Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Monday, 10 January 2011

Creating a treatment

SUMMARY: a treatment is...
... a short but detailed document creatives and agencies will produce to pitch a proposal for a new production in any media industry. It will briefly but clearly set out the main ideas and the style of the proposed text/s. Its a sales pitch, so needs to be persuasive; a successful outcome is funding and a signed contract - you may well find producing plentiful such documents in your life beyond school. 

A treatment is also an opportunity for you to take stock and sum up your ideas and progress to date. It should be well illustrated with relevant images to convey your ideas or planning, though you should stick to 2-4 sides of A4. An initial storyboard can be included as a supplement.
As ever, these are suggested categories, headings or topics; there is a lot of overlap, so come to your own decisions over how to present your detailed proposal.
You can find plenty of examples online. They're often looser in structure; yours needs to be clearly set out. Ferraris eg; simple google.

ARTIST/TRACK: This is your heading - NOT the word treatment (ARTIST: Track, 201x promo package proposal)

THE GROUP: who's in it; any clear roles/specialisms/[relevant] interests? Include your blog URL/s. Think of this as a company's/ies letterheading; branding. If you haven't yet designed a logo for your website and social media profiles you could work on that now.

THE BRIEF: State that you will produce a whole promotional package: a music video for the lead single off album x (typically a compilation album: best of, hits etc), a fresh new website (with heavy social media integration) and digipak design, with clear branding or themes running across all three (state what form this might take if you can at this stage).

SYNOPSIS: in a sentence or 2, the essence of your video idea - MUST be brief!!! Conventionally for films you'd start with a standalone sentence: ITS X MEETS Y, comparing yours to 2+ existing films; if you can, do the same for music video, even if its a loose comparison. No matter how many nuances or subtleties your idea has, it needs to be communicable in a bite-sized sentence.

TARGET AUDIENCE: who its aimed at + why (distinguishing core and secondary is vital). Without writing an essay, make sure you're clear on how you're incorporating elements to appeal to specific audiences. This could be a brief summary with further detail through your brief (state so if thats the case). Evidence from social media, fan forums, questions posed in forums/fansites etc will be useful here and as general evidence of audience research.

GENRE LINKS: summary of key genre codes, conventions, practitioners, your proposal might reference/intertextualise in some way. This might include sub-cultural codes (clothing, hair, body language etc) reflected within your video. [THEORY TIP: see Hebdige in Genre section of MANGeR pack]

MISE-EN-SCENE: LOCATIONS, PROPS, COSTUMES, MAKE-UP ETC: Some detail on these, again highlighting links to industry practice (ie existing texts). Think about any wow factor your ideas include. Make clear you've researched resources: you can buy/access props, devices, locations etc

DIGIPAK DESIGN: Some initial ideas on the design of your digipak; should include 1 or more sample images you'd use.

CAST + CREW NEEDED: This is part of the reason I want these (so, yes, once completed email or pass to me on USB stick!): think about any roles, not just casting (perhaps composer, player of specific instrument/s, make-up etc), required. If your cast is sorted, great; provide images - either way, give brief profiles of the character role, using indicative images of egs from existing texts to illustrate what you're thinking of. Indicate deadlines for expressions of interest, and/or place/time for meetings (perhaps combine with other groups)

CONTACT DETAILS: if you're after potential volunteer personnel they need to be able to contact you. You could as a group set up a new joint email account (simply share out the login details), which would look good if named after 1 of your companies! Use 1 of your personal emails if need be, but don't include any personal mobile nos. on this
I've added an eg from past AS Media below. Note the clear sub-headings, use of images, prominence of working title, names + blog/YouTube info!!! Also, images are pushed in neatly with text, not set out in an acre of white space! You can find past examples on past blogs!!!

Charlotte Faye Spotlight Love Treatment DB EDIT

Here's an example of a treatment for a music video by A2 Media students from another (award-winning) centre:
Initial Voodoo Child Treatment                                                            
Yours doesn't have to be like this, but should successfully enable anyone reading it to get the gist of what you're working on!


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