How to write loglines:
- Write a solid, marketable one before writing your screenplay. It can save you a lot of time as you won’t exert yourself writing something that can’t be pitched or sold.
- A one or two sentence pitch of your film.
- Use it in your query letter to agents and producers.
- Use it to your script idea to anyone who asks about it.
- Practice it out loud.
- It must be compelling and make people want to read the entire script, practically at all costs.
- Answer three main questions. 1.) Who is the protagonist? In some cases you might have a dual protagonist. 2.) What is the central conflict of your story? Drama is conflict and if the conflict isn’t clear in your log line you don’t have a solid concept for your screenplay. A good way to get at the conflict is to mention the antagonist. He’s usually the one who provides conflict for your protagonist. 3.) What is the genre, tone and scope of the screenplay? This is a little harder to define but just as important as the other two elements.
- You want to eliminate every single word that’s not absolutely necessary.
- For the purposes of a log line, the protagonist’s name isn’t nearly as important. There is never any call back to a specific person in a log line since it’s so short, so an actual name is rarely needed.
- If you can come up with a really creative marriage of two well known films to describe your script. it can really help as a final beat that helps convince the reader to request your entire screenplay.
Look up any movie logline or see mine as examples:
The Lost Brothers series:
- When four brothers and sisters learn they have two half-brothers, they drive over to Austin and find answers.
- Four brothers and sisters and two half-brothers deal with unexpected changes of their lives.
The Free Spirits: Five patients, hoping for freedom, escape from a horrid group home and pretend to be a cover music band to earn money for a new home.
Castle Brighid: A man must save a magical castle from terrorists.
Countrygirls: A single mother, her mother, and her three daughters travel cross-country to find a new home after a hurricane destroyed their farm.
D.C.: An assistant D.A. juggles a lot of cases, including one involving her estranged, criminal cousin.
Paradise: A young woman and her family must finish their late grandma’s wishes before putting her house on the market.
The Publishers: A smartmouthed book publisher reenters the legal field when she and her husband sue their own publishing houses for corruption.
Desperate to be a father, a single man hires an ex-stripper to be his surrogate and discovers there’s so much more to her than that.
Readers, I need your opinion on which one of my loglines the best. Are they all good? Your opinions are valuable to me.