USC Feature Film Concept


Hey everyone, I'm hoping to apply for the Fall 2019 semester and had a few questions about the writing sample prompt: "Describe a concept for a feature-length movie, fiction or documentary, which you would like to develop. (No more than two pages)."

First, I was wondering about what differentiates a treatment from a concept. For UCLA, the treatment's supposed to be written in present tense and should read like a story and asks only for that in addition to a title and logline. Would my concept be similar? I'm thinking about providing a title, logline/context, main characters, then my story written in present tense, organized by 3 acts.

Second, I was hoping to write my concept about a historical event. I didn't know if the concept should be something that could theoretically be made in school and/or an original story. Would this be okay?


Bohan Zhang

New Member
I`m looking forward for finding the answer. I also prepare to write a concept and I have already got a thought. But I was wondering if a concept should include a logline as well as how I got this thought... as an addition to the original story.


Active Member

The great thing about a treatment is that I've heard there's no one perfect way to do it! I usually add a longline, short character bios, and the three acts like you described. However, for my feature concept, I didn't do character bios for my USC application.

The other plus is that USC doesn't give specifications for how to present your feature idea, so you could even write a pitch if you wanted and throw treatment format out of the window! I'm sure they would be fine with something based on a real life event because they say "fiction or documentary". I think even if it's a historical narrative, I think that fits! Don't worry about it being feasible for during school because USC students make shorts, not features during those three years.

Hope that helps!

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