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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Treatment

As photographers morph into the world of motion-picture video, presenting a client with a brief but complete description of the project, whether still photography, video or both can mean the difference between getting the gig or missing out

A Photography Example

If the PSA was a print campaign with the seven shots for the six phass of life and the exam, you could write the treatment like this:

My execution of the seven images for the breast cancer awareness campaign will be shot from a voyeuristic perspective as if we’re looking at the different phases of life. The scenes will be lit to match what one would expect from the scene being depicted. My goal is to make the scenes as natural looking as possible. These will look familiar to the viewers so they can make a connection to their own lives.

SHOT 01: BABY IN A CRIB, a medium close-up, medium-high angle looking down on a BABY’S hands playing with hanging crib toys that will be in the foreground as indicated in the layout. I see the shot being side-lit with light from a window that plays in the background slightly overexposed. The shot will feel like a quiet afternoon with only mother and baby at home.
SHOT 02: YOUNG GIRL holding up a hand. A medium close-up of a THREE-YEAR-OLD GIRL holding up her fingers to show off her age. The shot will feel like a spring day in the backyard of the girl’s house in the shade of a large tree. The girl will be excited like she’s been playing in the backyard for a while.
SHOT 03: HIGH-SCHOOL GIRL throwing a kiss at the camera. I see this in a high-school hallway with lockers fading off into the distance, establishing a vanishing point with the high-school girl in the foreground. I’d like to try this two ways: one tack-sharp and one with a motion blur. The talent will look at the camera like it’s a boy she’s flirting with.
SHOT 04: COLLEGE SWIMMER. I see the angle from the pool looking at the two talents at the wall. A bit of water and lane line in the foreground leading up to our two college swimmers locked in a high-five. An alternate shot will be the secondary girl clapping to the side of the frame with the principal pumping her fist in excitement. I’d like to try this two ways: one tack-sharp and one with a motion blur as well.
SHOT 05: YOUNG MOM clapping to encourage her DAUGHTER riding a bike in the background. I see this as a medium shot with the mom in profile clapping and the daughter in the background. The mom will be evenly lit with the girl in the background in speckled light, but slightly underexposed in the background. It should feel like a Sunday afternoon and the girl is just learning how to ride a bike.
SHOT 06: GRANDMOTHER holding GRANDDAUGHTER’S hand. A medium-tight shot with a long lens and shallow depth of field on a neighborhood street with a picket fence at the side of the frame. I see the grandmother and granddaughter swing their interlocked hands.
SHOT 07: YOUNG WOMAN giving herself a breast self-examination. I see this as a studio shot against a bright white background and a little fill in front to depict the fact that she’s topless in a tasteful way to convey the point of what she’s doing. I’ve confirmed with an oncologist that the layout depicts the proper position for a self-exam. I feel that what she’s laying on isn’t a part of the story and that should be a dark color that fades into the edge of the frame.


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