Do you want to land that music video gig? Then you're gonna need to write a bomb treatment.
Most filmmakers working in music videos know how important it is to be able to create captivating images that tell stories, but one asset that may not be on their radar but absolutely should be is the ability to clearly communicate their ideas and vision to a potential client. One way of doing that is with a treatment, a document that essentially tells clients your ideas on how the video will look and what it'll be about. So, how do you put a music video treatment together? Here's director Jakob Owens of The Buff Nerds to fill you in.
So yeah, treatments for music videos look a tad different than those for feature and short films, in that they're less wordy and, in my opinion, way more fun and attention-grabbing. Perhaps the first place to start is with how to format one of these suckers. Really, you could do whatever you want, but if you look at Owens' treatments, they're clean, colorful, and full of big images. But formatting isn't even really the most important thing with treatments; it's what you put inside them, so here are the tips Owens offers in the video that will help you nail it the next time you write one up.
- Don't make it too wordy: This isn't a legal document; you don't need to fill it up with a lot of words. The purpose of a music video treatment is just as much for clearly explaining your idea to a client as it is catching their attention. Big blocks of words may do the former but certainly not the latter, so include plenty of images that give your prospective clients a really clear idea of what your ideas for the project are. But do be clear and descriptive about your vision.
- Be colorful: In order to sell your idea to the artist, record label, or whoever you're wanting to work with, you'll need to make your treatment as impossible to look away from as you can. Get weird with fonts, colors, images, even design, and delivery.
- Get your treatment to your client ASAP: If you're asked to draw up a treatment for a video, don't take your sweet time getting it back to your potential client. The sooner you can get your treatment back, the greater your chances are of beating out other directors for the job.
If you don't want to start from scratch with formatting, Owens has some templates for sale on his website for $30 that you can download and use on your own projects.
How do you make your music video treatments more eye-catching or appealing to your clients? Let us know down in the comments.