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Old 02-03-2010, 08:38 AM
robohannon robohannon is offline
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Default The last camp

Logline: In a world on the edge of destruction three men face their past and future on an old battlefield.
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File Type: doc The Last Camp treatment.doc (26.5 KB, 16 views)
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:38 PM
WriteNow WriteNow is offline
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Rob, first off- good stuff. This is the first treatment of yours I've read, I'll do the other two next.

Some comments/critiques:

The quote at the beginning. Read any modern screenwriting book and they will tell you NOT to do this. Conversely, read any modern script (the actual script, not a published version) and you will find little quotes like this about half the time. I guess you can file this under my little mantra, 'If you're good enough, the rules don't apply.' As someone just starting out, be cautious, though. At least pick something shorter. When you're established, tossing in a little quote makes you look cool. When you're not established, it makes you look like an amateur. Shane Black has several quotes in front of everything he does. But he's Shane Black-

The character descriptions are great- but -a little too long. Remember, those aren't just for producer's and directors- actors read treatments too. If Bruce Willis likes your treatment you better believe that is going to go a long way towards it getting made. So- keep it short, keep it simple, leave lots of wiggle room. One person might read the description "He walked like a truck" one way, one another. Vin Diesel might say "That's perfect for me!" while Michael Chiklis might say, "Hey- that's perfect for ME!" Get it? It's ambiguous, but it's not. No actor wants to be told their character's shoe size or favorite toothpaste. It will all get changed in the end anyway.

So, for characters- broader strokes. More concise descriptions. Alternatively, and probably a better idea- ditch the descriptions altogether. They are great for you, but usually unnecessary for your reader. Just weave a simple description into the treatment as you would a screenplay. This is film- you're characters actions will define them.

Now for the treatment itself-

Nice. I love old war movies. Sounds like it could be interesting.

But it's short- too short. In fact, it's as long as your character descriptions. Needs to be longer, more fleshed out. Lines like "William learns about the nature of fear from Joshua and is able to face down the bully." make me wonder what I'm missing. Sounds like the crux of the story- but its glossed over.

And the ending- "It is only then we learn he is dead, and he is able to walk off Little Roundtop." Great ending, but- it's been done. Many times. In fact Jacob's Ladder did it twenty years ago. You can do it, don't get me wrong(EVERYTHING has been done)- but try to throw something new in there to lessen the sense of deja vu.

So, in short- chop your character descriptions by 75%, insert them into your treatment, make sure to flesh out your KEY PLOT POINTS so the reader isn't left wondering (I know you want the script to 'surprise' them but trust me- just tell them what you got right away or they'll never even read the script) and I would also name your "bully" unless keeping him nameless is done for effect. It's always good to have a clear protagonist and antagonist.

More important than anything your writing shows you are interested in the story. Movie studios probably won't care, but it matters. When you have an interest in what your writing about, it doesn't feel like work. Try writing a dozen episodes of a inane children's show and you'll see what I mean.

OK, on to your other submissions!
And remember- no matter what ANYONE says, not your next door neighbor or the head of Warner Bros.- keep at it. Eventually, you will succeed-

Last edited by WriteNow; 02-22-2010 at 02:46 AM.
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