In this stage, the project producer selects a story, which may come from a book, play, another film, true story, video game, comic book, graphic novel, or an original idea, etc. After identifying a theme or underlying message, the producer works with writers to prepare a synopsis.
Next they produce a step outline, which breaks the story down into one-paragraph scenes that concentrate on dramatic structure. Then, they prepare a treatment, a 25-to-30-page description of the story, its mood, and characters. This usually has little dialogue and stage direction, but often contains drawings that help visualize key points. Another way is to produce a scriptment once a synopsis is produced.