5 Tips for Writing Your Logline


A logline is a summary of your script. It conveys the dramatic story - condensed into one sentence (more complex scripts sometimes require a two-sentence logline). The logline is not the same as the film’s tagline, which is a catchy, short-phrase or slogan used by film studios to market a movie.

The logline effectively communicates the concept and the central problem that the main character needs to resolve.

LOGLINE EXAMPLES

  • In 13th century Scotland, a common man becomes a legend when he leads an uprising to overthrow English rule and gain Scottish freedom.” (Braveheart)
  • Three police officers unravel the truth behind the ‘random’ murder of a corrupt policeman and expose the political and judicial depravity of 1950’s Hollywood.” (L.A. Confidential)

Why do you need a logline?

  1. Creating a logline is a crucial first step in planning your screenplay. The logline is a tool you can use when writing and revising your script to keep you focused.
  2. You will need a logline to sell your screenplay. 

Five Tips for Writing Your Logline:

  1. Establish the Main Character
    Who is the protagonist - an ex-cop, a gunslinger, an Irish mobster, a super-hero?
  2. State the Main Character’s Need or Goal
    What does your main character want – to get revenge, to find the truth, to repair his image, to track a bail-jumper, to free his people from tyranny?

  3. Provide a Promise of Conflict
    What obstacles does your protagonist face in achieving his goal – corrupt law enforcement, another bounty hunter, the FBI and the mob, English military rule, his own character flaw?
  4. Stimulate Interest with a Hook
    What is unique about the story – a super-hero that’s an alcoholic, a mobster on-the-road with his young son?
  5. Convey All Relevant Information
    A studio executive who has not read your script should be able to read your logline and fully understand the concept without any additional information. Do not include character intricacies, sub-plots, or specific scenes.

Now go write your logline!


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