The logline is also called 'elevator pitch' for the reason that you must be able to explain within 10 seconds what your film is about. Imagine, you have a film producer standing in front of you, and he says ok, pitch me the film.
What is a Logline?
A logline tells the essence of your story, stimulating excitement without giving the full story away. A good logline consists of three major elements: the character, the character’s goal and the obstacle to overcome. You need a logline to develop and market your story.
Why you need a Logline
- for you to test your concept
- to market the script to producers
- for the producer to market the project to financiers
- when the sales agent sells your film to distributors
- when the exhibitor advertises the film to the audience
- when the distributor packages the DVD
- for advertising in print, online etc
The Structure of a LogLine
The logline should include the The Who, What, When, Why and How.
Here is an example of the documentary logline structure of Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune:
The protagonist: Cult film director ..
The goal of the protagonist: Cult film directors’s ambitious film adaption ...
The antagonist or obstacle: Cult film directors’s ambitious film adaption of a seminal science fiction novel
See more Logline Formula examples
Where to find examples of Loglines
- The one-sentence program summary in your TV Guide
- Check IMDB listings
- See Top Documentary Loglines
- See Top Box Office Logline Examples
Logline vs Tagline?
- The logline is the pitch of the movie to sell the idea to producers, distributors and audiences.
- The tagline is the one-liner on the poster, not more than 5 words that will resonate instantly.
Lists of [character traits] and [dynamic actions]
Let’s give depth to your loglines by using [character trait] and [dynamic actions] to get the reader to quickly grasp the character and story.
Remember the formula: When a [major event], the [character trait] hero, must [dynamic action] to overcome [obstacle]
The following lists will make it easier for you to find descriptive words for your logline.
Download the Essential Lists of Dynamic Actions and Character Traits
- List of 752 [character traits] = meek, spirited, aging, etc
- List of 79 [dynamic actions]= defy, revive, reveal, etc