The Secret to the Perfect Logline

In this video, viewers will learn about the secret to a perfect logline. Loglines have two main functions. They can be used as development tools or as marketing tools. Writers kill two birds with one stone when they use loglines correctly. All the elements of a logline that come together into a concise sentence, convey a concept clearly. This is exactly what the video will teach young writers. Before going ahead, all the viewers should follow the link in the description. It’s a great way to learn the basics of logline generation through logline generators. These logline generators are free, extremely powerful, and save a lot of time on script outlines.

How to write a logline?

Let’s get into the nuts and bolts first. It’s important to define a logline as a clear concept. Just one sentence is enough to put forward a logline. Like a car, a salesman goes out with his co-workers and what happens next is just mind-blowing. Even though producers and directors can speculate after this line but they don’t have the time. Producers want a clear and concise logline. A mystery-packed logline element won’t benefit the writer.

As a writer, it’s important to understand that producers and directors are looking for outstanding talents. A good logline can help writers in the long run. Still, a good logline doesn’t mean those producers will rush to represent the script. Professionals look for something specific. For example, someone is looking for an action thriller script and he has a budget of 2 to 10 million. The producer will read the logline and determine whether the script is worth a read or not. So, a logline conveys the main message of the script. It helps indicate the setup and the hidden concept.

Loglines help producers to pick a script

For example, producers send their agents a list of what they are looking for. Based on the producer’s needs, the agent sends a bunch of loglines. From these loglines, the producer will quickly read and reply about the logline that is picked by him. Then the agent sends the script for review.

So, a logline has a clear and concise idea about the script format. If the producer‘s specifications are matched, the script is chosen. It all depends on the goals of the producer and director. Clear loglines help writers to enter the league of professionalism.  

Technicalities of loglines

Let’s learn about elements that constitute a good logline.

1.      The central character

This can also be said as the hero or someone who drives the story. It’s important to know this because central characters are what the story is about. Moreover, the central character has to do a lot. Such as genre scope and pitch ability. Most importantly your character in conjunction with other factors determines the budget range.

2.      The goal

The hero’s goal or the overall script goal is another important element. Without a goal, the logline is incomplete. By including one or two goals, a story becomes clear and the entire concept becomes understandable. It also says a lot about the genre, conflicts, and stakes. So, a goal is an essential part of a logline.

3.      Opposition

It is story 101 that a hero with a clear goal creates a greater opportunity for direct opposition. Having that opposition in a logline helps clarify genre, conflict and makes the pitch much cleaner. It gives a clear indication of the source of the conflict and the possibility of escalating tension. If a logline stops short at the goal without opposition, it leaves more questions than answers. Remember obscurity is a big no in a logline.

Adding these three necessary elements

The more a person understands through a logline, the better chance the script has to make it to the final stage. These three necessary fundamentals of a logline make it more attractive. Along with these three basic things, a few more things are also important to consider. Such as the syntax. A better syntax minimizes the adjectives. Writers need to get to the point as efficiently as possible. Having too many adjectives confuses the reader.

Make things easier for the reader. Give them what they want to see. Another great thing that needs to be added to the loglines is the clarity of the genre. A good logline with these elements helps communicate a clear genre. Then the pitch ability with a hero goal in opposition should be considered. The pitch is a lot easier to convey quickly. Pitching doesn’t only concern the writer but also the representative.

Strong fundamentals help the third parties to easily sum up the story. Keep in mind that people representing your material are not creative. They are salespeople. So, keep things simple for them.

Clarity of scope is needed

Clarity of scope is important even if the script is not a major four-quadrant motion picture. Knowing the audience is great. Different filmmakers target different markets and genres. Don’t pretend to be a broader movie, just have an identity. With the right fundamentals and the right elements, a logline can do wonders.

Just like clarity, the script needs to have certain stakes. Having stakes with a hero goal and opposition boosts the script strength. Don’t elongate the logline. Keep it to a single line, not a long paragraph. People don’t have the time to look at lengthy paragraphs. Long paragraphs also indicate that a logline isn’t focused.

Lastly presence of conflict with goals and opposition helps build strong dynamics. Strong goals and opposition aid in the imagination process. They solve the mysteries and questions. Remember, people need quick answers not stretched mysteries.

So this is all that is needed for the creation of a good logline. These simple tips help new writers to write perfect loglines that attract the attention of the producers and directors. Learn new tips and tricks from some of these amazing screenplay lessons available at SAN for free. Sign up to get an answer to all the questions today.

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