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What is a Logline

What is a Logline

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Published by Joseph Eulo
What is a Logline
What is a Logline

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Published by: Joseph Eulo on Oct 01, 2013
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10/17/2013

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1. What is a Logline?
 A Logline summarizes your story in no more than one sentence.
The term originated at the Hollywood studios, where stories and scriptsare 'logged' in the Story Department. The Logline identifies projectsthroughout their lives at the studios.You'll find that Loglines fulfill different goals and are written in variousways. We will follow a specific process to build a Logline that contains themost essential story components. Although the result may differ from anyothers you know, it will serve as a good basis to develop your ownLogline.
2. When to use a Logline?
You use a Logline when you need a focused summary of your story.
 A Logline can be used when entering your script in a contest, whenposting it on script sites or to court agents, when you include it in your query letter. Of course, you'll have it ready when you step in the elevator with Mr. Spielberg.But why not use it right from the start of your creative endeavors?Think about it: while you're still unsure of your concept, wouldn't it makesense to test your idea in one sentence with others and with yourself?Here are some of the situations in which a Logline may be used:when the writer tests (the) concept(s)when the writer markets the script to producerswhen the producer markets the project to financierswhen the sales agent sells the movie to distributorswhen the exhibitor advertises the movie to the audiencewhen the distributor packages the DVDwhen a broadcaster advertises the movie in print, online etc.In each of these cases, people will write a slightly modified version.
 
3. How to write a Logline?
Here are a number 
 
of elements you may want to include in the Logline:the Hero's namethe Hero's function or jobthe story's first major event (the 'Inciting Incident')the Hero's main goal in the story (the 'Outer Journey')the Hero's weakness and/or how it's overcome (the 'Inner Journey')the Antagonist's, their objective(s)Depending on the purpose of the Logline, you will include less or more.The Logline in its simplest formula is this:
When
a major event happens
 ], [ 
the Hero
 ],
must 
do the main action
 ].
Let's have a look at how this works for JAWS:
Major event:
 
a swimmer is brutally killed by a sharkHero
(function and/or name):
a sheriff 
/
Chief BrodyMain action
:
stop the killing monster 
Logline:
Whena swimmer is brutally killed by a shark,Chief Brodymuststop the killing monster .
If you find the 'automatic' outcome slightly wooden, remember theformula is only there to make sure your concept contains two essentialstory components: The Inciting Incident (the major event) and the Hero'sMain Goal (the main action).It's your job to make it sound better. You might add in obstacles,antagonist, some detail about setting or the Hero's character journey (if there is one):
"Whena small coastal town is shocked by a deadly shark attack ,local  sheriff Brody has to take responsibility and stop the killing monster but he is hampered by a Mayor who tries to cover up and protect business onthe 4th of July.
"If the story has a strong mid point, you may included it. For 
Jaws
it would

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