On the writing of synopses

I'm back from the Oxford Film Festival (more about that in a future entry) and have been completely overwhelmed with backed-up B-Side work, neglected consulting clients, and watching a handful of SXSW films to write some promised synopses.

Distilling the plot and spirit of a film into a hundred words such that any random reader might happen upon them and be compelled to see the film is serious work. Not only is there the economy of language to consider but also the politics of the situation (how to approach a controversial topic without appearing to be glib or bigoted?) and the simple fact that one might not always like the film in question.

Still, it's not something that I encourage filmmakers to attempt for their own films, at least not if you can help it. Grab a friend with an English degree. Steal the synopsis from a festival you've played (you can always ask permission). Hire a publicist. Whatever you do, find someone with a gift for words and a love of movies to write about your film in a way that you cannot. You won't be sorry.