The Judges: Week 19

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.

JULIAN CORKLE IS A FILTHY LIAR


“A hilarious romp through family life and black-sheepedness in small town and then slightly larger town Tasmania in the 1980s. Based on the best-selling novel.”

 

The judges’ votes:


 

Do you want to see this film?

Yes: 0% – No: 80% – Not sure: 20%

Would Australians want to see it?

Yes: 0% – No: 60% – Not sure: 40%

Would it work in rest of the world?

Yes: 0% – No: 90% – Not sure: 10%

The judges’ verdict:


 

Steven: This synopsis tells us nothing important or compelling. Who is the protagonist? Tell us enough to care about him (or her). Don’t simply claim the story is “hilarious” … Give us a sense of what is actually going to happen and so convey to us how ‘hilarious’ the whole film might be. Also what (if anything) is interesting about the small town? Tell us enough about the people and events of this town to convince the reader that the film will be of interest to city or overseas viewers.

By all means tell us it is a comedy but don’t tell us it is hilarious.

 

Nina: A synopsis should include the main character, his goal, the stakes/conflicts and the antagonist. Not everyone will be familiar with the book. By all means tell us it is a comedy but don’t tell us it is hilarious. I would prefer to be sold on the strength of a synopsis and see for myself its comedic possibilities.

Why can’t the writer find a better phrase than “black-sheepedness” and why “slightly larger town”?

 

Jack: Rather than tell us it is a hilarious romp, why tell us more about the story? What is funny about it? Why can’t the writer find a better phrase than “black-sheepedness” and why “slightly larger town”?


A MURDER OF CROWS


“Lost love brought him there, cold-blooded murder kept him there, now dark vengeance takes flight.”

 

The judges’ votes:


 

Do you want to see this film?

Yes: 0% – No:  50% – Not sure:  50%

Would Australians want to see it?

Yes: 0% – No:  50% – Not sure:  50%

Would it work in rest of the world?

Yes:  10% – No:  50% – Not sure:  40%

The judges’ verdict:


 

Adrian: I’m intrigued by this because it makes for a good tagline in a movie preview. But a logline needs more information on the character and what makes this different.

The only story points I get out of this is that a man takes revenge for the murder of his love.

 

Margaret: This is certainly not a logline. This is a tagline and a wordy one at that. The only story points I get out of this is that a man takes revenge for the murder of his love. That describes a huge list of movies that have already been made. What makes this one different?

It’s a tagline not a logline. Great title though.

 

Dan: How can anyone make a ticket-buying decision based on this? It’s a tagline not a logline. Great title though. Sounds like it could be based on a book but I’m too lazy to Google it.



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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Adrian Kok

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