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Writing Treatments That Sell: How to Create and Market Your Story Ideas to the Motion Picture and TV Industry, Second Edition Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0805072785 ISBN-10: 0805072780 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 2nd edition (February 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805072780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805072785
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Walter's name is synonymous with excellence in motion picture screenwriting. The guru of the completed script (he previously wrote Screenwriting: The Art, Craft and Business of Film and Television Writing, LJ 11/15/88), he here offers a tour de force of information for everyone who has ever contemplated writing a movie. While most how-to titles dwell on the three-act structure, strong character development, and other technical skills, Walter urges writers to draw from their own experience. He cheers for films with substance rather than today's matinees that may be shiny and shapely but void of any real soul. Equally impressive is Writing Treatments That Sell, a debut by two Hollywood writer-producers. Though some of their basic information seems to be a rehash of material found in just about every screenwriting book, everything pertaining to the actual writing of the treatment is original and fresh. There is no better book specifically on treatments. Both titles are highly recommended for appropriate collections.?Marty Dean Evensvold, Magnolia Branch Lib., Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"At last-someone wrote the book every screenwriter has needed for years. It can make the difference between success and failure in the industry."-Linda Seger, author of Making a Good Script Great and From Script to Screen

"Essential material for the beginning screenwriter and the established writer, both."-Dale Pollack, producer of Saturday Night Fever

More About the Author

"I believe we can change the world through stories. 'The universe,' says Muriel Rukeyser, 'is not made of atoms, but of stories.' I believe in making a difference in the lives of others through the power of storytelling, both as a story teller myself and as a "story merchant" who enables other storytellers to make a difference."

Dr. Ken Atchity loves being a writer, producer, teacher, career coach, and literary manager, responsible for launching hundreds of books and films. His life's passion is finding great stories and storytellers and turning them into bestselling authors and screenwriters--and making films which send their stories around the world.

His books include, most recently, novels THE MESSIAH MATRIX and SEVEN WAYS TO DIE (with William Diehl) and nonfiction books for writers at every stage of their career. Based on his teaching, managing, and writing experience, he's successfully built bestselling careers for novelists, nonfiction writers, and screenwriters from the ground up.

Atchity has also produced 30 films, including "Hysteria" (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy), "The Expatriate" (Aaron Eckhart), "The Lost Valentine" (Betty White), "Gospel Hill" (Danny Glover), "Joe Somebody" (Tim Allen), "Life or Something Like It" (Angelina Jolie), "The Amityville Horror: The Evil Escapes," "Shadow of Obsession" (Veronica Hammel), "The Madam's Family" (Ellen Burstyn). Full film bio at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0040338/

He was born in Eunice, Louisiana; and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where he attended Rockhurst High School (and was editor in chief of The Prep News). After undergraduate work at Georgetown (A.B., English/Classics), and getting his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale, he served as professor and chairman of comparative literature and creative writing at Occidental College and Fulbright Professor at the University of Bologna. He was Distinguished Instructor, UCLA Writers Program, and a regular columnist-reviewer for The Los Angeles Times Book Review.

As CEO of www.storymerchant.com, his Story Merchant companies, www.aeionline.com and www.thewriterslifeline.com, provide a one-stop full-service development and management center for commercial and literary writers who wish to launch their storytelling in all media--from publishing and film and television production, to Web presence and merchandising & licensing.

PRESS:

Newtopia Magazine Interview

Mongrel Patriot Review: Producer and Writer Kenneth Atchity by Tamara Spivey

A dreamer who realizes his dreams and helps others do the same, Ken Atchity has impressive credits in the worlds of film, television and publishing.

Read more: http://newtopiamagazine.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/mongrel-patriot-review-producer-and-writer-kenneth-atchity/

Customer Reviews

There is a lot of good, useful information in this book.
S. Regos
If you possess writing talent and want to break into TV and Motion Picture Industry, "Writing Treatments that Sell" is the only book you will ever need.
NickyJett
I would recommend this book to anyone who is questioning whether or not they should buy it.
vivaeast

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By t-boogie on September 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book about four days ago, and I've already completed my first treatment, in my case a television series "bible." This book gave me a lot of insights, and I'm quite satisfied. It's short, easy to read, direct and practical. There's even a section at the end about copyrighting and legal issues, which is very helpful and will come in handy for the next part of the process that awaits me.

