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The Judges – Circalit Loglines (18)

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 Seven Deadly Sins

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“A young New York woman, Elizabeth, who is suffering the effects of the seven deadly sins, confronts her ex-boyfriend to express her true feelings.”

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The judges’ verdict:

 


Steven: “It would be better to have simply hinted at the seven sins, rather than blatantly telling us about them. For example, “Elisabeth hunts down her ex-boyfriend after going through episodes of sloth, anger, meaningless sex, and killing. All in the name of giving him what he deserves.”

 It would be better to have simply hinted at the seven sins, rather than blatantly telling us about them

Jack: “This sounds like a summary of the climax. It doesn’t tell us enough about the story, or the importance of the seven deadly sins. ”

 It doesn’t tell us enough about the story

Goldfish

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A comedy about three borderline alcoholics who make different New Years Resolutions with the same goal: get their lives moving in a forward direction and stumble into adulthood.[/box]

The judges’ verdict:

 

Steven: “A better set up would be to have one alcoholic protagonist with a genuine desire to better himself. For example, “Bob has resolved this new year is going to be different. He is goint to finally kick the bottle, go for the girl of his dreams, and get himself a real job. If only he can leave the company of his drunken mates …”

A better set up would be to have one alcoholic protagonist with a genuine desire to better himself

Adrian: “There should be a more specific goal, like getting laid, or graduating from college. I’m reading from the logline that they are college kids. I think it should be taken further and make them full-blown alcoholics. ”

I think it should be taken further and make them full-blown alcoholics

Robin: “It’s the sort of thing I would see – bitter-sweet indie comedy-drama? – but wonder if the logline sells it enough. And also do the three protags together or are there three separate stories?”

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 2

  1. My suggestion to the judges would be to avoid re-writing the loglines or provides examples or substitutions. Stick to observations that the writer can use to go back refashion their logline for the reader. What was clear or unclear.

    Adrians comments about “Goldfish” are about what he wants to see and are highly subjective. He does touch on one point though & that of the GOAL of the hero.
    David Mamets puts it succinctly –
    “What does the hero want? What hinders him from getting it? What happens if he does not get it?” from David Mamet, A Whore’s Profession

    If the observations were taken from a coolly critical standpoint then participants should be invited to resubmit their logline and we can all judge if their loglines improve, become clearer.

    One other thing I will say about most of the loglines I have read so far is you don’t feel their is anything really at stake for the HERO, the important ingredient that would draw the reader or audience into the story.

  2. Jack is right about the first logline. There is so much missing, it’s hard to offer constructive criticism on the submitted logline. The first part had promise, but it drifted off into some sort of “talkfest romcom” of people “discussing feelings”- an all-too-common problem of many screenplays. No one wants to watch two hours of people talking about feelings!

    I also somewhat disagree with Krunchy’s comment. As someone who works with others on loglines, specifically, at times this is the ONLY way to show them the path. You can explain, instruct, define, and critique all day long, but until they see how it could or should look, they usually never “get it”.

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