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The Judges – Circalit Loglines (13)

The Judges

In this section we are publishing the loglines from the participants of the Circalit / Story Department “First Draft Script Contest”. Our judges have reviewed the loglines and give you their considered feedback. It may help you craft a powerful logline.


by The Judges

The Edge of Beauty

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“Alan loves Lizzie. Lizzie loves muscles. The hyper-visible male body ideal collides with one boy’s love in this dark, romantic tale.”

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The judges’ verdict:

 


Steven: “The first 80% of this logline conveys a light, comedic tone. Which is completely at odds with the allegation of this being a ‘dark,’ romance. You can’t have a tonal contradiction in a logline. In addition, there’s little that’s immediately distinct about this story in contrast to all the other unrequited love stories that have already been done. Better to have written ‘Alan steals and doses up on steroids to win the affection of the town goth. But she does not impress easily. Only by taking macbre risks will she begin to take notice of him.”

You can’t have a tonal contradiction in a logline.

Jack: “We are told this is a dark romantic tale, but it sounds more like a comedy. If Lizzie just loves muscles than we assume that she is fairly empty headed. That means we don’t care if Alan doesn’t win her. How about, ‘A sixty kilo weakling tries to grow his muscles to win the girl of his dreams, but_’.”

If Lizzie just loves muscles than we assume
that she is fairly empty headed.
That means we don’t care

Robin: “This is interesting and gives a fairly fresh take on the issue.”

Zombie Escape Map

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“A group of high school friends must deal with a Zombie outbreak, that they predicted”

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The judges’ verdict:

 


Dave: “How exactly will the school friends ‘deal’ with the outbreak? Would they have guns? Also, who does the story focus on – I can only imagine an ensamble piece but there is usually a main focus in such films. I don’t know how important it is that they predicted it either. In the logline I guess the breakout is the inciting incident but I don’t know where the story will go afterwards.”

Who does the story focus on […]

Steven: “Another Zombie film?! Oh please! Why not throw in a petite blonde stake-stabbing girl to complete the copycatting of prior franchises? As boringly simple as they come. “

As boringly simple as they come

Phyllis: “Unless this is an hilarious black comedy horror in the tradition of Buffy, I’m not interested. Sounds like an excuse for busty D grade actress’ and bimboys with fab pecs -, on second thoughts…”


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.

So what is your verdict? Would you want to see these films? Why (not)? Did the judges get it right? How would you improve the synopses/loglines and what do you feel might improve the stories behind them?

 

Please give us your opinion in the comments at the bottom of this page.

 

The Judges (click for details)



Creative Commons License photo credit: swanksalot

About the Author

James Michael

Comments 3

  1. Sorry about being subjective in my other comment.
    I however feel that after reading these, if I may be subjective a bit, is that perhaps no one has read the scripts, so you can’t actually tell rather if those plots are already in the script and if they aren’t in the script, the writer then probably feels as though they now have to write it into the script.

    I think instead of you guys being subjective to the writers, you should only tell them what they NEED to improve on… it’s not fair for US not to being subjective, but you guys can be subjective? That’s like saying “Well, because this guy murdered 10 people, we’re not going to put him on death row, because it would be wrong… as two wrongs don’t make a right”

    I can write the story, but I can’t come up with the synopsis… not without exposing too much of the mystery… not in the way I’m writing it.

    1. I totally disagree that us judges should not be allowed to express that a story concept is poor even if the logline may (or may not) be effective at selling the story as well as it could be sold.

      For one thing, I assure you producers and production execs are even more harsh, unforgiving, and “subjective” than us judges are here. If a logline implies an unorginal or flawed story concept, then they (producers and execs) will not give the submission a second glance – they’ll just toss the script without bothering to read as much as the first 3 lines.

      Like it or not, the purpose of a logline is to sell the script. To cry foul because “my script is really so special that no logline could possibly encompass all its dimensions” is to be unprofessional and certainly uncommercial. You logline must reflect at least some of the specialness of your script (assuming there is any to start with). Period. You can not ignore brute commercial considerations here.

      Thirdly – and speaking for myself – I see a dire need for local writers to be critiqued and pushed to lift their game from a story point of view. I do not accept that locals should be coddled or protected from genuine and considered criticism of their proposed story concepts. They are supposed to be adults. So they should take it on the chin. We may certainly disagree in the end. That’s fine. But I, for one, will not apologise for insisting on much higher standards. If only because local norms simply don’t cut it on the world market. Again, like it or not.

      Steven.

      1. I agree with Steven.

        This is exactly why I hired The Judges. And why I’m paying them the big bucks.

        Well, actually, they’re not paid anything and every single comment posted here is an act of generosity, for which I would expect the authors of the loglines to be grateful.

        This is also the spirit of “Logline It” (http://logline.it/) and I’m excited to see that writers do take the feedback very well and re-shape their loglines following the input from their peers.

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