By the way, a previous reviewer mentioned that this book deserves four stars instead of five because a sample treatment for big-screen movies wasn't included. In actuality, a sample television movie treatment was included. All you have to do is change the seven-act structure used for television movies into the three-act structure used for big-screen movies and that TV movie sample treatment can also be used as a sample treatment for a big-screen movie.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By metaldrummer on November 1, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a person looking to write a movie treatment for the big screen, the first 20 or so pages outline the requirements very well. But just when you've finished the section on what makes a good movie treatment and are ready to see how all of the requirements tie together, THERE IS NO SAMPLE MOVIE TREATMENT TO REVIEW! NOT ONE! Absolutely bizarre. And yes, treatments vary in how they are written, but how about just one to look at and review? The book moves on to television and gives some sample treatments but they're for a 7 act TV movie which is much different than a 3 act big screen movie. Why is it that a book on how to create treatments omits the very thing that many people buy the book to look at and dissect?
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By BigTimeBookie on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I know absolutely nothing about writing a movie treatment. Be aware, I am interested in writing a movie treatment NOT a full fledged script. So when I asked learned friends what book they suggested everyone named this one. I even asked for other references, everyone said this was THE book.
The book does give great details on the content of a treatment, the necessary parts, and insight into the industry, however I was waaaay disappointed that a sample movie treatment was NOT provided. Had the sample been included this book would have gotten a 5 star rating.
It would have been quite helpful to see a treatment dissected and the typing format!! Perhaps someone can email me a suggestion on a book that has the elements this book is missing
Take care--
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By bookloversfriend on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
[This review refers to the Second Edition.]

This book provides specific information on who does what in the television and feature film industry, what the corporate structure is, what the relations between various producers are, etc.

The book also provides formats and terminology for treatments and other summary documents used by these film industry people to decide what to buy and what to do with it. Also provides the criteria they use for making their decisions.

Sadly, this information also shows you that TV movies and feature films are "designed by a committee". This explains why 95% of movies contain, not only serious flaws, but idiot-level mistakes. The executives and producers are not screenwriters, yet they change the screenplay anyway.

The book's specificity sets it apart from most other books in screenwriting.

On the negative side: No, this is not the only book you'll ever need. That is ricidulous. The book does not cover screenwriting. Also, the brief, vague remarks about how to write a treatment should be taken with a grain of salt (or maybe a spoonful). If you compare the examples of treatments given in the book, you'll find that they hardly follow these prescriptions.

Another disadvantage is the overwhelming prevalence of C-movies used as examples.

Finally, you find out that even if you do all that the book suggests, it won't do you any good. You still have to have an Agent! No one will read your precious "treatment" unless it comes from an agent.

Still, this is information that every aspiring screenwriter must know, depressing as it is.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Prolific Writers Network on March 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a gem. It was recommended by a fellow writer and it basically walked me through the process of writing the treatment for my novel. I look forward to using it again and again. It was informative and gave resources that are invaluable. They need to give seminars!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marisa D'Vari, author of "Script Magic" on May 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a screenwriting instructor, students are constantly asking me the "secrets" of writing a treatment and making a million in Hollywood. FINALLY, I have a book to hand them that answers all their questions! This is an excellent resource for all aspiring screenwriters as well as instructors in need of content-rich reference material.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mmcwatters on February 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the writers clearly have expertise and there is some good information, the book is geared more toward film and made-for-tv movies.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Head Cheeze on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this book having already written a few treatments. I was just curious as to the author's definition of a "treatment that sells". Sadly, there are no examples of feature film treatments here; only a sample book adaptation treatment and a lengthy one for a television show. There's just a single chapter dedicated to writing a feature film treatment, and it consists of absolute writing basics (plot, character, point of view, etc) that anyone who's at the point of even considering writing a treatment should already know. The majority of the book focuses on television, with a few throwaway chapters about copyrighting and protecting your writing - all information that's freely available online. The Screenwriter's Bible (the FIRST book any aspiring screenwriter should purchase) covers all of this stuff in greater detail, and offers more "real world" examples. Don't waste your money.
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