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Scriptwriters Make A Movie LoglineBy Expert Author: Phillip Alexander
What the hell is a Logline, you ask? It is(preferably) a one-liner that tells what your screenplay story is about. Two sentences tops, nowadays. You're going to make a movie script - you need the Logline to sell it. (If you're going to open a restaurant, you need a grill to slap the burgers on, right? So, you're selling a script you need a Logline.)
To write a great logline takes some practice. It's easier if someone helps you. It's not your agent's responsibility - it's yours. Without it you're doomed. You've got 60 seconds or less most of the time, to say what your screenplay is about (excitedly, don't forget). Especially when you are writing a Query letter - only the Logline should be included. AND IT BETTER BE GREAT!
I have an eBook list of 50 Loglines from produced movies to help you out. I bet you can guess which one this is from: A Las Vegas-set comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him. I'm laughing just reading that. I love the Hangover. Please don't admit you haven't seen it, just go see it. It's purely for entertainment only.
But, how do you go about figuring out your Logline?
Most new, aspiring writers get so wrapped up in getting their story out of their head (or heart) and onto the page, spending so much time proud as punch at how they brilliantly wrote that scene or that dialogue just poured onto the page and they can't wait for someone to read it and lavish kudos on them, that they miss the very thing that could get their script represented and sold. (Truth is, you ARE brilliant and YOU DO deserve kudos - I believe in you.)
When do you write the Logline, you ask? Well, it's best to write it before you start writing - it keeps you focused on your writing journey. If not, then, write it now. No matter where you are in writing your screenplay, you've got to write your Logline. (Or have it written for you.)
Did you know -
• You are a business owner - you're writing a spec script - that is your product
• You need to have some marketing savvy - or work with someone who does
• You have to have a product someone wants to buy
Consider this: you're in the market for a newer car. What kind? Color? Style? Make? WOW, so many to choose from, right? The same difficulty you have in making choices is the same difficulty execs in Hollywood have in making theirs. Think about it - what would make YOU buy THAT car. Why would someone buy YOUR script?
#1 Write a great LOGLINE.
Your spec script is JUST to get your foot in the door.
• Know what it is about and be able to tell it via a great Logline
• Write an easy, readable story that keeps the action flowing, adheres to proper industry standards, has been proofread by a professional, and don't try to impress anyone with big, fancy words (but do use technically correct ones if your script is in need of that for the story)
If you have done 35 drafts (OMG - did someone just faint? I see them on the floor. No, they're getting up now. They're making beady eyes - smoke is coming out of their ears - I see it. They're mumbling something - Oh it sounds like - 35 drafts, are you nuts? Hmmmm, you think that's too few?)
Remember this: Even if you've done 35 drafts once your script is sold - that is draft #1.
So, for Logline creation, do this:
Have someone (preferably a professional, but for now it could be a friend or family member, well it could be an enemy, but I doubt if you'd ask them really) ask you what your script is about. Have them put the important points you are making that jump out at them down on paper while you pace the room, chin in hand, pondering and speaking at the same time. Yes Virginia, we can chew gum and walk at the same time, but creating a great Logline may be more difficult.
Have them ask you:
• Who is your Main Character? (or main with supporting character)
• What's their problem or issue to solve?
• What journey do they take to resolve the problem, mission, quest that goes terribly wrong and can't be solved in Act 2?
How will you know when you've hit on a great Logline?
• YOU are excited because YOU would want to see that movie
• When you say it to friends and family they think you're brilliant (and look for the clues - don't just pretend they like it because courteously and gratuitously (as always) they are saying that's great - you'll see their face light up)
• It sounds fresh, new, exciting
• It's the type of script that will make money, preferably big money
If you don't have a (great) Logline you can't sell your script as a new and aspiring writer - sad but true. It is your tool to dig for gold. Not fool's gold, but the real thing. This country was not formed by the slackers, the naysayers, nor the quitters, but by the back-breaking hard work of those who kept plowing forward.
I want YOU to commit to plowing forward right now, today, and never look back. You've got dreams. You've got stories to tell. And the world is waiting. So let's get started. Write your Logline. If you need help - call me.
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