How To Write A Film Synopsis - Expert Tips and Examples

How To Write A Film Synopsis


How To Write A Film Synopsis

Imagine you're getting ready for a fun movie night with your friends. You're picking out which movie to watch when you see a cool summary called a "film synopsis." It's like a sneak peek into the movie's story! Have you ever considered drafting yours?

Let's discover together and learn how to write a film synopsis. Do you need advice on how to write a film synopsis? Our experts are here to help, so don't worry. In this article, we will examine various types of synopsis and structure and an example of one, so keep reading.

What is a Film Synopsis?

A film or movie synopsis is a summary of the plot and its purpose. Generally, it is two to three pages long, but others often suggest one page in length. Exceeding this length would mean you cover points irrelevant to the main plot, hence the short length. 

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A plot synopsis's purpose is to:

  • Help readers gain a general idea of what to expect if they watch the film
  • Introduce the main characters, setting, and emotional components aside from key plot points
  • Convince those in the film industry to invest in the screenplay
  • To help with brainstorming, if one wants to write a story within the same genre, a film synopsis can help one gain inspiration.

As such, there are many benefits of writing a film synopsis; hence, film students and experts seek advice on how to write a synopsis. 

What Challenges Do Students Face When Writing a Film Synopsis?

Writing a synopsis is a skill, and there are numerous challenges learners may face:

  • Separating main points from the minor details
  • Missing out on crucial concepts that make people understand the overall film
  • Covering whole text with few words
  • Conveying the message in a distorted manner
  • Struggling to understand the audience to use the right tone, style, and preferences.

If you are wondering how to write a film script synopsis for your assignment, we got you. We have renowned expert writers in this niche who can deliver pure gold. We also offer film analysis and reviews, for example, Tusk the movie. If you need someone to review a documentary, consider our movie review writing service.

Where Can You Get Help with Writing a Film Synopsis?

Students who are looking for expert help on how to write a film synopsis will likely come across our firm and other similar ones. However, we advise you to trust us for top-quality papers because we have expertise in how to write a documentary film synopsis and different genres. This is because we hire only the best tutors, charge low prices, and deliver on time.

For these reasons, you should contact our writers today for quality help on how to write a synopsis for a film. Talking of documentary film, we also offer documentary reviews and analysis. Here is a good sample of how to write “Walmart the High Cost of Low Price” analysis.

What Should a Film Synopsis Have?

This document should contain several key parts to give an overview of the film. While the structure may vary depending on the assignment or publication requirement, the following are the common components of a film synopsis:

  • Title and genre – Start by highlighting the movie’s title and its genre.
  • Introduction – Give brief content about the background information of the setting, period, and the story’s context.
  • Main characters – Describe the characters' names, roles, and basic characteristics for the audience to understand.
  • Plot summary – It’s the main part of a film synopsis. It covers the story’s events from the beginning, middle, and end. The plot should outline the key plot concepts, conflicts, and resolutions.
  • Themes – This section is optional, but some synopsis covers it. It gives a deeper understanding of the film's underlying ideas.
  • Tone and style – It outlines the stylistic elements or techniques filmmakers use for storytelling.
  • Closing remarks – It’s a summary of the main points addressed in the film.

4 Types of Film Synopsis and Examples

Like there are different types of essays and assignments in online classes, there are several types of film synopsis. They exist because they fulfill other purposes and, therefore, appeal to different groups of people. It is thus important to understand the different genres before looking into how to write a film synopsis. These include:

1. one-sentence synopsis

Sometimes, you may be required to give a one-sentence film summary. It requires you to offer the main plot point in a compact version of the story. Below is an example of how to write a film synopsis of the film 1984, which is based on the book, using the one-sentence synopsis format:

“In the film 1984, Winston Smith, who lives in Oceania, questions his life under an oppressive Big Brother government and seeks freedom, but faces serious problems when he tries to do this.”

2. One paragraph synopsis

At other times, you may need to expand the synopsis to one paragraph. This can be done within two to four sentences and is quite brief. Below is an example of how to write a film synopsis for the movie “Birdbox”:

Birdbox centers on an unidentified worldwide catastrophe that compels the majority of society to suicide. This leads Malorie and Tom to escape home with their two children. The escape has to be done with blindfolds on through a forest. The family encounters several challenges but uses birds to warn them of danger. Eventually, they get to safety, where Malorie finally gives the children names.”

