Writing loglines is an essential skill for screenwriters, from early development through to the pitch.
In this section, every week our panel reviews a few loglines posted to www.logline.it. Learn from the feedback and perfect your own loglining skills.
by The Judges
“The son of a scientist is called to the future to solve the world’s oxygen crisis and save the woman he loves.”[/box]
The judges’ verdict:
Steven: “Oxygen crisis … seriously? That sounds barely credible. Why would the future people want the son and not the scientist? It would make more sense, on first impression, that the scientist would be worth the trouble to travel back in time for. A man saving the woman he loves works, but the rest raises questions that undermine the reader’s attachment to this story
A man saving the woman he loves works, but the rest raises questions
Geno: ” It clearly lacks the information or the intensity that would make someone NEED to read this story. Placing equal emphasis on saving the future of mankind with “the woman he loves” is something I read a lot, and it just doesn’t make sense to me (does he not have family, life-long friends, even a dog?) When you are talking about the extinction of mankind, I’m pretty sure his love life will be affected in some way! ” To me, being the “son of a scientist” does not begin to describe the protag. You’ll need to define him more dramatically, accurately and heroically.
Being the “son of a scientist” does not begin to describe the protag. You’ll need to define him more dramatically, accurately and heroically
Nina: “I would say more about the protagonist i.e. his flaw and occupation. What is the event that starts his call to adventure? The two goals are specific but there is no mention of an antagonist or obstacles. Even if the plot is complex, the logline should express a clear and simple idea that a reader can grasp.”
Choir of Hard Knocks[box]
“A disparate and desperate group of people transcend their hopelessness and band together to find their voice, rediscovering, under the baton of their choirmaster, a dignity and purpose that their ravaged lives had threatened to destroy”[/box]
The judges’ verdict:
Patrockable: “The choir plot alone is too weak to carry this movie, but it might work as a multi-protagonist peice with a common theme, like in the “Joy Luck Club”. You could focus on three or four characters, and each character could have his/her own thirty minute story, perhaps about how they ended up joining the choir.
It might work as a multi-protagonist peice with a common theme
Steven: “Sounds way too much like a typical Australian feature concept: A bunch of likeable losers come together to meet a mediorcre challenge that has no huge stakes attached to it. Have Australians not done this story motif for decades? A bunch of misfits joining together against a common enemy could, however, work as a story. Even as a transformational one. But what is required is a powerful enemy with compelling stakes attached.”
What is required is a powerful enemy with compelling stakes attached.
James: “I always suggest avoiding multi-protagonist concepts. They often feel rushed, leaving no-one character for the audience to bond with and ‘root for.’ This being said I think that the logline needs to single out a single protagonist, one to lead the group and the story in general.”
If you have an opinion on any of these synopses or the feedback from the judges, please share it with us in the comments below. Please keep the discussion constructive. Even if your first instinct may be subjective, try to give us as objective a reply as possible. The objective is to all (that includes us, judges) learn from the exercise.