The logline is the short summary of your film which must entice the interest of your audience in under 40 words. It makes the reader, producer and audience want to know more about your story. Here is how to write your exciting #logline.
How to Write a Logline
Look at your script to analyze the stages and then answer the following questions:
- What [character traits] does your main protagonist have?
- What [dynamic action] must he take to keep your story in suspense?
- What is the obstacle or antagonist that your main character has to overcome?
The secret here is using [character traits] and [dynamic actions] to sell your story. See below for examples.
There are several ways to construct your logline with a formula, here are 2 examples that will get you moving forward.
1. Simple Logline Formula
When a [major event], the [character trait] hero, must [dynamic action] to overcome [obstacle]
- What is the major event?
- Who is your main character and what is their [character trait]?
- What [dynamic action] does your main character have to do to overcome [obstacle]
The aging patriarch [character trait] of an organized crime dynasty transfers control [event] of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son [obstacle].
Luke Skywalker, a spirited farm boy [character trait], joins rebel forces [dynamic action] to save Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader [obstacle], and the galaxy from the Empire’s planet-destroying [event] Death Star.
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
A meek and alienated little boy [character trait] finds [event] a stranded extraterrestrial. He has to find the courage to defy the authorities [dynamic action] to help the alien return [obstacle] to its home planet.
2. Save the Cat ® Genre Logline Formula
When a [the hero] must reach his [goal] to overcome [the problem]
- The Hero
- The Goal
- The Problem
A driven hero [character trait] must lead a group of allies to retrieve a prized possession through a perilous journey that wasn’t what the hero expected.
Rites of Passage
A troubled hero’s [character trait] only way to overcome a spiraling life crisis is to defeat his worst enemy - himself.
An inadequate hero [character trait] must rise above an extremely difficult situation to be with his love.
Test your Logline
- When you share the logline with your friends, do their eyes light up?
- Read it out loud to a group of people to see the reaction
- Ask a friend to tell the storyline to someone, then you will be able to hear what part makes them most excited
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
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