Screenwriting : Writing loglines: The First Important Step. by Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Writing loglines: The First Important Step.

A few days ago, a writer on Facebook was asking for feedback on his 72 word logline, which was weighted down with too much detail. I wrote the person a better logline in five minutes with half the words. The writer seemed upset because I tried to teach them that the logline should contain whats at stake for the protagonist. I also emphasized that if their logline doesn't pass muster, few industry people would be interested in reading their script.

In crafting a logline that's an intriguing one sentence summary of your story, you're providing the potential reader with some comfort that if they invest time in reading your screenplay, it won't be a waste of time.

A few weeks back, I submitted a logline to five recipients. Two of them requested the script. Bada Bing!

Roxanne Paukner

I'd love suggestions on improving my loglines! Please read and comment on mine, if you're so inclined!!!

Craig D Griffiths

It is a very hard skill to learn. It is made even more difficult as we strive to add more and more complexity to our stories.

Then a logline has to be the short and the quickest way to explain your story.

The biggest mistakes I believe people make are:

Leave it with a question. The “what will happen next” approach.

Making it a marketing tool “in space no one can hear you scream”.

Focus on the inciting incident and first act. All set up, no story.

Rutger Oosterhoff

Craig is right, most of them are not much more than taglines.

Roxanne if you want a good review of your logline, go to www.logline.it

If Rigiev, Nir Shelter, or DPG can't help you, nobody can. They reviewed thousands and thousands of loglines. But it is not guaranteed they react.

Doug Nelson

I hesitate working with new writers now because so many come with an attitude.

You gettin' better now Uncle Phil?

William Martell

A logline is what opens doors.

It can also point out the story problems in your script.

In my book on Loglines one of the chapters is an expanded version of an article I wrote for Script Magazine after being on the Pitch Panel at the Raindance Film Fest in London a few times. When you hear 100 three minute pitches in one night, it becomes obvious what the story problems are without even reading the script.

I think the same thing applies to Loglines.

Often the problem with crafting one comes down to a story that has problems... which suddenly become huge problems when you are trying to sum up the story into a single sentence or two.

When someone asks "What's it about?" you need an answer that allows them to have a clear idea of the story is... Act 1 and 2. The main conflict.

And it has to sound unique and interesting.

Not easy. But possible.

Cannon Rosenau

I can't get past the fact that someone tried passing 72 words off as a logline?! How long must their script be? 250 pages? Yikes.

But, to be fair to dude, a bad logline doesn't always equal a bad script. It's just another part of the craft to hone.

Dan MaxXx

I don’t think salary Readers see or read loglines. They just read scripts and write their own loglines & coverage.

But you need to write compelling loglines to get on reading piles.

Anyone reads scripts for a living at an agency or Prod Company? Do you see the query letter w/ logline that got the script requested?

Richard Banton

Hey, Phillip, I hope you don't mind me asking, but did you cold query the people that requested your script?

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Richard:

No. I had somebody repping me.

Erick Freitas

Congrats

Jim Boston

Phillip, you did the right thing concerning the writer behind the 72-word logline. (Me, I've learned that if I can't create a logline that needs no more than 35 words, I've got to change it until it's got 35 or fewer words. After all, we're trying to submit our work to people who face time crunches of their own...even right here in the Coronavirus Age.)

Congratulations on getting those two reads off your logline of a few weeks ago.

You STILL rock, Phillip! All the VERY BEST to you!

Brian Walsh

Phillip is the master of loglines. :) He's helped me a lot in the past with both fixing and understanding the logline better.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Brian: Thanks for your kind words.

Debbie Elicksen

Isn't it funny how when someone asks you to improve something, then they're upset that you improved it by cutting words? I think everyone can learn something from your message. It's substance, not quantity.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Debbie:

Thanks!

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