For help with writing a similar synopsis, do request assistance from our experts, who have the best information on how to write a film synopsis.

3. Pitch synopsis

Alternatively, you may choose to write a pitch synopsis. It is one paragraph long and has a unique structure. It begins by introducing the story and its genre, then its protagonist and objectives. In the following sentence, you can introduce the first major plot point, mostly what the main character does to achieve their goal. The next point should include another major plot point; the third can contain the plot twist and, finally, the climax. Finalize what the protagonist gained or learned at the end.

The narrative is a science fiction horror tale featuring Elizabeth Shaw, an archaeologist, who wants to explore humanity’s origin and head to a far-off moon, the LV-223, to investigate the existence of a superior race known as the “engineers.” She sets off with a 17-man crew to embark on a deep space exploration trip on the USCSS Prometheus ship. The crew discovers that humans are descended from the creatures and other crashed missions. But they soon discover that the “creators” are hostile to humans. Other members of the crew die in various ways, but Elizabeth and the android David proceed to find answers as to why the creators wanted to destroy humanity.”

4. Two or three-page synopsis

Similar to the other types of synopsis, this type focuses on the who, what, and how. However, it delves more into the various characters, their stakes in the conflict, the setting, major events, its structure, actions taken by the characters, obstacles they face, and how the story develops. It is by far the major type of film synopsis utilized by students seeking help on how to write a film synopsis.

Below is an example of a summary of the 2019 award-winning film “Parasite”:

The plot primarily centers on the Kims, a Korean family facing economic hardships comprising of their father Ki-Taek Kim (father), Chung-Sook (mother), Ki-Jung (daughter), and Ki-Woo (son). They live in a rough neighborhood and struggle to make ends meet, with workers fumigating into their basement-level house and drunks urinating outside their windows. The family does menial jobs to survive, such as folding pizza boxes. One day, Min-Hyuk, a friend of Ki-Woo, visits and gives them a rock as a gift. The rock supposedly gives wealth to its owner. He informs Ki-Woo that he has been tutoring a wealthy girl but is going abroad to study, so he asks Ki-Woo to tutor her. He also requests Ki-Woo to watch her as he plans to marry her after she graduates high school. Ki-woo protests and says he is unqualified as he isn’t a college student, but Min-Hyuk promises to forge some documents and recommend him. 

Soon, Ki-Woo meets Mr. Nathan Park, Mrs. Park, and their children, Da-Hye (daughter) and Da-Song (son). Flirting with Da-Hye gives him the job, which has a large salary. However, Mrs. Park wants an art tutor to help her son, who saw a ghost and had a seizure that traumatized him. Ki-Jung forges documents goes by the name Jessica, and gets the job of art tutor. On the ride home, ki-Jung leaves her underwear in the car, which gets the chauffeur fired. She then suggests her father as a replacement and calls him her uncle. Afterward, the family uses the housekeeper’s allergy to peaches to get her fired, claiming she is too ill to be around Da-Song. As Mrs. Kim gets the job, the family begins enjoying their success. 

One day, the Park family goes camping, and the Kim family stays in their house. While drinking, Ki-Taek remarks that “they are rich but still nice,” referring to the Parks, but his wife points out, "They're only nice because they're wealthy." To show that the realities of poverty do not stress them and, hence, can afford to be carefree. Moon-Kwang, the previous housekeeper, knocks and asks to be let in to get some items she forgot. She runs into the basement and opens a secret passage where she had been hiding her husband, Geun-Sae. He had been living there to hide from loan sharks for a while. Moon-Kwang finds out that they are related and records the interaction to use against them, but the family traps her and her husband in the basement. 

Suddenly, the Park family calls to notify Mrs. Kim that they’ve canceled their trip due to rain. The Kims rush to clean the mess, and the Parks do not realize anything is wrong. They fall asleep in the living room to watch Da-Song, who is camping in the yard. Moon-Kwang almost escapes from the bunker, but Mrs. Kim kicks her down the stairs, which injures her. Once the Parks fall asleep, the Kims sneak out and go home, but they are soaked with rain on the way there. They also find their home destroyed by flooding. They take the gift rock and go to sleep in a shelter. The next day, Mrs Park calls them in to help with an impromptu party for Da-Song. Ki-Woo goes to check on the two in the bunker and takes the rock but is met with Moon-Kwang’s corpse, and an angry Geun-Sae attacks him and hits him with the rock. Ki-Woo is left unconscious, and Geun-Sae goes to the party and stabs Ki-Jung. Da-Song recognizes him as the ghost he saw that traumatized him. 

