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Writing the Killer Treatment: Selling Your Story Without a Script [Paperback]

Michael Halperin
1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Jan 2002
It's Hollywood's oldest adage, " If you want to break in this business kid, you're going to need a great script." What they should really tell you is that you need a great Treatment, often a 2 or 3 page storyline which tells your audience what your story is about. This book tells you how to the write and utilize your treatment to get your TV or Film project going fast!!!!


Product details

  • Paperback: 171 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (11 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094118840X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941188401
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,003,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

1.8 out of 5 stars
1.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An utter disappointment 8 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This must be one of the worst screenwriting books I have ever read and I really regret wasting my money on it. It doesn't do what it says on the tin at all, there is very little specific info re treatments. Instead it goes over wellknown ground such as constructing story, structure etc, in a very basic introductory way. Over half the book is appendices and lists and it is very thin on real information. If you want to know about presenting for different formats in US TV, it is of some (limited) value, but there is virtually nothing about feature treatments, certainly nothing about how to write slick, sellable documents. I had hoped for a lot more examples, common pitfalls or mistakes in the actual writing of the docs, what buyers look for, how to pep up your prose and get it sold etc. No such luck here. If you want to know about writing treatments, I'd advise going onto WordPlay or searching the web for free. Don't waste your money on this book unless you are a total beginner who wants to write for US TV. And even then I'd think about it....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very limited, and focused on the USA 4 April 2009
Format:Paperback
I found the narrative in this book somewhat confusing. It somehow fails to explain what a treatment is and how to draw one up. There are allusions to the job, but never any real substance. Instead, what we get is an analysis of the three act structure, 'beat', and a few other aspects of screenwriting.

There are interesting nuggets in it, but you have to search for them - for instance advice about structuring a television drama differently, depending on whether it is to be interrupted by advert breaks or is to play straight through. But even the nuggets come with a health warning. The content is entirely US-based and is clearly intended solely for someone writing for a US market.

We get advice on how to write screenplays for current serials and soaps, how to pitch an original screenplay, how to adapt a classic. But we never get the advice in enough depth. Each chapter concludes with a short exercise, a couple of questions about what you've read so far. I'm not quite sure why they're there, other than to give the impression that you'll have something to learn from this tome. In fact, they might be the most valuable part of the book - they are about the only things which make you stop and think.

It's not a long book - 69 of its 167 pages are in the form of Appendices, largely lists of addresses for American agents, advice on American copyright, and so on. If you're a British writer, there's not much to learn from this.

Overall, a disappointing mistreatment and not one to be recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not great, weak 22 April 2011
Format:Paperback
I must say I didnt think it did it. I have one other book on writing treatments that has 150 weak pages and 6 good ones... "Killer Treat" does not have that. Still looking for a good book on treatments. Rob
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1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book on screenwriting 24 Feb 2014
By Harry
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read many books on the subject of screenwriting and this has to be the worst book I have ever read, it does not show you nothing at all, it attempts to tell you about it and that's all, I cant believe a book of this poor quality can be printed. Don't waste your money on this empty book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good 24 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
I've only started reading the book but, already I find it to be a very useful resource with real life examples and handy tasks at the end of each chapter.
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