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5 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Logline

Guide for New Filmmakers and Screenwriters

First, what is a logline?

A logline is a short, concise summary of a film or television show that explains what it is about. It is typically one or two sentences long and is used to pitch the idea to producers, studios, and potential investors.

Imagine you have a story in your head that you want to share with others. A logline is like a very short version of that story that you can use to get people interested in hearing more. It tells the main character, what they want, and what will happen if they don't get it. It also gives a sense of the genre and tone of the story.

For example, a logline for the movie "The Lion King" is: "Tricked into thinking he killed his father, a guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future King." This logline focuses more on the character's internal conflict and the plot twist that sets the story in motion.

Here are five tips on writing your logline.

  1. Introduction: Introduce the topic of loglines and explain why they are essential for filmmakers and screenwriters.

  2. Define the purpose of a logline: A logline should clearly and concisely summarize the plot, characters, and genre of a film or television show. It should be compelling and grab the reader's attention.

  3. Key elements to include: A good logline should include the main character, their goal or conflict, and the stakes or consequences if they fail. It should also give a sense of the genre and tone of the project.

  4. Tips for writing a compelling logline: Some tips for writing a persuasive logline, such as keeping it simple and focused, using active verbs, and avoiding jargon or cliches.

  5. Another example of successful loglines: "The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son."

Know that one? It's the Godfather.

I am horrible at writing loglines! I mean bad. I'm still learning, even if I have to go back to working on it. That is the struggle of being new at something, but don't give up. No matter how difficult it may be. You can always come back to it!

A good tip I learned in The Second City Film School is that a logline should be 30 words or less. However, there is no hard and fast rule about the length of a logline; some may be longer or shorter depending on the project's needs. The most important thing is to ensure that the logline effectively conveys the essence of the story in a compelling and engaging way.

I will now revise my logline for the project I am producing in Laos in 25 days! More about my project in my next post!

Good luck, everyone. =)



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