The Quentin Tarantino Archives logo

Treatment Letters


#1

Anyone have any idea on how to write a treatment letter or a good log line or a synopsis. It’s driving me crazy.



I did find this funny link though, it’s kinda fun.



http://www.bmyers.com/public/807.cfm


#2

The Treatment

What should a treatment do?. It should:

#Tell the story clearly , identiyfing both main plots and subplots, but not soley plot driven.

#Concentrate on the main overall dramatic structure.

#Tell us what we see: the charcters and thier actions.

#impart some of the mood, atmosphere and feel of the script.

#Be written crisply;Short paragraphs(maybe one paragraph per scene), in the present tense , using active verbs and descriptive nouns to capture the action,verve and pace of your script.

#Include some breif character detailss(two or three sentence) of your main players ,Incorporate these into your text as they enter the script ( first time they enter names in capitals,thereafter lowercase ).You dont need a seperate sheet of charcter and their backgrounds.

#Use dialogue extracts if it helps.But only if it adds color to ur script- do sparingly.

#Avoid camera directions.



The Synopsis



A synopsis has one goal only:to create interest in the story-but to do this it does not have to tell the whole story.



A one page proposal has to:

#Tell the basic idea of the story: let the reader imagine the script , where you start from , what the journey is , the setting , location and period , an idea of genre .

#tell them who will watch , who the target audience will be.

#Contain ‘the question’. for example: Does Tom Ripley get away with his crimes?.



The Test of a good synopsis is:

1.Can the producer/agent easily pitch it to others.

2.From the first quick read cant anyone, understand it instantly and know what it is about?.

3.Does it give the reader an accurate picture of the story.



An example:

Strictly Ballroom synopsis:



Borrowing from the classic Hollywood dance films of the nineteen forties, STRICTLY BALLROOM is a romantic comedy in the style of PRETTY WOMAN and DIRTY DANCING.



Set in the glamorous world of ballroom dancing, it is the story of a young man’s struggle agaisnt the system.



When twenty-one year old ballroom champion, Scott Hastings , commits the cardinal sin of dancing his own steps and not those laid down by the powerful Federation, retribution is swift.He is dumped by his partner Liz,his hopes of winning the coverted Pan-Pacific Grand Prix are dashed.



All seems lost when out of the shadows emerges Fran; a beginner and the ugly duckling of the studio. Through sheer persistence she convinces Scott to give her a chance, an unlikely partnership is born.



Scott and Fran’s first public appearance sends shock waves of excitement through the dance world. The Federation must stop them at all costs.



Scott’s Achilles’ Heel is his father, Doug. The night before the Pan Pacifics, corrupt Federation President, Barry Fife , reveals to Scott, the terrible secret of Doug’s past. Scott is trapped. In order to save his father , he must turn his back on Fran.



On the day of the Pan-Pacifics, minutes before Scott and his ex-partner are to take the floor, the truth is revealed. Barry Fife has lied; Scott is free to follow his heart…



Scott and Fran burst onto the floor; the response from the crowd is “unearthly”, but Barry Fife will not allow it-the music is stopped.



Definatly, twelve thousand spectators clash their hands together. Scott and Fran dance to their rythm;the Federation are destroyed;and the floor is flooded with a sea of celeberation.


#3

BTW from Teach yourself screenwriting -Ray Frensham