How to Write a Film Treatment

A treatment is a two-page document that should read like a short story and be written in the present tense.

What is included in a treatment?

  • A working title
  • A short logline (a one sentence summary of your script)
  • Introduction of key characters
  • Who, what, when, where and why
  • Act 1 in one to three paragraphs. Set the scene, dramatize the main conflicts.
  • Act 2 in two to six paragraphs. Should dramatize how the conflicts introduced in Act 1 lead to a crisis.
  • Act 3 in one to three paragraphs. Dramatize the final conflict and resolution.

Here are three questions to ask yourself as you write the logline:

  • Who is the main character? What does he or she want?
  • Who or what is standing in the way of the main character?
  • What makes this story unique?

Use action words when writing your logline and utilize descriptive words to create an image that will stay in the mind of the reader.

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