Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find samples/templates of short film treatments or how to write them?
I'm a newbie writer & was invited to write short film treatment and was told to include a beginning, middle & an end.
**The question is:** Do I need a script to pitch my idea or could I just write a short treatment and see if they bite and then I go working on the short film script (I've never written a script in my life).
***Also, do I need to copyright the short film treatment up (gonna copyright the idea poor man's version of copyrighting mail it to myself, I don't have any money or time to buy and wait for a copyright to go through by mail, haver no net access at home)? Hopefully that will be valid enough?***
I wrote the following to show what writers do to protect ordinary work: stories and books. I wrote a play as well and did not copyright it myself. I always feel secure with the copyright as proved below.
However, reading the Wiki entry I want you to read, you may change your mind. I wouldn't, but after further study you'll know what to do.
The best thing is to read every word from this source and every likely source mentioned in it, and follow every blue link under "External Links." They are gold-mines and will lead you also to complete templates.
[Do not copyright anything for which you're intending to sell the copyrights. You can mail it to yourself if you want, but it's not necessary. All you need to do is keep a copy of either script or pitch at home, on floppy, hard-drive and/or print-out, with your name, name of idea (can be any identifier) and a date (I put month and year) in the header on each page.
Keep this copy at home all the time: it's your copyright. Don't even use a copyright symbol in the header.]
It's good to research things from sources known to be pretty accurate.
Back this up by getting and studying a book on the screenwriting process from storyboard to pitch to complete script.
There is a brief sample at this source (follow the link above) as well as many tips on format and what is REALLY appreciated by studio personel, and that is NOT an outline, even for writing 'on spec.'
Be sure you read those External Links, too.
Best of luck.