When submitting a treatment you may be pitching against 10, 20 or even 50+ filmmakers!
To help you put your best foot forward, we’ve got a few tips to help you create a perfect treatment, and increase your chances of being commissioned when you’re pitching for jobs on Genero.
Step 1 – Pitch yourself!
This is the place to introduce yourself to the client, and explain why you're the best person for the job. You need to made a good first impression, so you should also make sure you have an up-to-date profile by writing a bio and adding a profile picture. Seeing as most clients have never met you, this is a great way for them to put a name and face to your treatment!
Step 2 – Share examples of your work
This is the place to show off your very best work, but always keep your audience in mind! Linking to your latest showreel gives a great idea of your work as a whole, but it’s just as important to submit the most relevant examples of your work. We often see filmmakers using examples that aren’t relevant to the client or the brief, or even directors failing to include relevant work that could have been used to highlight their ability to execute a similar idea.
Step 3 – Write a treatment summary
Don't go overboard here, this is just a great place to grab the client's attention and encourage them to read your full treatment. Your Treatment Summary should briefly but clearly describe the concept you're pitching in a sentence or two.This is also the place to upload a cover image that visually encapsulates your concept!
Step 4 – Upload your full treatment
Treatments need to be thought through carefully, and should be concise and presentable. Including images in your treatment is incredibly important, as they go a long way in helping convey the look and feel of the visual product you’re trying to sell.
Much like an elevator pitch, you need to try get your main idea across clearly and quickly. You might have the best idea for the brief, but if it’s ten pages of text or an external video pitch hosted on Vimeo, the client won’t necessarily have the time to go through it all.
As with any piece of writing, always make sure you triple check your spelling and grammar, as mistakes can be a real turn off. Filmmaking is about precision, and if you’re careless with your treatment, then it won’t give the client much confidence in your ability to complete their job.
When you’re pitching to a brand or artist, make sure that your treatment is in clear and simple language, as some may not have the same level of production knowledge as an agency team. Finally, always make sure you tell the client why YOU would be the right choice for the job.
Not sure where to begin with writing a treatment?
Here are some examples of what you could include:
- Title page introducing you/your team
- An overview page that describes your full idea/concept and your approach to the job
- A full script where relevant
- Shot List
- Basic budget breakdown
- Production schedule
- Gear List
- Details on casting and locations
- Breakdown of music/audio approach
- Description of Style/Aesthetic: Scene breakdowns, reference images, shooting style and other visual details
- Examples of relevant work experience
- Reference films
- A final statement about why you would be best for the job!
You can also see some example treatments here.
Looking for some more pointers?
Vary your reference films
Reference films are a really great way to show the client what you want to achieve, but make sure you vary your examples! Time-lapse is massively overused, and although we love Wes Anderson, almost every brief will have a treatment pitching something in the style of his work. The key is to try and be different, so use other less well known references to highlight the angle you’re going for. Show examples of videos or stills from either your own reel or other people’s work, and back them up by explaining how you will bring the ideas to life with styles, techniques and equipment.
Clarify roles and responsibilities
If you’re pitching as a production company, make sure you’re very clear about who will be the director working on the brief. Clients need to know who they are selecting to create their video, so it’s important to share the director’s bio, as well as information on all the key members of the team who will be working on the project. When sharing showreels and examples of work, they should be from the director, rather than from the company as a whole. Any additional information about your cast or crew is always useful. Clients don’t want to be uncertain about the people behind the pitch!
Keep supplementary documents separate
Uploading documents with bios, post-production details, timelines or budgets is great, but keep these separate from the actual treatment. Detail and careful planning looks great to a client, but the information can be easily lost within the treatment if you don’t lay it out clearly. Think about what the person on the other end is being presented with and the impression you want to leave. Making sure they understand the key essence of your idea is key, and then back this up with supporting information to show that you can execute the idea.
Get your treatment in before the deadline
Pay careful attention to the brief deadline and familiarise yourself with GMT! We have filmmakers missing the deadline all the time, and often clients start reviewing submissions straight away. Make sure you leave enough time to upload, edit and preview your treatment before the deadline, so that if anything goes wrong there’s time to fix it!