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The Judges – Circalit Loglines (20)

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

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“Shaken by the death of her role model a self doubting young woman finds a new heroine, but is this replacement the answer to her happiness or the path to self destruction? “

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The judges’ verdict:


Steven: “Firstly, a young woman who is “self-doubting” is all too common and ordinary sounding. Big yawn just there. A better approach would be to vividly contrast the two idols she has. For example, “a vivacious teen girl must recover from the death of a free-spirited and influential aunt. She finds her next idol in the form of a foul-mouthed. anarchistic, bad girl. But will this choice be her undoing?” ”

A better approach would be to vividly contrast the two idols she has

Adrian: “There is no need to ask the question. If the new heroine is the answer to her happiness, then there isn’t much of a story. It’s probably the path to self-destruction. Then how does she redeem herself?”

There is no need to ask the question

Jack: “Sounds interesting and sets up a good morality tale. “Finds” makes it seem a bit too easy. How about “searches for”? ”

The Sleeper

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“When a 70 year old KGB sleeper agent loses the will to kill, he decides to become his target’s guardian against assassination instead.”

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The judges’ verdict:


 Adrian: There must be something more than just not wanting to kill anymore. There must be some driving force behind him deciding to take sides with the target and actively stopping the assassination.

There must be some driving force behind him deciding to take sides with the target

Steven: “Sounds like “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” meeting “The Equaliser”. 70 is a bit old for the protagonist unless the logline specifically pointed out that he is fit (or, at least, very very wily). However, this concept could work despite the poor logline. A better one would be “a coughing, drunk, veteran KGB agent uses his decades-long unblown cover to maneuvre against an assassination plot being organised by his former superiors.””

70 is a bit old for the protagonist unless the logline specifically pointed out that he is fit

Meg: “I like the concept but need something more to hook me onto the protagonist, I need something to reveal more of his character. The stakes are great though.'”

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 1

  1. Re: “The Sleeper”- I’m on Meg’s side on this one. I think the concept is intriguing, reminding me of Bronson’s “The Mechanic”. I take exception to Steve’s comment about the age of the protag, especially as someone who writes primarily older protag’s for older actors as a mission. You only need to look around and see the major star power approcahing 70 and 80 yrs of age, including Eastwood, Hackman, Pacino, De Niro, Duvall, etc. (and that’s just the male actors).

    The logline seems to still be missing something. “Decides” is somewhat inactive; “coerced” or “forced to” makes in more of a conflict. I would like to see a stronger irony; perhaps making the target more ironic.

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