Writing loglines is an essential skill for screenwriters, from early development through to the pitch. In this section, we review the loglines and short synopses of the screenplays that made it into the Blacklist 2012. Learn from the feedback and perfect your own loglining skills.
by The Judges
“After an accident causes a successful CEO to lose both legs, he is forced to re-evaluate his life and identity.”
Cameron: What the logline succeeds at is providing an inciting incident. We know in the Protagonist’s ordinary world that he is successful which implies he has it all and after this ‘accident’ he loses his legs and has some kind of personal and professional epiphany, through ‘is forced to evaluate his life and identity’. But the later is extremely vague.
“There is no sense of urgency or stakes.”
There is no sense of urgency or stakes. Being forced to re-evaluate one’s life and identity can mean anything. Is his job on the line? Does he have subordinates gunning for his position? Does his wife/girlfriend leave him and is driven to win her back or find new love to rub it in her face? Specificity is essential.
JanCabal: Yes, the stakes are missing. Some goal or reason and it should be primal (death, family) like he is going to die, or perhaps the goal could be even a hero’s inner journey. Like he was reckless and since the incident, nobody counts his successful career anymore as he is an utter jerk. So he has to change or risks loosing everything he has left.
After a crippling accident, reckless CEO has to change the way he lived or he will loose his family and even his own life.
“Three fathers learn of their teenage daughters’ pact to lose their virginity on prom night and band together to stop them.”
Cameron: A good high concept comedy, taking the usual teen movie formula and telling it from the perspective of the fathers’. The multi protagonist story could be a problem if each of the father’s aren’t uniquely defined and probably have similar characteristics to each of their daughters.
“The multi protagonists could be a problem if the three fathers are not uniquely defined.
The stakes are high but the urgency isn’t clear. How far off is the prom? It would make sense that the story takes place in a single night where the fathers race around trying to foil their daughters pact.
Richiev: This logline seems to be all there. It has the feel of over the top comedy and we understand the fathers goal.
I might add an adjective such as “Over Protective” and you could also change “band together” to “scheme” but overall we get a sense of the story from this logline.
Good luck with this!
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?
To read the full reviews and those from casual visitors, go to www.logline.it.
The Judges (click for details)