Increasing stakes that make the protagonist work for the goal
• Progressive complications: things must get worse before they get better
• Drama is about the unusual
• Ask yourself: what is the logical extreme of this character’s action
• Apply the rule of 3 whereby things get: 1) somewhat worse then 2) a lot worse and finally 3) as bad as they
Is there an “or else” to your character’s goal?
• What will happen if the antagonist succeeds in preventing the protagonist from reaching the goal?
• SHOW this “or else” visually & BE SPECIFIC
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