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 Coldest Day[box]
“An ex-soldier is blackmailed into pulling Britain’s biggest robbery whilst his old army sergeant, who is now a police detective, is tasked with capturing him. “[/box]
The judges’ verdict:
Dave: “The antagonist is clear and I would believe that he would be a challenging adversary. Over half the logline stresses the power of the antagonist, something hard to defeat for sure. However, why should it be an ex-soldier that is blackmailed? Is the goal for the ex-soldier to run and not get caught? This is not really a goal. If he had to stop the robbery before he was captured then that is a clear goal – and story – but I don’t see it here. How was he blackmailed? Giving this information in the logline would make it much clearer. “
Is the goal for the ex-soldier to run and not get caught?
Jack: “This looks like and interesting story but the word ‘tasked’ is too weak for a logline. The fact that the pursuing detective is the soldier’s ex-sergeant gives this story its twist, and the twist should be at the end of the logline. How about, ‘an army sergeant turned detective pursues the perpetrator of Britain biggest bank robbery, only to discover that his target was once a member of his old platoon?”
The twist should be at the end of the logline.
Nina: “I would include the flaw of the ex-soldier and the strength of the detective so we know more about them. Also, include what the dilemma/risks are if the soldier fails in executing the robbery succesfully. “
Word of Mouth[box]
“The staff of a nightly radio comedy hour attempt to work under pressure, keep their personal lives together, and deal with what comes from being only slightly famous.”[/box]
The judges’ verdict:
Steven: This may work as a televison sitcom, but not as a feature film. It sounds too much like “Empire Records” slightly modified to fit a graveyard shift radio setting. There is nothing particularly interesting or original about this concept.
There is nothing particularly interesting or original about this concept.
Meg: “What is the goal, to keep their personal lives together? Doesn’t seem clear or strong enough for a premise. What/who is the antagonising force specifically? What stakes? I do like the world though.”
What/who is the antagonising force specifically?
Nina: “This looks like an enjoyable film. The logline could be improved by inserting the word ‘struggling,’ i.e ‘A struggling staff of a nightly radio show struggle to balance work and family life, and the realisation that they are only slightly famous.'”
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.