A Pilgrim's Progress and other novel adventures

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Give 'em the treatment

I've spent the last couple of days writing a movie treatment. I've never actually written one before, and let's just say it's been something of an experience.

I'd pitched a story online to an anonymous production company in LA. I know, I know... it sounds well dodgy... but if no-one knows you in Hollywood they like to keep you at arm's length, in case you infect them with your unreasonable expectations.  Probably just as well I didn't know who it was at the time, or I might have poo-ed my pants a little.

Any way... they 'loved' it.  Is the script still available? Can we see the treatment?  Erm... yes.  (The script is SO available it exists no-where but in my head).  And of course you can have the treatment.  Cue two days of no sleep , and a crash-course in writing movie treatments.  Actually, I think it's probably a bit easier to write a treatment if you haven't already written the script.  Trying to condense six months and 110 pages of blood/sweat/brain-ache  into 8-10 pages of plain prose would like trying to squash a baby into a thimble (ok... unpleasant... sorry)
Somehow you have to communicate all the main plot twists, character arcs, theme, setting, AND sprinkle it with enough fairy-dust to make someone want to make the damn thing.

I have no idea if I managed it.  But... it's gone anyway.  The chances are I'll never hear from those charming people again - even if they think it SUCKS they won't say so.  Far too polite.

So... what now?

I'm still stumbling around, slightly dishevelled and wild-eyed from too much caffeine/excitement/delusion.  Of course, I'm trying not to imagine myself on the red carpet... (I'd like to thank my granny, my dog... Vivienne Westwood for this lovely frock) but, after all, I'm only human.  I should probably go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.

On the other hand... perhaps I should start writing the damn screenplay.  Just in case.