In the perfect world, a great screenplay would enjoy widespread recognition based solely on its merit. Unfortunately, that simply is not the world in which we live. Hollywood leadership is almost certainly not going to start a bidding war for the rights to your script simply because you know in your heart that it is Oscar-worthy material. A great script is obviously an essential first step, but you will need so much more to achieve massive success.
The logline is a thirty word (or shorter!) summary of the story, emphasizing the hook and most important story elements. this includes the protagonist, the antagonist, the conflict, the stakes, the general tone or genre of your work. Well-written loglines are absolutely necessary. An effective logline is able to capture the producer’s attention, leading him to request to read your script. That is the dream of every spec screenwriter.
The Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch can be slightly longer than a logline, so include some additional details. Conceptualize it as how you would describe your script in a way that does it justice, but within the timeframe of an average non-stop elevator ride. That usually means three to five lines offering necessary plot information and perhaps even touching upon potential backstories.
A Pitch-on-Paper (POP) extends the minimization of your story to one page. As such, it should include a significant increase in the amount of detail and nuance you can convey, on top of an illustrative synopsis of the plot. As with both the logline and the elevator pitch, always keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to craft a document that can sufficiently intrigue a producer into reading your script.
A full synopsis usually spans about three pages. A treatment can run as long as ten pages. These both provide ample opportunity to substantially expand upon story details, elaborating on both small and large conflicts, as well as things like character interrelationships or perhaps even sample dialogue. Remember that these forms do include the ending! Do not try to intrigue a producer into reading your script to find out what happens – it will only read as unprofessional and a nuisance.
A Query Letter
When contacting your producer, manager, or agent, use a query letter to entice them into requesting the script. It will include the title, the genre, and a very particular inquiry format that as formulated off the polling results of thousands of film industry professionals regarding what they prefer to see. It will definitely include as many as three strong story “hooks” and your professional biography.