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K. Forman June 17th, 2003 08:16 AM

Writing a treatment
 
Hello all-
I am currently in the process of writing a feature length screenplay for a low budget indie. At this point, I should probably be securing permissions to use likenesses, as this is a spoof. How would I go about writing a treatment to send to the people who own the character likeness rights?

Keith Loh June 17th, 2003 09:47 AM

I don't see how you would write it differently than any other treatment.

K. Forman June 17th, 2003 11:32 AM

I wouldn't know a treatment if it bit me on my bum. I always had troubles writing synopsis, reports, etc.- anything with a structured format... and I don't play well with others, either :)

Keith Loh June 17th, 2003 01:22 PM

There's no set format for a treatment. Basically, you are just telling the story of the film as if it were a short story. You just have to make sure that it is structured in three acts and you describe all the major characters and plotpoints and covering each scene. The length is also quite variable. You can have a treatment that is 18 or one that is forty pages.

Something shorter is a summary. A summary is usually no longer than five pages and covers the same ground as the treatment but with only the major plotpoints, without having to cover each scene. Also written as prose.

You might want to consider sending a summary if the people you are portraying are major enough that they would appear in that summary.

Regardless, you may have to write a summary, treatment and the script in case whoeever it is asks for them. You will likely not get approval for anything unless the actual script is shown. I know a lawyer would ask for that.

Philip Boyer June 17th, 2003 01:53 PM

Treatment Examples
 
This link is to a good column on treatments by Terry Rossio (one of the writers of the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean among many others). Within the column are links to sample treatments.

http://www.wordplayer.com/columns/wp37.Proper.Treatment.html

K. Forman June 17th, 2003 03:56 PM

Thanks for the info and link. What I have planned is a spoof. Some of the characters will have similarities to characters from other movies, set in similar situations, only "Rednecked up a mite" :)

Two of the characters tend to hang out in front of the convenience store.
Inside the store, are the two clerks, the main characters.
There is a black robed stalker
Wanted posters of famous killers from other movies.
A State Police Capt... That has a speech... problem...
A smoking cowboy on his horse
Comparrison to a Horror spoof by that black comedian, writer, actor and his family
A dog and a bunch of kids
A Big Foot
An Alien
Elvis

And possibly cows.

Did I mention it's a Comedy/Thriller?

Rob Wilson June 17th, 2003 04:05 PM

Wow Keith, you been smokin something that washed up on the beach lately? Just kidding, sounds like it's got great potential!

Keith Loh June 17th, 2003 04:15 PM

I tend to think it falls under parody and therefore is fair use. Of course, Mel Brooks, the Zucker Bros. and the South Park creators may have really good lawyers too.

K. Forman June 17th, 2003 05:31 PM

"Mel Brooks, the Zucker Bros. and the South Park creators may have really good lawyers too."

I'll be sure to leave them alone then! :)


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