Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Treatment

Every film has to start from writing. These quickly conceptualized written plans are called treatments and are a basic run-through of what the film is like. It only has a fraction of the detail put into a script but still gets the point across.


Film: Dark Circus (working title)

Director: Erin Greener

Medium: Traditional Animation

Character Descriptions

(Main Character)

Macey: A young girl of about 9 or 10 years that lives and works in the bakery at the top of a giant windmill with her family. She is small and agile with conservative clothes an apron for baking. She has become bored of her routine, safe life with her normal family and dreams of a way out to a life with adventure and thrill.

Macey’s Family: A Father, mother, and older brother that also work in the bakery. They love Macey very much and support her. They don’t know that Macey secretly wants to run away from home in search of a more thrilling life.


The Witch: The old woman that runs the traveling darkling circus currently stationed in town. She is so old and sluggish that she cannot even stand on her own and remains seated at all times in her comfortable throne. She controls the acrobats and performers and keeps all the profits of the circus to herself. The witch is the one that transforms unknowing people into the darkling circus performers, robbing them of their free will and memories so that they become puppets for exploitation.

The Circus Performers: The darklings that maintain and perform in the circus don’t do so of their own free will. They were once normal people that have been transformed and brainwashed into acrobats and clowns. One of the acrobats lures Macey from her home to the circus tent so that the witch could transform her too.

Setting and Tone

Town: The town in which the film takes place (which is currently nameless) is a cheerful and trouble-less town. The feeling is warm and sunny with the perfect weather. The town is pre-modern times so there are no television or current day technologies. There is a feeling of magic when we are introduced to the gigantic Dutch-style windmill standing in the center of the town. The windmill is easily twenties stories tall with broad canvas arms. It’s at the top of this windmill where our main character and her family live and work. Even though it’s at the top of a giant windmill overlooking the rest of the town, Macey’s home and the Bakery are cute and quaint. The home is decorated with family treasures and very old fashioned. The Bakery is welcoming and well taken care of. The warmth of this family’s happiness as carried through the motif of the yellowy sunshine that pours inside the windmill from outside.

Circus: The circus, unlike the town, is very dark and sinister. The ominous appearance of the tent adds to the mystery of the show inside. The tent itself is not completely settled on the ground. It appears as though a villainous hand-shaped tree is holding it up in the air. The circus tent is just outside of the town and stands tall enough so that it towers above the rest of the buildings much like the windmill. They are like opposing giants in the town but the windmill is pure and stately like an angel and the circus tent is curled, hunched, and dark like a demon. Inside the tent is like an evil fantasy. In contrast to the warm yellowy light of the town, the circus is lit with greens, reds, and violets. In the very back of the tent, the witch’s office hides and represents the heart of the evil circus.


One Liner: Macey learns an important lesson when she runs away from home and sees a darker world.

In the sunny and gentle town where the story takes place, a giant dutch flour-grinding windmill towers above the rest of the buildings. At the top of this windmill are the bakery and the home of a loving family. The main character, Macey, is the ten-year-old daughter in this family and works in the bakery with her father, mother, and older brother. Even though she is pampered, protected, and well-loved, Macey is bored of her safe and routine life with her family and dreams of a life with more thrill and adventure. She wants to join the mysterious darkling circus that has set up tent just outside of town but her parents won’t let her anywhere near it. Macey just sulks like a child. That night, a flying acrobat slips into Macey’s room like a shadow and convinces her to come with him to the circus. She accepts and is excited to finally escape from the norm and do something thrilling with her life. The acrobat brings her to the circus tent where Macey sees the other circus performers and she starts to feel uneasy about her choice. This circus is more frightening than a normal circus. She is brought to the witch that runs the circus. The witch agrees to make Macey into a circus performer but explains that by joining the circus, she will never be able to see her family again and that she must obey the witch. Macey realizes that coming to the circus was a mistake and wants to leave. But the witch grabs her by the wrist and begins to transform her. The skin of Macey’s arm starts to blacken like an acrobat but she is able to escape from the witch’s grasp before it spreads any further up her arm. She is narrowly able to run away from the circus and return safely home. Her family is none the wiser that Macey tried to run away to join the circus but she has to keep the secret of her personal sin by hiding the black skin of her arm. That black skin will remain as a permanent reminder of her almost bad choice. She now has a renewed love and appreciation for her family and is much more grateful of the happy life that she has.

No comments: