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Ugh. Log Lines.

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EMStoveken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EMStoveken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ugh. Log Lines.
    Posted: 29 Apr 2017 at 2:58am
I've never done well with log lines.  Synopses, I'm fine with. Tag lines, I can do. It's that weird middle ground that gives me fits. What say fellow scribes: How much do you give away in your log line? Do you try to give an ultra-brief synopsis, a coy amuse-bouche, or some other variation?

If I'm not careful, I'll wrestle with the damn thing until the deadline.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tim G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2017 at 7:19am
FWIW  I just do a set-up sentence/teaser rather than a synopsis, and I made the final of the SSC so I guess that's OK with the system :)



Edited by Tim G - 29 Apr 2017 at 7:19am
My R3 Screenplay: Beneath All Else
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2017 at 8:35am
What Tim G. said.

I use this philosophy, that the log line sets up the story and the conflict. This is not a synopsis, which I understand to be a full exegesis of the story so someone who wants to buy the work for their use knows everything. This is akin to a blurb, which gives enough to interest or hook the reader. IMO it's part of the submitted work, so it shouldn't be a throw-away section.

I tend to use a two-sentence log line. One sentence: the precis. Kelly is <X> and does <Y>. But when <Z> happens, Kelly must decide between <1> and <2>.

HOWEVER this is my first time ever entering a screenplay contest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2017 at 8:40am
Here are the loglines from winning screenplays in 2015:

LACUNA: When a woman awakens from a three week coma, she prides herself on a rapid recovery. But her husbands suspicious behavior drives her to believe he may be hiding a secret.

DRY TIDE:
When two ordinary women compete on a new wilderness survival TV show, a map to nowhere and a faulty radio make it clear something else is going on.

BY THE BOOK:
Two childhood friends find themselves in court battling over a contract made over 20 years ago.

From 2016

STORMSHIFTER:
An undercover cop must discover the meaning of an old man's strange devices as they battle it out in a world of constant surveillance, where privacy is threatened not just by men but by the elements.

APPLES:
A beautiful summer backyard hides some nasty surprises for a boy who has just moved house.

THE DANCER:
As a precocious orphan girl in a besieged city tries to hide her secret from an oppressive regime, an unexpected hero enters her life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote MaHaBone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2017 at 9:37am
I was kinda shocked that the rules allowed for a logline as long as half a page.  That just seems monstrous to me.
Scriptshadow had a contest a couple years ago where you had to compress your logline into a Tweet.  140 characters does actually seem a fair measure for a logline. Trim the fat and chose your words carefully!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scarlet Screenwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2017 at 7:09pm

This discussion comes up every round ... if you go back, you'll find some ... a logline is just a two sentence encapsulation of your story/screenplay. 

It's NOT a poster line necessarily ... "In space, no one can hear you scream!" ... but it can be a tease ... that's usually what I do ... make people want to read your story.

Don't make it too dry ... and half a page is kind of ridiculous ... how are you going to have that in two sentences that are remotely grammatically correct? 

Just ask Google ... there are dozens of sites that discuss loglines ...






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Splinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 6:33pm
I don't give them much thought.  If a log line is going to make or break an entry, then I'm in the wrong contest.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scarlet Screenwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 8:27pm
Originally posted by Splinker Splinker wrote:

I don't give them much thought.  If a log line is going to make or break an entry, then I'm in the wrong contest.


Well, as a log line builds up from an elevator pitch to a one para to a synopsis, it can get a screenplay read and generate interest.

Read some of the loglines for successful films and you'll see what I mean ...






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vernacula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 11:35pm
I've read or heard somewhere in the forums that some judges don't even read them. I keep them short and snappy, with a bit of tease. I don't like lengthy loglines. But I write a lot of short copy for a living, so...bias. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Annerocious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2017 at 11:16am
Originally posted by Vernacula Vernacula wrote:

I've read or heard somewhere in the forums that some judges don't even read them. I keep them short and snappy, with a bit of tease. I don't like lengthy loglines. But I write a lot of short copy for a living, so...bias. Big smile

Exactly. Having a strong hook makes loglines easy. Which is why mine for this round is so wimpy! 

I'm a reader for competitions (not this one) and I do read the logline. You can tell exactly how soft the second act is going to be! LOL
Round 1 Heat 21 The Gentle Sex

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