What is the production of a documentary about?


The treatment in film production

In film production, a treatment is the short version of the actual script and forms the basis for the realization of the film. As a rule, the scope of a treatment does not exceed 10 pages.

The structure of the treatment is as follows: content and ideas of the film as well as initial ideas about the design are outlined. This includes a synopsis of the film, the locations, protagonists or interviewees and moderators as well as the use of cinematic means. They are used to negotiate the planned film with producers, to obtain feedback in order to make any changes and to win actors over to the film. In addition, the process is briefly presented for the film crew. Detailed descriptions of scenes or dialogues do not belong in treatments, but the most important scenes are already given titles.[2]

While only the most important information and the plot of a film are presented in short form in a film exposé, a treatment reveals which content, which atmosphere and which emotions the film should convey. In addition, it is recorded how these things should be presented in sound, image, original sound and editing. In addition, a film treatment contains the most important keywords of the script text (dialogues, monologues, narrators). The film is divided into film sequences. The film is broken down into film sequences. The dramaturgical course of action and the flow of information can be described. This makes it easier for the authors and editors to assess whether the order of the factual information also fits into the dramaturgical order of the plot.[3]

Treatments in a video production

Treatments are used for long films or for complex videos that have special requirements in terms of content or form. Treatments are also used for videos with graphic elements so that the factual correctness, the costs and the narrative direction can be controlled and recorded in the preparation phase. [4] Since videos are significantly shorter than feature films, the treatment here usually only comprises one page: the concept and the production approach are recorded in a video treatment.

The advantage of a treatment is that the entire creative process is formalized and put on paper. In this way, the producer can obtain opinions from other creative people or the approval of the customer. [5]With animated films and explanatory videos, it is important that text and animation are coordinated with one another. The easiest way to note this is in a treatment with individual scene descriptions in order to make the production process as simple and smooth as possible. The treatment helps to focus all those involved during the production and not to forget what the core message of the video is and how it should be implemented.

The treatment in documentaries

The documentary film treatment is a specialty: It is more complex than a treatment for a feature film, as it contains the details of the script as well as the production script. [6]Nevertheless, the treatment in documentary films cannot explicitly reflect the exact course of action, as things arise spontaneously during the shoot. In the case of document type films, the previous research is particularly time-consuming and comprehensive. A documentary film treatment is created by a filmmaker based, among other things, on the research: Based on the researched information, it is described how certain scenes should look.[7]

Individual evidence:

[1] https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Treatment

[2] http://filmlexikon.uni-kiel.de/index.php?action=lexikon&tag=det&id=7814

[3, 4] https://gregor-a-heussen.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/GAH-Treatment-Anleitung-16-08.pdf

[5] https://photofocus.com/2013/10/30/writing-a-video-treatment/

[6] https://gregor-a-heussen.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/GAH-Treatment-Anleitung-16-08.pdf

[7] https://www1.wdr.de/kultur/film/dokmal/ein-film-entestand/expose-und-treatment-100.html