How to Write the Treatment note for a Movie Screenplay?

Shitiz Srivastava
4 min readDec 20, 2017

There are several quick ways to write treatment for your film but I have few suggestions based on my personal experiences. I personally prefer going in depth while writing Treatment notes.

Treatment notes are written once and are distributed many times. So, you should work towards it as hard as possible and make it as perfect as it could be.

1. What does the treatment note contain.

There are several formats in which treatment notes are written. However, I like to give as much information as possible to the reader to know more about my film. But all the data should be in a perfectly formatted manner, and not just one long essay.

2. What is a treatment note.

A treatment note is a piece of Document which defines the director’s -

  • Plan
  • Perspective &
  • Preparation

of his project.

3. Pointers to be mentioned in Treatment note.

1. Poster with Credits. (You can create it from Stock photos.)

2. Index of Contents.

3. Cover Letter.

4. Synopsis of the Film.

5. Character Description.

6. First five scenes (min. 5).

7. Director’s Note.

8. Treatment Note.

9. About the Director.

10. References (if the film is based on true story or you can mention your research here as well.).

11. Tentative Cast and Crew list.

12. ROI (Return on Investment) and Marketing Research

13. Budget — Divided into Pre, Shoot and Post + Marketing budget.

14. Note of thanks.

4 . What is Director’s Note ?

Director’s note is the note in which director mentions how he visions his movie and how he is planning to execute the film. It is from his personal viewpoint of the film.

5. How is Director’s note different from Treatment note?

Director’s note is director’s perspective of how he is going to direct his film. His vision and thoughts about the same. While the treatment note is vaster in terms of global perspective. Treatment note involves everything right from art direction, costumes, sound, locations, character descriptions, twists in stories.

6. What is character Description?

Character description is basically character traits of your protagonists, antagonists, and other important characters. It should be brief and to the point.

7. What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is just a formal way to introduce your document and welcome the reader.

8. What is ROI and Marketing research ?

ROI means Return on Investments. Any producer to whom you are going to pitch your project will take more interest in this section than anyone else. Remember, You are a creative and you love your story but your producer is a businessman whose needs are different. Think from his point of view.

It is said that there is only nine kind of stories that can be created. Every story is just another version of them. So if you research, you will find that there are many other films that share the same genre as your film.

Fill in the stats of how they become successful, their revenue generation and why your film is the best bet considering all those stats. Ignore flop films. Mention only the film that was of the same genre and has done great business.

9. But how do I write a treatment note?

Treatment notes have no particular formats. The only format that I can prescribe is to make it an interesting read, with lots of visual writing, examples, references, your actual thinking and philosophy.

Do not try to decorate treatment notes with Glossy words and technical details. It should reflect your passion, attention to details and love for your film.

Research as much as you can before writing treatment notes. My method is that I make pointers and then expand them, though do not use pointer approach in treatment notes. It has to be more like an article of minimum three paragraphs long and between 1000 to 2000 words.

10. How to make you Notes look better?

  • Use images wherever you can. More the images, better the look. But do not do the mistake of pasting big images. A medium size Picture is better than large picture. The pictures should enhance the experience of writing, not distract away from it.
  • Use border on all the pages.
  • Use of Bullets, Bold letters, Italic letters should be used throughout.
  • Make a great graphical poster. It will set the tone for the rest of the presentation. A great poster creates a great impression.

If you like to contact me, follow me on my Facebook Page (Stamewo).

**If you would like to get a proper Treatment Note in PDF File, Clap the answer and Mail me at staccatomediaworks@gmail.com.**

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Shitiz Srivastava

Man who dons several hats in one lifetime. Well, good for nothing. B.Tech, L.L.B., M.A. (ENG). Founder of TheHardNewsDaily.com News Network.