Market Your Screenplay

BRIEF SYNOPSIS

Prepare a three-line, five-line, and ten-line synopsis of your proposed motion picture project to be used at the appropriate opportunity. These are perhaps the most important words that a motivated screenwriter will ever write.

Be sure to . .

  • Construct the synopsis around a:
    • beginning, middle, end
    • want, obstacle, solution
    • thesis, antithesis, synthesis
    Or create a compelling situation with a cliffhanger, leaving 'em wanting more.

And don't forget to . .

  • Avoid starting with 'PROJECT TITLE is a GENRE story about . .' (redundant and amateurish). Start in immediately with attention-grabbing words.

  • Eliminate character names, unless they help tell the story or carry some significance, e.g., historical, atmosphere, meaning, or otherwise (see character naming).

  • See what the experts have to say about concept in the Magic Star of Dramatic Writing, especially Lajos Egri on writing a good premise.

  • Review synopses for other film projects, or actual movies--like those found at pitch sites (like InkTip), screenplay contest sites (so many out there), movie sites (like IMDb.com, etc. Consider which ones grab you (and why).

Pitch the synopsis to a few people to refine it. Over the phone works. You may find yourself doing precisely that many times in a marketing campaign. Edit, rethink, rewrite, edit, rethink, rewrite until it squeaks.

The brief synopsis might best be used when querying by e-mail.


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