Screenwriting : Good Logline? by Donell Jones

Donell Jones

Good Logline?

Part-Time Thieves is the story of three friends and an ex-con, with no happiness or money in their life they devise a plan to rob a NYC bank, but with little to no skills at all the gang goes out night after night trying to pull of heist in the local neighborhood which never turns out good.

Mike Romoth

I'm only starting to get a grasp on the whole logline thing, but it seems to boil down to writing the one or two sentence hook that would appear in advertisements for the movie. I'll take a stab at yours. "These three clowns have big dreams of robbing banks...but first they've got to put in a little practice."

Leah Waller

It's a little long without ever making the point. Is the bank heist the movie or the little neighborhood jobs? Also, go though and cut out the unnecessary words. See if you can streamline it. Like "Bored with life and with nothing to loose, three friends decide they are going to rob the biggest bank in NYC, but first they have to survive taking on the local liquor store, hijinks ensue." Ok, that was just spitballing and off the top of my head - but my point is this - make your statements that introduces your characters then give us the "but" sentence - it's the piece of info that makes us go - yeah theses guys got this and this will be interested or it tells us these guys are screwed, lets go watch them get their butts kicked.

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn

Hi Mike... don't confuse a tag line with a Logline. A tag line is written by the producers not the writer. For example... the movie INTO THE WOODS which comes out on Dec 25th... the TAG LINE is.... "Be Careful What You Wish For" Hope this helps.

Danny Manus

Yea, it's unclear what trying to pull the heists causes. does it cause them to go on the run? to have conflict with each other or turn on each other? Is there a specific person or cop trying to stop them like in The Town? Do they have a specific MO to their heists that makes them interesting? also - everyone steals for money. what's their Deeper need/want that is their motivation to need the money? you have to focus on what's original in your logline and yes, cut down as many words as you can. And Sylvias right, What Mike wrote is a tagline, not a logline.

Terry Hayman

Sounds like a kind of existential, noir movie, which is fine. For the logline, though, I think you need to at least hint at where you see it going. Is it towards an ultimate fail like them finally going for the bank job and all dying? (A foursome of petty thieves try to change their lives with a big time bank robbery, but struggle to carry it off without shooting themselves in the foot.) Or is it a social commentary/satire where they're stuck in an endless loop of petty failures? (Four small-time thieves who plan a big-time bank heist must first overcome fear, incompetence, and cycle of failure that just won't let go.)

Leah Waller

Oh yeah - tagline and log line - not the same thing!! Your log-line is your entire story, from "fade in" to "fade out" in one sentence - maybe 2. Write that down and put it somewhere you can see it throughout the course of writing - it will be your guiding light. If you stray off story, it will pull you back. As a side question - does anyone here no how to turn notifications off? I'm not a tech person, I'm sure there is a super easy solution, I just haven't found it.

Leah Waller

Scratch that last bit! :)

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn

check with Derrick...he's our tech guy.

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn

I like your Logline Peter. It's perfect.

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