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UNIV1120: How to be exceptional: Treatment

This guide should answer most questions about assignments for UNIV 1120: Documentary Film and Online Literacy.


Your treatment should be a narrative explaining what you want your documentary to be. Use complete sentences and paragraphs. You can use an outline or bullets to organize items, but avoid getting fragmented, or not completing your thoughts. Length may vary. Remember that this document will assist you in your planning, so thoroughness helps YOU.

The following things must be included in your treatment, and placed on your website:

  • Explanation of the topic and purpose of the film.
  • State how you are situated…biased? What this topic means/ how it relates to you?
  • What style(s) will be used to tell the story? - i.e., what is your approach
  • The best treatments will touch on all of these elements in a compelling narrative that gives the reader a good mental picture of what the finished film may look like. Tell us your vision, even though, at this stage it may change.
  • You may also treat this as a pitch. The narrative at the front of a Kickstarter, or fundraising page can be a model.

Other elements that are not required on your website, but may be helpful to you when you are planning (i.e., do this for YOU, not your instructor)

  • What the first and last scenes will be and why
  • Elements: intended length of the film, intended audience, and how your film relates to other works that have been produced on the subject
  • Timeline of filming
  • List of equipment
  • List of interviewees, helpers, contact info (don't put any personal information on your website - just have for yourself)
  • Shot list
  • Rough draft of interview questions
  • Rough draft of any overview/narration

Some of the above elements may have been touched upon in your topic. It is ok to repeat some content, especially if you are fleshing out details.


Resources and Samples

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