I've heard from a few different people that during the old studio system days of Hollywood screenplays were written from lengthy treatments. I've heard as high as 300 pages. Were these regularly produced before screenplays?
Beats me. I do know that Telefilm asks for a twenty-page treatment before you go to script, and I find that unbearably long. At that point you're writing dialog, you're just not writing it in the format.
Many people have learned how to read a script, but few people really know how to read a treatment. So it may be that to communicate all the things that a good script does, some writers overwrote.
But it seems to me a good way to take all the fun out of writing the script.
Labels: development hell
My film treatments will usually be anywhere between 4 and 10 pages. Couldn't stand to write one at 20 pages. 300 pages has got to be insane!
300 pages doesn't sound like a treatment as we know it today, but more like the approach that I've seen Hitchcock refer to -- he'd talk about completing the script and then putting the dialogue in.
That seems like a lot of writing to do for a treatment, I couldn't imagine writing that much.
A 300-page treatment? Sounds like what the rest of us call a "novel."
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