So in other words:
It should be a little less than 1 page long and clearly show your characters and story. Sometimes longer synopses are called treatments and can range in length from a couple of pages to more than twenty pages.
The purpose of this short, less than one page synopsis, is to get a producer, director, or agent to read your entire script. You want to tell your story and demonstrate mastery of your craft.
You want to give the person reading it a clear idea about what your story is about. You want the reader to know you have clearly defined characters with a solid story that has a beginning, middle, and end. If you have a twist ending you can tell them about the twist without giving it away.
Make them want to read the full script. I also choose these synopses because these are the two scripts I pitched in my example query letter so it will give people a complete view of what I send out. As Mary-Beth and Gene make plans to escape with the insurance money, her lover, now insanely jealous, develops his own plan to get the money.
Leonardo Bailey Leo is a talented artist with a peculiar talent for painting realistic, although hugely depressing, paintings of New York City. Unfortunately, people hate reality, and thus, his paintings.
One miserable evening, while getting obscenely drunk, he paints several colorful, impressionistic happy faces. His career continues to skyrocket. Leo finally gets a show along side of another great artist, Alfred Doolittle.
Doolittle simply smiles and agrees, explaining that his mediocre art work is merely a wise business decision, shallow and superficial, but infinitely marketable.
Utterly distraught, Leo breaks up with his girlfriend and prepares to plunge off the balcony of his penthouse apartment. I think both synopses make it clear that my screenplays have clearly delineated characters and a solid structure with a beginning, middle and end.
In fact I think this is more important than trying to be overly cleaver or hilariously funny with your synopsis. With Irrefutable Evidence I open the synopsis with a bit about the production budget — saying it could be made on a limited budget.
Most of the producers who I send this to are low budget producers and this script is a perfect vehicle for them and I want to make that clear. For most of the people I send this to a minimal budget is a selling point. But I would take it out if I were submitting it to larger more established production companies.
The first paragraph of The Meaning Of High Art synopsis and the second paragraph of the Irrefutable Evidence synopsis is a sort of quick summary almost log line of the entire script. Hopefully people can see the humor in the basic set up without me having to be overtly funny in the synopsis.
With Irrefutable Evidence I pretty much give away the ending… sort of. My synopsis for The Meaning Of High Art basically captures the character of Leo and hopefully makes it clear that this story is about a struggling artist with some funny twists.
Read my post How to write a professional query letter for your screenplay. The idea is to send a producer a short query letter with a couple of synopses in it. Then read my post Getting your screenplay to producers and production companies. Between these three posts it should give you everything you need to know to start getting your scripts to producers.
What do think I did wrong and how could these synopses be improved?I was asked to write a synopsis for a film producer for the script that I am STILL working on, you can imagine the hassle I’m in, I basically stopped writing the script, and did not write the synopsis either:S This should really help considering the story is there with all the details.
Write the logline and synopsis in the present tense. For example, your main character walks or sleeps, rather than is walking or is sleeping. Stick to offering names only for up to three main characters: the protagonist, antagonist and the sidekick or love interest.
A good synopsis a very good tool to help writers develop an idea for a screenplay and eventual movie. A synopsis does not try to tell the whole story Rather, it focuses on a few characters and the most important parts of the story. A good synopsis makes the person who reads it want to see the movie.
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Sample Screenplay Synopsis. STAR WARS. A science fiction adventure. Read my post How to write a professional query letter for your screenplay. The idea is to send a producer a short query letter with a couple of synopses in it. The idea is to send a producer a short query letter with a couple of synopses in it.
Writing a good synopsis and logline for a script takes practice. These are not something you whimsically write, giving it no importance. Instead the writer pitches ideas for scripts and then gets hired to write the screenplay.
Pick movies you have seen and write loglines and synopses for them. Have your writing peers give you their.