While Mr. Kim tries to help his daughter, Mr. Park yells at him to give him the car keys so he can take Da-Song to the hospital—the keys land under Geun-Sae, who Mrs. Kim kills with a skewer. Mr. Park reaches under Geun-Sae to get the keys and is disgusted by the smell. His reaction angers Ki-Taek, who stabs him. 

The scene cuts to Ki-Woo waking up in the hospital several weeks later. Since the rock is mostly hollow, he survived the attack. He learns that his sister is dead, and both he and his mother stand trial for fraud and are sentenced to probation after conviction. His father was never found, and the public never found out his motive for the murders. Geun-Sae is also assumed to be a mentally ill man, and his story is still a mystery to the police. 

One day, Ki-Woo takes the rock to dump it in a river and comes across the Park’s house. He is still worried about his father, sees the light flickering, and soon understands it is Morse code. Ki-Woo interprets it and finds that it is Ki-Taek sending messages. Mr. Kim lives in the bunker and eats from the new owner’s kitchen. He buried Moon-Gwang in the garden and had been sending the message every day, hoping Ki-Woo would respond to his message and promises that one day he’ll be rich enough to buy the house, free his father, and reunite the family.”

9 Tips to Help You Write a Film Synopsis

To ensure your film synopsis hits the mark, aside from our advice on how to write a film synopsis, you can implement the following:

  • Describe the characters – Since the story revolves around the main characters and their actions, it is important to introduce them and their motivation.
  • Show the link between events – To maintain a good flow, connect events using transitional phrases and words showing how one event caused another.
  • Avoid too many details.
  • Use the present tense and third person – Use terms like “he says” and “she says” as it helps immerse the reader in the events. This is a common tool writers use to enhance the reader’s connection to the characters and is one of the best tips for writing a film script synopsis.
  • Focus on the climax – Show what triggered the situation and its resolution. This starts with an exposition and then proceeds to a complication and, afterward, a climax and falling action.
  • Include some dialogue; in many cases, experts advise you to include quotes to generate interest from readers.
  • Write using the style of the movie’s genre. Use language that elicits feelings that relate to the tone of the movie genre.
  • Spoil the ending- include spoilers for your main plots with an ending. Ensure the synopsis has a satisfying conclusion. Don’t leave the audience in suspense in your synopsis.  
  • Write clearly and avoid wordiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it necessary for a film synopsis to mention the ending?

Yes! The synopsis should include the major points of the story so you can describe the ending.

2. Does a film synopsis contain one’s opinion?

Generally, no. You should explain the plot without rating the director’s work. If you need to write a review where you offer your opinion, you can go through our article on how to write a movie review.

3. What should a movie synopsis include?

  • Film title
  • Genre
  • Logline
  • Main characters
  • Major plot points
  • Five paragraphs explanation of the movie's storyline

4. What should you avoid in the film synopsis?

  • Writing a list
  • Including every scene
  • Listing minor characters
  • A breakdown of every chapter
  • Including subplots
  • Rushing to the end
  • Making it a marketing tool

5. What is the difference between a logline and a synopsis?

A synopsis is a one-page script summary, and a logline is just a sentence script.

6. What is the difference between synopsis, scenario, and screenwriting?

  • A synopsis is a longer and more detailed summary of the movie. It includes plot, plot, settings, and theme.
  • Screenwriting is a brief overview of the story. It can be a few sentences or a short paragraph of the main characters, plot, and film setting.
  • A scenario is a detailed film script with dialogue, character actions, and stage directions.

7. Should a movie synopsis include a dialogue?

Yes, a synopsis can have a dialogue, but it shouldn’t be long. Add short bursts as a way to color the plot.

In a Nutshell

A film synopsis refers to a summary of the plot of a movie that also goes into detail on its purpose, main characters, theme, and more. It helps readers gain insight into the film, generate interest from industry investors, and help with brainstorming. There are four types of synopsis: one sentence, one paragraph, pitch, and two or three-page synopsis. The difference is the length and its purpose. 

Many students have questions about how to write a film synopsis. Such students should consider contacting our film synopsis writers. Our rates are affordable, we operate 24/7, and we have several experts, so you won’t keep waiting. For all these reasons, consider placing an order today for the best help on how to write a documentary film synopsis, among other genres.

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