At the beginning of every music video project, there is a need to work with the artist to define a desired treatment. A video treatment, also known as video concept, outlines information with regards to what the music video will be about. Conceptually, a music video could show the artist performing the song in front of a live audience or by itself; alternatively, a music video can also present a story line where certain situations and storytelling takes place. Furthermore, it can also be an experimental exercise where random images are shown to complement the music in a more abstract way. All of these angles constitute the treatment, or concept, of a music video.
However, a video treatment goes beyond this exercise of defining the overall direction of the video. The treatment goes down to describe the kind of locations, situations, stories, images, look and feel, tone and colour, pacing and so on of the music video. Even though most treatment writers don’t follow specific guidelines or structures, a well written treatment is one that can successfully communicate complete ideas to artists.
We have had the chance to write several music video treatments for several artists where different ideas and angles were presented for them to consider. Also, a video treatment can help with the process of creating the production budget where items identified in the treatment are included in the budgeting process.
Summarizing, a music video treatment is the starting point of every project. It allows the production company to communicate its ideas to the artists and it allows artists to make decisions regarding the direction of their video. The treatment also helps production companies to write production budgets that are accurate and that give artists a complete view of what to expect when embarking on the production of their music video.