The Judges: Week 7

In 2011, each week 10 judges will review two short synopses from films that are currently in development.

The objective is to all (that includes us judges) learn from the exercise.

Please comment on our comments!

Creative Commons License photo credit: swanksalot

If you have an opinion on any of these synopses or the feedback from the judges, please share it with us in the comments below.

Please keep the discussion constructive. Even if your first instinct may be subjective, try to give us as objective a reply as possible.

THE EDGE OF THE WORLD


“Ever since grandfather died the night the floating stones fell from the heavens, the gods have seemingly deserted 14-year-old Eva and her family. Eva will be the next to die if a great journey is not undertaken, a journey beyond the edge of the world, a journey to the very heart of the gods.”

The judges’ votes:


Do you want to see this film?

Yes: 0% – No: 30% – Not sure: 70%

Would Australians want to see it?

Yes: 0% – No: 30% – Not sure: 70%

Would it work in rest of the world?

Yes: 0% – No: 30% – Not sure: 70%

The judges’ verdict:


Jack: The synopsis does not tell us anything about the setting or the genre.  Is it a fantasy, is it set in ancient times or is this about a lost tribe in the Pacific or South America?  What are the floating stones?  Hail?  Volcanic eruption? An imaginative devise?  The synopsis needs to be a little less intriguing and a little more informative.

The synopsis needs to be a little less intriguing and a little more informative.

Dan: Too vague. I need a little more context here (and way less “journey beyond the edge of the world” trailer cliché). Frankly, I have no idea what this is about.

Frankly, I have no idea what this is about.

Nina: The synopsis seems to emphasize Eva’s impending journey and the gods but little else about our Hero, which is the focal point of a story. What is her inner flaw? What conflicts will she face? Questions like these need to be answered in order to fulfill the function of a synopsis.


ERNEE


“Ernée Biskette’s tranquil life as a deaf Parisian taxidermist in the mid 1960s, is turned upside down when his wife, Nanette, accidentally drinks superglue and dies. Seeking a new life, he sells his store and with his pet duck, Celeste, heads to Venice in search of a superficial romance. He accidentally boards the wrong plane, however, and ends up in a strange foreign land called, Australia.”

The judges’ votes:


Do you want to see this film?

Yes:  40% – No:  40% – Not sure:  20%

Would Australians want to see it?

Yes: 80% – No:  10% – Not sure:  10%

Would it work in rest of the world?

Yes:  30% – No:  10% – Not sure:  60%

The judges’ verdict:


Steven: The story sounds a little like ‘Amelle comes to Australia’. Not necessarily a bad thing … Especially if the script deftly handles the French penchant for magical quirkiness and existential angst.
The synopsis is good. The protagonist is well described and the setting and atmosphere of the story is clear and vivid. The comedic potential of this story is expansive. Enough to satifsyingly fill 90 minutes!
Given the nature of Ernee – viz deaf, French, and eccentric – it is immediately obvious to the reader how hilarious it will be seeing him having to deal with 1960s Australia.
The only negative in this synopsis is that it should have one extra sentence at the end to tease us with what significant personal transformation Ernee will have while in Australia. Him simply bungling around in Australia is good for gags, but will start wearing thin at about minute 50.
If, on the other hand, Ernee has a meaningful personal transformation AS WELL AS a culture shock in Australia, then this story will have the substance to make the film stand out in the viewer’s heart and mind when he or she walks out of the cinema.

The comedic potential of this story is expansive.

Kim: Very fun premise with excellent details. The main character’s quirks give insight to the tone of the film and this logline does a great job of condensing the plot in a way that makes me want to know more. The only misstep, I’d say, is the word “superficial.” It may be factual in context but it sticks out as an unpleasant trait for a character that has been made so likeable and who’s journey I absolutely want to follow.

I have a feeling that is only where the adventure begins, so I’d like to hear more about where it takes him from there.

Margaret: It’s quirky, interesting and unique. It definitely caught my attention. I can see a Rowan Atkinson type in the lead. But what happens once Ernee gets to Australia? Is he going to find superficial romance, or something even better? I have a feeling that is only where the adventure begins, so I’d like to hear more about where it takes him from there.



The Judges (click for details)



So what is your verdict? Would you want to see these films? Why (not)? Did the judges get it right? How would you improve the synopses/loglines and what do you feel might improve the stories behind them?

Please give us your opinion in the comments at the bottom of this page.


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