A synopsis is a document that summarizes the script of a film. Usually, it is sent to actors, directors and film producers with the hope of capturing their attention. If the reader likes the presentation, they might be tempted to read the script itself. Unlike a description, which tells all the events of a story, a synopsis only contains the most interesting parts. So if you want your work to culminate in the making of a movie, you will need to recap the story correctly, follow the submission guidelines, and convince the reader.
Part 1 of 3: Summarizing the Plot
Step 1. Describe the story
This is to summarize your scenario in no more than two sentences. Introduce the central character, the challenges they are trying to overcome and the reasons for doing so. Then write a paragraph to demonstrate that a director should take your script into a movie.
For example, you can pretend that the shooting will not require a large budget, and that the shooting sites are not numerous and are located near Paris! In short, your film will be more interesting than one that would have been shot on distant sites, with sophisticated sets and special effects
Step 2. Describe the setting and the main characters
Reserve only one paragraph for this part. Include names (who), roles (what), places of residence and work (where), time and reasons for the story (why). Type the names of the characters in all caps when you mention them for the first time. Then write them down as usual.
The characters you will need to name include the hero, his rival (the villain), the stake, and all of the hero's important allies. Do not include the names of secondary characters
Step 3. Recap 1er act.
Limit yourself to 3 paragraphs or half a page. This act is reserved for setting up the decor. Introduce the plot and the main characters who drive the story.
Step 4. Go to 2e act.
Set aside a page or so for it and show all the problems the hero has encountered. You will need to demonstrate that they lead to a fit or bad luck for the characters.
Step 5. Finish with the 3e act.
This part should not exceed 3 paragraphs, or half a page. Describe the resolution of the conflict and the fate of the characters. Don't worry about the different twists and turns. The reader should know the end of the story. By completing the summary of this act, you will have to settle the outstanding points.
Step 6. Find a suitable title
Try to find one that is eye-catching and interesting. However, the producer will likely be tempted to modify it. Therefore, don't spend too much time on it. Write your title at the top of the page.
Part 2 of 3: follow the submission guidelines
Step 1. Say this is a synopsis
This sounds obvious, but it's easy to forget. So put the word "Synopsis" and the title of the film in the header of the document. Add a clarification just below to inform the reader about the genre of the script (drama, horror, comedy).
For example, a synopsis of "Star Wars" might include the phrase a science fiction tale under the title
Step 2. Add your details
Under the header of the first page, write your mailing address, phone number, and email address. Also include your affiliation number to the "Guilde française des scenaristes".
Always register your screenplay and, if applicable, your description with this organization to establish and protect your copyright
Step 3. Be concise
Check that your document contains at least 2 pages. You might be tempted to come up with a one-page synopsis, because it's shorter, but your reader might not have all the details. At the same time, check that you are not past 3 pages. This will allow the reader to complete your synopsis in a quarter of an hour.
Step 4. Write in the present tense
Even if the story is in the past or future, conjugate the verbs in the present tense. For example, in a scenario from "Star Wars" you could write: "Obi-Wan Kenobi is fighting Darth Vader". The reason is that in your script, the action occurs while you are writing it and not during the supposed time of the story.
Step 5. Write in the third person
Even though a narrator makes comments in the script, the camera point of view is still omniscient. Use the pronouns he, she, they and they. For example, you would say, "The kettle has started singing at least five minutes before it utters its first cry and chorus with it."
Step 6. Use single line spacing
You will need to apply this rule for your paragraphs. Skip a line between one paragraph and the next. For text written in French, indent the first line of each paragraph. Thus, you will improve the readability of the text.
Step 7. Keep the same font
If your text is unreadable, the reader will end up throwing it in the trash. For this reason, you should avoid handwriting-like fonts. Limit yourself to fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. Have a font size of 12, unless the submission guidelines specify a particular size.
Part 3 of 3: Convince the Reader
Step 1. Avoid exaggerated expressions
Write in a neutral and precise language that everyone can understand. In order to accept your script, the reader must first understand the plot you are presenting to them. If you use jargon or flowery language, you probably won't bother going beyond the first few paragraphs. On the other hand, your synopsis loses its character if you include unnecessary adjectives or adverbs. Keep it concise and you will get closer to your goal.
Step 2. Have your synopsis corrected
You can suggest a friend or family member do this job. Ask them to point out spelling and grammar errors, as well as unclear passages. Take his comments into account and feel free to modify your synopsis accordingly. Keep in mind that your future readers will not ask to read the script itself, if they are having difficulty understanding the synopsis.
Step 3. Prepare to make changes
Many organizations publish submission guidelines. Therefore, you will need to change your document if necessary to comply with these guidelines. The agent, movie studio, or other reader will likely prompt you to make changes to confirm your page or word limit standards. Follow the directions exactly, if you want your synopsis to move on to the next step.