… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1217: Create Loglines that Sell Movies

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Taglines intrigue audiences. Loglines sell films to investers.

Screen shot of “Back to the Future” (Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.)

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This article, written by Darin Bradley, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

Every creative medium uses some version of the elevator pitch to condense a project into a simple, memorable description — in the movie business, it’s the logline. Agents and producers of all stripes across the entertainment industry use these one-liners when jockeying scripts, books, or games between the creators they represent and the buyers they’re trying to convince.

A logline is a simple descriptive sentence that identifies the inciting incident (motivation and/or risks), the protagonist, the primary action, and the antagonist. This straightforward sentence reduces all the complexity and nuance of your script into a digestible takeaway that makes it simpler for the various brokers who bring movies to life to move big, beautiful, ungainly scripts around.

Here are the “Rules:”

  1. Create Strong Protagonists
  2. Specific About Character Actions
  3. The Unexpected Is Your Friend

The article then provides almost a dozen examples of both successful and unsuccessful loglines, with an analysis of each.


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