Writing a treatment for a reality show is very different from composing one for other genres of TV shows. The word, ‘Reality’ is a misnomer. A reality show is a purely make-believe gaming or competitive show where the competitors are generally common folks and not established actors. The contest culminates in awarding of a prize and the viewers enjoy watching the participants vying with one another.
A premeditated script cannot be written for a reality show since it is difficult to predict how the participants will react or how the show will run. While writing a treatment for a reality show the writer has to make allowances for the unpredictable element of the program. The treatment is used to persuade the studio or a producer to invest money in the planned TV reality program. Through the treatment the writer has to prove to the producers that your idea is viable and the program will assuredly be entertaining.
– Before writing a treatment for a reality show, create a logline or the premise of the intended show. Use compelling words so that the readers’ curiosity to know more is aroused.
– Give a brief description of who the participants will be; to which strata of society they will be drawn from – housewives, children, students etc. If a host is needed to control the episode, suggest the type of person who might fit that position.
– Lay out your plan for the entire episode in a few paragraphs. Do not leave out any important detail such as the surprise element, a twist in the flow or the climax. Before winding up writing a treatment for a reality show propose how the next episode is expected to run. In fact, if you list the beginning, middle and end of the next few episodes, it will re-assure the financiers that your show is brilliant enough to sustain itself and will not fizzle out.
– Give your contact details on every page of the treatment.
– Register your idea with WGA before handing out the treatment you have written.
– Use Courier 12 point for typing and avoid any typographical or grammatical errors.
– Writing a treatment for a reality show is fun to write for authors who love creativity and can quickly alter the literary composition to seem natural as the show begins to be aired. You have to be a great visionary to do that.
– Keep to writing your story and do not attempt to give direction for the camera, costumes etc. All you can safely do is to suggest the location, the set, the number of episodes, and how you want the show to wrap up.
The way to create the situation required by your show should be mentioned in the treatment. This will give greater clarity to your idea for a successful reality show.
Reality shows are relatively unscripted programs and every change is made in the editing room. You can only use pointers to make the show more thrilling for the players, viewers, making it hard for them to miss even a single episode. Treatment writers for hire can help turn an idea into a completed treatment and, ultimately, a screenplay.