Assignment: 1 page film treatment
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A treatment is a relatively brief narrative “pitch” of a story intended for production as a film.
Treatments vary in length from one page to 25 pages.
Treatments should contain:
- The “hook”: this is what makes your story unique
- Main characters
- Basic story
- Major turning points in the story
Treatments should be written in a dramatic style. Don’t just summarize your story. Remember, this treatment is being used to sell your idea, so it must be compelling to the reader.
Avoid phrases like “The story starts with…” or “In this scene we see…” These serve no purpose for the reader.
Write your treatment in the present tense. This helps bring the reader into the action.
Filmmaking is a visual medium, so you should write in a visual style. This lets the reader experience the “look” of your story.
“PORT OF CALL”
written by Kenneth Atchity
Disobeying orders that he remain “on leave” until the heat cools down from his last escapade, Harbor Police Detective Archie Camery makes it to the Harmony Street Wharf to help his partner Buddy with their latest investigation. He arrives to find his partner’s dead body floating in the river.
Hard-nosed, by-the-book Captain of Detectives Jimmy-Bird Johnson tries to persuade Archie to stay out of the way of the investigation, despite the lead Archie’s already onto from Melanie Chatelaine, the gorgeous private detective who was Buddy’s lover.
Jimmy-Bird is babysitting Louis Larre, a Frenchman assigned to New Orleans by Interpol. Louis is on the trail of international smuggler Enrique Barracus. Eventually, the Captain gives in, allowing Archie to team up with Louis on the case. Louis’s high-tech savvy and suave bravado complements Archie’s local knowledge and natural wariness.
Checking over Buddy’s autopsy report, Archie notices that the red substance found caked beneath Buddy’s fingernails is – cayenne pepper! Crime lab reports lead him to a merchant on Bourbon Street, who imports the substance for his “Cajun spices.” Meanwhile, Louis, now undercover as an import/exporter, makes a dangerous contact – Barracas’s sexy sister Talia, who has contraband artifacts to sell.
As the investigation proceeds, Archie and Louis find their searches converging: The pepper disguises not only cocaine (the find that killed Buddy) but also Barracas’s treasure – a magnificent gold Inca burial mask. As the final twist, Archie learns that Louis’s pursuit of Barracas is based on a personal vendetta – Barracas killed Louis’s sister, and nothing can stop Louis from bringing him to justice.
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