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 Hitman From Detroit
“The biggest movie star in the world jumps the shark when he winds up broke, homeless and one strike away from going to prison.”
The judges’ verdict:
Steven: “Logline is a bit confused and does not tell the really important points- namely, specifics about the protagonist and specifics about the antagonist. We get a vague sense of stakes for the protagonist but no real plot. “
“We get a vague sense of stakes for the protagonist but no real plot.”
Dave: “A really big movie star doesn’t inspire much interest in me and I don’t think many people could identify with somebody that well known. I also don’t understand the phrase ‘jump the shark,’ some people might but I find it a bit confusing. Also, if he is one strike away from going to prison has he really hit rock bottom? As an idea it is interesting but I can’t see a journey here. I don’t know anything of the character and don’t see the story. After he falters and becomes homeless, would he just become the best movie star again?”
“As an idea it is interesting but I can’t see a journey here.”
Jack: “Does everyone understand the expression ‘jump the shark?’ Certainly its ‘Happy Days,’ origin is well knwon in film and TV circles, but will all investors recognize it? “
“The age of the Samurai is all but over. Only one warrior stands in Japan’s transitional period, from the traditional to the modern”
The judges’ verdict:
Adrian: “What about the last-standing Samurai? Does he fight against the Modernisation? Does the modernising society reject him? Does the fact that he is the last Samurai help him in the story?”
“Does the fact that he is the last Samurai help him in the story?”
Dave: “I don’t know when this is set, if we are about to go into the modern then tell me when it is. Is this the rise of the warrior, is it about greed? I don’t know if there is a concrete goal for the main character and also, does he have a flaw? The logline doesn’t give me much information in regard to the story.”
“I don’t know if there is a concrete goal for the main character…does he have a flaw?”
Nina: “A logline should typically include: an inciting incident, main character’s goal, plus the stakes and obstacles s/he faces. This logline only tells us that the main character is a warrior.”
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