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Old 07-27-2019, 11:11 AM   #26
catcon's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, Canada
Posts: 1,891
Default Re: Synopsis -- Producer to Financiers

Originally Posted by Done Deal Pro View Post
Originally Posted by catcon May not be of much help to you, but my writing follows this pattern:

- outline (40 pages or more)
- synopsis (3-4 pages; mine are long, which is just my style)
- screenplay (105 pages)
I just noticed this. Though normally I would just let it go, I'm going to have to note something. No one on this planet should be writing a 40 page or more outline. No one. Some treatments can be long or longer in nature, of course...
Synopses, outlines, treatments, scriptments...

The 'outline' I'm referring to is my script-organizing document. It is private and has never gone out to anyone. So maybe the terminology is causing a problem, but I'd never even try to write the darn script without at least a 40-page preparatory outline beforehand.

Originally Posted by Bono View Post
I should add, a get why he wants a synopsis. Because he wants to pitch your script but he's afraid that they won't take the time to read the spec. Isn't that annoying? They first need to read a 2 page summary? They can't hear the logline and the producer's passion, then say "Send us the spec."...
And now 'summary', too?

Of course our goal is to get the full script read. For me, it's:

1. Accept Logline/query:

2. Accept Synopsis:

3. Accept Script:
4. Pass on script, but request another, or "look forward to more queries" in future:
5. Deal on script:

(This is my natural order for contacts with producers; for contests you usually don't even have to do 2, and sometimes 1 is merely an afterthought, and I have no clue what potential reps want.)

The thing is, we're at the requester's mercy, so we take what we can get.

But to me, a synopsis is the logical next step in the process (1-sentence log, 1-page query, 2-3 page synopsis) in getting the recipient to take the 100-page script. That's why I always have a synopsis at-the-ready, in case they ask. There have also been times when I've read my synopsis, and realized a small problem that had to be corrected in the screenplay! So it serves as another critical filter for the whole writing process!

So, when someone asks for the script, directly from the query or any other source (InkTip, VPF, LinkedIn, etc.), I always send the synopsis along with it. Why? Because it's something sort-of substantial that helps them pitch to financiers or co-pros, without having to do their own synopsis from the script. I'm pretty sure everyone who's ever received my synopses has appreciated them.

Oh, as well, for some of my more allegorical scripts, I put in the actual "what the hell just happened here" notes right in the synopsis. For one, I have an note at the end about the 4-5 possible interpretations of the ambiguous finale (even though there's one that's most likely).

This brings up another point: I've read and been told not to hide anything in the synopsis (reveals, trick endings, etc.).

In the end, I wouldn't sweat the task of writing a synopsis. For me, and most everyone else I've encountered in my journey, it's just another way to sell yourself and your material!

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