Posted by: steveonfilm | December 19, 2007

Four Pages: Exercise Four – Summary

Oh boy, this one is going to be big. This exercise is, by far, the biggest one yet, although I may have actually done more writing in exercise two. Exercise four deals directly with writing a treatment for your screenplay.

Syd does a real great job of explaining what a treatment is, as well as how it is, and isn’t, used in the industry, both in the US and abroad. As a matter of fact, had my instructors at SCAD explained what a treatment is to me the way Syd does I might have actually written them while I was in school.

The gist of the exercise isn’t just to write a treatment but to write a treatment that you can actually use as a tool. It’s going to be a guideline for the pacing of your screenplay, so Syd does a great job laying out how to put things together so they make sense from a pacing perspective. if you want to know any more, read the book yourself.

At any rate, here is how the exercise breaks down:

Part One: Write a dramatic recreation of the opening scene or sequence from your screenplay.

Part Two: Write a narrative synopsis of the action summarizing what happens during the rest of Act 1.

Part Three: Write a dramatic recreation of the Plot Point at the end of Act 1

Part Four: On a separate sheet of paper, write four obstacles–either internal or external, or some combination of both–that your character confronts during Act 2.

Part Five: Write a narrative synopsis, summarizing the action or Act 2 by focusing on four conflicts that confront your character. It could be as simple as a couple of sentences describing each obstacle.

Part Six: Write a dramatic recreation of the Plot Point at the end of Act 2

Part Seven: Write a narrative synopsis of the action in Act 3, the resolution

Part Eight: Write a dramatic recreation of the ending scene or sequence of the screenplay

I told you this was big. Obviously this is going to take a while to do. Size is important here, so I can’t just toss things up, I’ll need to write them and then edit them so they fit. However, once I get something complete I’ll put it up. Also, when I’m all finished I’ll but the total treatment up as well as a down loadable file.

Until then kiddies, enjoy.
-Steve

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