Talking pictures : how they are made, how to appreciate them (c. 1937)

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Talking Pictures Annie" stories which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. When a writer begins a treatment, he reads the orig- inal story many times. He then writes in sequence the action of each succeeding scene as he visualizes its ap- pearance on the screen. He does it by paragraphs which, to make changes easier, are not given arbitrary scene number as designation. He merely makes a preliminary chart of the action in simplest possible terms. If this treatment has dialogue it is only in brief sketch, for treatments are not supposed to be fine, finished literature. They are usually rather bald and direct. Their sole purpose is to set up a framework for the story so that those who work with it may see if there is a possibility of a final plot which will move rapidly and logically, and which will be pictorially interesting. This treatment is first discussed with the associate producer and the director, and, frequently, with one or more other writers. Its weak structural points are recognized and corrected. Later, a second treatment is made with more character detail and more dialogue. Special experts in the writ- ing of dialogue frequently begin work here. From them the treatment goes into the hands of the scenario writer. This technical expert takes the running series of se- quential paragraphs and fits them into scenes, indicates the dramatic possibilities for close-ups, medium close- ups, long-shots, and effect-shots. At the studios her associates tease Anita Loos by saying that she wrote the most expensive single sentence [72]