A script synopsis for a screenplay is often more difficult than writing the screenplay itself, yet many film prospective film producers and agents will require this document. How is a good film synopsis written?
Guidelines to Writing a Movie Synopsis
The screenwriter's synopsis makes it easier for the agent to quickly assess whether the screenplay is likely to be taken onto the next stage. For this reason, the film synopsis is the most vital component of the submission package, for a good screenplay relies upon a well-written synopsis. Getting it right is absolutely crucial if an agent is likely to take further interest in the screenwriter.
How to Submit a Screenplay to Agents
A submission package may consist of some or all of the following
What is a Synopsis?
Usually, a synopsis will consist of a plot summary of the screenplay on one side of an A4 sheet of paper. Often, no more than 250 words maximum is requested. Where a tagline summarises a story in one sentence, a film treatment will outline each scene, a synopsis lies somewhere in the middle.
Checklist for Writing a Screenplay Synopsis
If the synopsis is badly written, the film agent is likely to send it back with a rejection letter and not even read the screenplay. In order to prevent this from happening, the following measures might help.
Writing a Film Summary
How to Write a Film Synopsis for Beginners
A synopsis is really the imparting of the story in fast forward. Ensure it is a compelling read. Every word counts, so avoid using two words if one will do. Ensure the exact right words are used, in order to tighten up the prose. A thesaurus is invaluable. Getting straight to the point will give a professional feel to the synopsis and the agent is more likely to take the writer on.
Before sending it off, ask the following questions:
If doubts remain, asking the opinion of another might help clear up problems. It might also help to put it away for a few days and to read it with fresh eyes. Doing so might be the right choice, as the synopsis is really a shop window for the agent to look through, and first impressions often stick.