Screenwriting : Log lines. by John Luerding

John Luerding

Log lines.

I've read some good, some bad. What are your thoughts on what makes or breaks a log line.

C.m. Andino

I don't pay too much attention to length or format, although pros in the industry will. For me it's as simple as "does it make me want to read the script?" But little things like typos and grammatical errors tell me right away, I do not. It's important for me to get other's input on loglines because I'm usually to close to the story to be really objective as to how the logline comes off.

Debbie Croysdale

If the reader wants to know more after reading, is the key. I've read many log lines, some which were perfectly written, but contained no seed of excitement in what was to follow. Some log lines have interesting protagonist, interesting inciting incident, and a lot at stake.....yet not enough intrigue to draw in the reader enough to care what the outcome is.

CJ Walley

The concept makes or breaks it. That's the issue most writers have when writing them. They either don't really know their story or the aspects just aren't that compelling.

William Martell

What CJ said. You can have a poorly worded logline that still works because the story idea is amazing. But the most polished logline with a typical story is D.O.A. Loglines are all about your concept... and a screenplay with a mundane concept is going to be difficult to get reads. If the logline sounds bland, best thing to do is write another script with an more interesting and unique story.

Chris Herden

A good line = "...this sounds interesting! May I read your screenplay?"

John Luerding

I have it uploaded Chris. :)

John Luerding

Yes I just double checked, it is there.

John Luerding

Ohhhhh... I just caught on.. now I feel dumb.. bahahahaha You are correct.. that is the kind of music a screenwriter wants to hear... LOL I didn't see the equal sign clearly.... bahahahaha

Chris Herden

No worries John, I could have made it clearer. I think your logline can be shaved back a bit as you are nearly verging on to a short synopsis. I hope you don't mind me throwing a suggestion at you : "A college student investigating the mysterious car crash that claimed his parents' lives discovers that only he can save his remaining family members from a maniacal 300 year-old swordsman who wants something from each and everyone of them - their heads!" Also, because you are venturing into 'Sleepy Hollow' territory, have you investigated the copyright issues? A modern take on this great old yarn sounds interesting...

LindaAnn Loschiavo

A fascinating protagonist + a worthy antagonist / compelling obstacle + irony in 30 words or less.

Tony Cella

Conflict, but the story makes the logline. A good idea will generate a rockin' logling.

John Luerding

Switched it up a bit. Chris the original story is in public domain. I've had a couple of (head nods).. kind of like fishing.. a nibble here... a nibble there. Still trying to find the school...LOL

Rafael Pinero

Some times you can read a great logline then you read the script and it's not good, some times you read a logline that maybe doesn't grab you because it's not well written but the script is great.

Elisabeth Meier

You have to touch the reader and capture him. Make him curious about the story so that he wants to read the script or watch the film.

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