Complications Ensue: The Crafty Game, TV and Screenwriting Blog
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Game, TV, and Screenwriting Blog



Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

 

Friday, June 15, 2018

So at E3 I had a super fun interview with the brilliant Julia Alexander of Polygon about We Happy Few. Did I mention it's coming out August 10th?

Can't wait to see what she thinks of Sally.

0 comments

Post a Comment

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Q. Do you have examples of great treatments you could send me?
I don’t. I will read a great script, but I don't read other people’s treatments. Most pro writers will tell you that a treatment isn’t really a thing they like to write. It’s a step in the WGC contract, but it’s not really useful.

There are two things that look like treatments:

a. pitches
b. beat sheets

A pitch is for selling. It tells the story of the movie in 3-8 pages. Shorter is better. The idea is to get someone to pay you to write the movie. Or, if someone is saying they only want to read an outline, this is what you give them. There’s a fair amount of handwaving in a pitch. You don’t have to work out every last detail. You should put lots of sizzle in a pitch. Make sure the reader knows how cool everything is. Don’t put in dialog.

A beat sheet is for the writer to write the script. Mine are usually 10-12 pages single spaced. There’s usually about 40 beats in a movie. A scene can have two beats, or a beat can comprise several scenes, in the case of an action sequence. A beat sheet can include the emotional heart of a scene, if you think you might otherwise forget. If you have much more than 45 beats, you probably have too much going on in your movie.

Once you add sluglines (EXT. IAN’S FLAT - DAY) it’s a step outline, which is just a more detailed beat sheet.

Almost no one except writers and a few directors can read a beat sheet. Producers think they know how, but they don't, and giving a beat sheet to a producer usually results in tears. It is often unavoidable though. Producers will complain that a comedy beat sheet isn’t funny, or that a horror beat sheet isn’t scary, because beat sheets don’t express style or tone or pacing or emotional well. Beat sheets are the skeleton you hang scenes on. Never give anyone a beat sheet if you can avoid it, without first telling them the story in person over lunch.

Some producers and funders (e.g. Telefilm) are now requiring a 20-page “just add water” treatment, with indicative dialog. This creature is an abomination before the Lord. To get to this thing, you have to basically do all the work of writing a script without getting paid for a script, and without any of the fun. No writer I know considers a just add water treatment to be a useful step in writing a script. I have literally written the script first and then boiled it down afterwards, because writing a script is easier and much more fun.

The best way to write a pitch is to tell the story off the top of your head, without looking at the script. Just tell it the way you’d tell a friend the story of the movie. Then punch it up. Feel free to move events around if they sound better that way.

The best way to write a beat sheet is to tell the story to anyone who’ll listen, for three months, until you’ve worked out all the kinks in your story. Then write it down.

The second best way to write a beat sheet is with index cards, on the kitchen table. That way you can move things around easily.

I’m not sure looking at other people’s treatments is useful, except to see how different they are. The key point is to remember whether you’re writing a pitch or a beat sheet. If you’re writing a beat sheet, it doesn’t matter how you write it, because it’s just a long aide-mémoire for yourself (and your writing partner if you have one). If you’re writing a pitch, it’s a sales document, so just make your movie sound as awesome as you know how.

0 comments

Post a Comment



This page is powered by Blogger.