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Old June 9th, 2005, 02:34 AM   #1
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Film Synopsois and Breakdowns for festivals

Hey ya'all,

I am once again prep'ing my most recent (and bestus) short for the crapshoot of the festivals.

Thought i would send out a line and get some insight on how you folks go about approaching the description of your projects.

I'm positive I'm not alone when I stare at the "give a short synopsois of the film" and somehow draw a blank... hahahaha you can write the movie, direct it, edit it, and then can't talk about it!

Anyway, thought I would get some insight from others more experienced.

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Old June 9th, 2005, 07:50 AM   #2
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It's simple really. I want you to tell me what your short is about, in fifty words.

Then cut it in half.

Or start longer. Write a three paragraph synopsis about your short. Then cut to two. Then one. Just like editing anything, it's about getting to the important stuff.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 11:36 AM   #3
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Start with title and theme (the end justifies the means; love conquers all; there's a sucker born every minute), or possibly start with a question or two. Then use your main character or characters to highlight how you explore that theme. Mention any really cool stuff that you want to throw in.

Can you avoid your destiny by running from your past? Through events beyond his control, Simba, a young lion cub destined to be king, flees his homeland and clears the way for his evil uncle to become king. To avoid a future of ruin and despair, Simba is forced to return and confront his past and his uncle.

Avoid a chronological telling of the story. Scar misses the dedication of Simba so Mufasa (ooooh, say it again) is really pissed. Scar wants to be king so he sends Simba and Nala off to an elephant graveyard to be eaten by hyenas... (I have twin 4 year-olds. Guess what their favorite movie is now.)
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Old June 9th, 2005, 12:29 PM   #4
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This was also puzzling to me for a while, until I actually saw some other film synopsis. Go check out the web sites for other independant films to get some ideas for how these things are put together.

You'll want to emphasize the "angle" to the film, what makes it unique and original. Also, they never talk about (maybe just briefly alude to) the final third of the film. In fact, they often don't even talk about the middle third, either. You set the background, identify the conflict, but don't talk about how it is resolved. Leave them wanting to know how it develops and ends.

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