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Saturday, July 25, 2009

FAB Treatments



I have recently being doing a treatment for a feature script that has gone through to the next round of the rather gung-ho sounding - Ultimate Filmmaker Competition. Perhaps it is like Ultimate Fighting, you know, but for geeks. Anyway, they give you $200k so I'm going for it.

The story could be described as "Short Cuts meets Google Earth" and I last wrote about it on here over a year ago! Current stage: First draft done. Second on the way. Personal view on it: Think it is very exciting, but the episodic structure may causes nervousness in others.

But back to the treatment!

Writers hate treatments. It can seem like scriptwriting with all the fun bits taken out. And can quickly become just a series of plot points. This happened, then that happened etc etc.

This made me think of an old sales technique called F.A.B. Which stands for; Features, Advantages, Benefits. It is to help sell you something by linking it to how it can help you. For example.
  • The new feature of a camera could be image stabilisation.
  • The advantage is - a steady shot in tough conditions.
  • The benefit is - less takes required, less time in post production - all saving money on your film.
So the 'image stabilisation' is just a specification feature. But saving money, shooting quicker - I can feel the benefit to me. And so am more likely to buy.

Same goes for treatments. I was in danger of just making mine a string of plot points. That is just the 'features'. I needed to link that through to how that advances the story and how that benefits the audience's emotional journey - how they would feel.

Or is that too far? Examples to come tomorrow to explore this further.

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