How to Write a Movie Synopsis That Sells a Screenplay
by eev-hastings Jul 06, 2022 Views (349)
It may seem unnecessary to reduce a screenplay to a brief synopsis once it has been completed. But in order to promote your screenplay and sell it, you must have a synopsis. Before spending the time reading the entire script, agents, producers, and studio executives of a video production company need to determine whether they are interested in the subject matter of a screenplay. To persuade these gatekeepers that your script is worth their precious time, you need to write a powerful one-page synopsis.

What Exactly Is a Film Synopsis?

A movie synopsis is a condensed summary of the central idea, key events, and main character arcs of a finished screenplay. A script synopsis is primarily written by a screenwriter to persuade decision-makers in the film industry to read the complete screenplay. A movie synopsis is also known as a "one-pager" because it should only be one page long.

What Makes a Good Movie Synopsis?

When deciding whether to read a screenplay, agents, managers, producers, and studio executives scan the plot summaries. An established author with proven credentials may have their script read without a synopsis, but beginning screenwriters who email query letters often need to include one to grab the reader's attention. You have more influence over how your script is interpreted if you write your own script summary. Your movie summary is your first opportunity to present your story's main premise and display your literary prowess.

Writing a Movie Synopsis

It's beneficial to familiarize yourself with the general formatting rules for synopses before getting into the synopsis's content.

1. Make a header. Include your name, your script's title, and a phone number at the start of the summary. In the event that the recipient receives the summary from someone else, they will be able to contact you this way.

2. Create a logline. To give the reader a sense of the direction the story is taking, place your logline before your opening paragraph.

3. Provide a synopsis of your film. "Sarah leaps out of the plane" is an example of writing in the third person present tense. If your screenplay has the conventional three-act structure, it's simple to summarize your tale by dividing your synopsis into three paragraphs—one for each act. If one paragraph is noticeably longer than the others, feel free to break it apart, as this isn't a hard-and-fast rule.

4. Keep it concise. A one-page synopsis is typical for a screenplay of ordinary length. One page is all it takes for the reader to decide whether the content appeals to them, and it only takes a few minutes to read.

5 Pointers for Writing a Movie Synopsis

Use the advice in this summary to successfully summarize your screenplay.

1.Concentrate on the key themes and characters. Only include what is necessary to tell your tale on one page because space is at a premium. This implies that you should cut any minor subplots and auxiliary characters from your script that aren't necessary to the main plot.

2. Compose in the genre of the film. Make use of words that evoke emotions consistent with the genre's tone. An action movie summary, for instance, should highlight how exciting the writing is, while a comedy movie synopsis should highlight how hilarious the script is, etc.

3. Establish a story arc Each beat in your synopsis should be either the reason for the following beat or the result of the one before it. Because of this, each beat is guaranteed to advance the story and introduce the next beat.

4.Put an emphasis on character growth. It's easy to become so preoccupied with completing your plot that you neglect to consider the development of your characters. A strong understanding of your protagonist's goals and identification of their emotional turning points throughout the synopsis are essential. Every primary character should also possess one or more standout traits that will help them stand out from the other characters.

Spoil the resolution. We shouldn't leave the reader hanging at this point. Spoilers for all of your screenplay's major narrative points, including the conclusion, should be included in your synopsis. Give it a good ending by tying up all the loose ends you introduced in your synopsis.

A Synopsis, Logline, and Treatment Differences

Film synopses and loglines are frequently mistaken for one another. Although these phrases are all interchangeable, a synopsis is a one-page script summary, a logline is a one-sentence script summary, and a treatment is a lengthy scene-by-scene analysis of a movie's plot that screenwriters use to pitch a movie idea before creating the full screenplay.

In conclusion,

It's time to put your knowledge to use now that you understand how to create a movie summary.

Write the synopses of your favorite movies first. Learn how crucial it is to be able to present a gripping story in fewer than 500 words by choosing films that are similar to the one you're writing or have written.

Apply the strategy to your own story after that. You should compose and modify your movie synopsis until it is perfect. Then, after receiving criticism, make improvements to make it even better. And before sending it out to a film producer or a video production company, do everything you can to have it proofread. 

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