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Classroom Video Production & Distribution:

Develop the Treatment

Develop the Concept | Pre-Production | Develop the Treatment
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This is the stage in which the project concepts become concrete. Stories, images, and on-camera experts are all built into the treatment development stage.

Research is going full tilt as you look for background information, links to educational standards, on-camera talent, and stock footage. But the paramount focus of this phase is to create the narrative scaffolding on which the final videos will be built. Be prepared for dead ends, story lines that need to be adjusted, and gaps in the visual material you will have.

In terms of style and format, it is important at this stage to be acutely aware of the needs of your audience and the level of prior knowledge they may or may not bring to the material. Remember, these videos are for students, not for a general audience. You may need to take into account grade-level considerations, such as reading and comprehension level. The Building Big broadcast series, for example, presented the controversy around the Citicorp Building in New York, while the reversioned student videos emphasized the engineering solutions that were put into place to correct the building flaws at Citicorp.

This is also the stage when you determine what, if any, new production you will be doing. There is often a need for this. For the Building Big student videos, new interviews were shot with younger experts and experts of color, and children were interviewed for their perceptions about how skyscrapers are built. Hands-on activities were modeled by parents and children in a second set of Building Big student videos, which, when distributed with the broadcast version, were a valuable extra feature in the home video market.


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