First, for an example synopsis, check out the "Freaks and Geeks" series bible, pg. 2-3. I'll be referencing it in the next part of these instructions. FUN FACT! The creator of this series is originally from Michigan!
Now, figure out the basics of a series YOU'd want to see. You don't have to present them in the same way or the same order that Frieg, the creator of "Freaks and Geeks" did, but it all has to be there.
- Grab our attention! Frieg felt like the existing television shows about high school totally missed the mark. He began his synopsis by listing what he felt like were popular "non-examples," followed by a list of rhetorical questions that implied everything that was wrong with the way teenage life was shown on television.
- What? Once he had our attention, Frieg went on to tell us what high school was REALLY about, introducing us to the major themes of his series in a matter-of-fact tone that matches his topic.
- Who? Who are your main characters? What is/are their main conflict(s)? You've got to let us know the main players - who this series is really about.
- Setting: When/where does the series take place? How is that important to the meaning of the series? Obviously, Frieg's setting is a "typical" high school.
- So, What? Why is your series different than anything else out there – what makes it interesting for viewers and profitable for producers/investors? Put your mouth where the money is...
- Seal the Deal! Like any effective speech, Frieg ends with a stinger: he uses the series title to close his pitch. Think about all of the methods you know for doing this sort of thing - rhetorical question? strong statement? cryptic joke? You name it.
Series Synopsis Grading Criterion:
- Working title of series and screenwriter (your) name at the top
- All items above addressed descriptively
- Typed, one full page (minimum), double-spaced, proofread
- Emailed to email@example.com by the end of the school day on the due date (attached MS Word document or shared Google Document are acceptable)