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
“A young woman has to protect two children as they desperately try to escape a man with a fractured mind.”
The judges’ verdict:
Steven: “To make this thriller tauter, the story has to be set up in a closed environment. One where it is not a simple matter for the young ones to run to friends and hide. For example, in a ship or ranch or mine or gaming reserve that is owned by the man with a “fractured mind”. The antagonist must have clear superior power over them, despite being mad. ”
The story has to be set up in a closed environment…where it is not a simple matter for the young ones to run…and hide.
Robin: “Interesting ‘woman in peril’ story and adding children raises the stakes however ‘why it’s happening is important. Perhaps his mind is fractured because the young woman has killed his entire family and he only wants a little revenge. If he has a mental illness how does it affect her?”
Interesting ‘woman in peril’ story and adding children raises the stakes
Dave: “I can see it’s a thriller, there is a main character and with a clear goal… to escape. It’s clear but escaping is usually about running away, I’d be interested to know about he she will win against the ‘man with a fractured mind’. I’d like to know a little more about the antagonist also and how she plans to escape/win.”? ”
“Amongst the ruins of a bunker on a small Island, lies an ancient power. Sought by the evil Norokai, three children must stand between them and world domination.”
The judges’ verdict:
Robin: There might be a good story buried in this logline. I feel it could be worded better so it gets us to the heart of the story. “Amongst the ruins of a bunker on a small Island” – is that actually relevant? It probably makes sense once you see the location and context and know the story but we don’t.
I feel it could be worded better so it gets us to the heart of the story
Steven: This concept could work, but the logline needs to be rewritten. Perhaps the film’s title reveals too much as well. A better logline would be “three children play in the ruins of a North Sea island. One discovers a glowing object. This object is coveted by the immortal Norokai who will stop at nothing to acquire it in their quest to return the world to darkness.”
Perhaps the film’s title reveals too much
Jack: “It might be better to describe rather than name Norokai. Is he an evil sorcerer or a bad wizard? We will remember the description, but not the name.”
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)
photo credit: swanksalot