Posted on August 12, 2023 • 5 minutes • 970 words • Other languages: Русский, Українська
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A logline is a short textual description of a script or work intended to quickly convey its essence. The logline focuses on key elements such as the plot, main characters, ideas, and atmosphere of the work. Its purpose is to provide a clear picture of the script, simplifying the choice and decision on its further development or adaptation.
Producers who decide whether to make a screenplay into a movie have to spend a lot of time to choose the best one. However, screenwriters and authors send in so many works that if producers and directors were to read everything, they simply would not have time to do their job. That is why quite often, in order to quickly familiarize themselves with the author’s work, they are asked to send a logline.
What does a logline look like?
If you take a closer look at what a logline is, it is a short description that can consist of a couple of sentences. The task of the logline is to convey the main idea or intrigue of the movie. The logline must answer the following questions:
- Who is the main character?
- What happens to the main character?
- What is the conflict that runs through the plot?
The most important goal of the logline is to interest the producer and director so that they want to film your work. These people should want to read the entire script. The logline helps you focus on the main storyline. It is important to put the whole meaning of the work in just a couple of sentences.
What should you consider before writing a logline?
To make the logline successful and interesting, you should pay attention to the following features:
- Interest. Every logline should be interesting. Its main task is to intrigue and make you want to read more. You shouldn’t reveal the conclusion of the story, but focus on intriguing and interesting events.
- You should show the main actions. For example, what the main character does: suffers, loves, fights, survives, etc.
- The logline should be short. You shouldn’t write down details. After all, you can find out about them later, you need to pay attention to interesting events.
- It is not recommended to use names. It is better to use common names in the logline.
Also, it is better to avoid any moral teachings in your blog post. As they are unlikely to appeal to the reader. The text should be concise, but not dry and boring. It is important to define the target audience and the genre of work.
What is the difference between a logline and a synopsis?
If you want to win a screenwriting contest, you need to prepare a synopsis in addition to the logline. This way, it will be possible to understand whether the script corresponds to the logline. A synopsis is a brief description of the script that shows the storyline and identifies the main characters. The synopsis can be one page long. Compared to a logline, a synopsis is a more detailed description. It conveys the plot of a story. It is worth noting that a synopsis and a logline cannot be the same.
Quite often, synopses are compared to trailers. When we want to know what a movie is about, we watch a trailer. Usually, it helps us to know whether the whole movie will be interesting for us. It’s the same with the synopsis, but it exists for directors who make conclusions about the script. It helps to quickly select the right works that the producer thinks will be successful among the audience.
What should a synopsis look like?
For a successful synopsis, you need:
- A synopsis should always be written in the present tense. This will make it easier for the reader to perceive the information.
- You should write in the third person. It is necessary to convey the plot on behalf of the author, not the hero, so the reader has the opportunity to live the scenario.
- The synopsis should be written in simple and easy language. The simpler the content and description of the script, the more likely it is that producers will like it.
- It is worth keeping the genre of the script. If, for example, the script is written in a humorous style, then the synopsis should also be written in a humorous way.
- It is important to divide the synopsis into main blocks. This will help you navigate the topic. First, you need to highlight the main storylines, and then write them in several sentences, adding details.
- The presence of a spoiler. The logline does not imply that you can find out how the script ends. In a synopsis, on the contrary, it is important to reveal the mystery and allow producers to understand why this ending will be the best.
Just like the logline, the synopsis has a certain list of questions it should answer:
- What the story is about.
- Who are the main characters.
- What they want to achieve and why.
- What difficulties they face.
In general, a synopsis can be up to one page in length, but it can also be presented in a few paragraphs.
The most important thing is that the synopsis is very easy to understand and can be easily shared with another person. An extended synopsis of several pages can be presented if you already have an interested person. If they are willing to spend time reading a long synopsis. Even in this case, you should describe the main storylines and episodes in the movie in detail.
Introduce your character, their desires, and key events in one sentence. Make an effort to ensure that your text answers three questions in just 30 words or less. Remember, the strength of your logline can affect your fate and the success of your project. Good luck!