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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 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0805072785
ISBN-10: 0805072780
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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

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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: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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By S. Marsh on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you have already written a screenplay or are a serious screenwriter, there is pretty much no useful information in this book. A lot of the book is filler and more oriented to your screenplay/source material/annals of television story development. Needs more examples of treatments, and more importantly, it needs to make good on its title. This book didn't tell me how to "write treatments that sell," it just explained that treatments exist, and sometimes they're bought.
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