HOW TO CRAFT A LOGLINGE

LOGLINES

A one or two sentence description that captures the unique & conflicting elements of your screenplay.

Include the following 5 elements to write a complete Log Line:

  1. Protagonist – Identify a main character along with his/her profession.
  2. Genre – Reveal the story’s setting when presenting the Conflict.
  3. Inner Conflict – A personal issue for the Protagonist to overcome.
  4. Outer Conflict – An action from the Protagonist that threatens the Antagonist.
  5. Climax – Lead towards a major conflict between the Protagonist and Antagonist.

 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Just before the outbreak of World War II, an adventuring archaeologist named Indiana Jones races around the globe to single-handedly prevent the Nazis from turning the greatest archaeological relic of all time into a weapon of world conquest.

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES
A Pennsylvania steel-town ambitious and hot headed high school coach tries to spoil a football hero’s scholarship dream.

BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
An Iowa housewife, stuck in her routine, must choose between true romance and the needs of her family.

RUSHMORE
A precocious private high school student whose life revolves around his school competes with its most famous and successful alumnus for the affection of a first grade teacher.

JAWS
After a series of grisly shark attacks, a sheriff struggles to protect his small beach community against the bloodthirsty monster, in spite of the greedy chamber of commerce.

ORDINARY PEOPLE
After being institutionalized for a suicide attempt, a teen struggles for sanity and closure but must overcome his greatest adversary first – his mother.

CHICAGO
After murdering her lover, an aspiring singer struggles for stardom by using her crime as a stepping-stone to fame and fortune.

INDEPENDENCE DAY
Aliens try to invade earth on Independence Day

LIAR, LIAR
An attorney, because of a birthday wish, can’t tell any lies for 24 hours.

DEAD CALM
A married couple, trying to recover from the death of their only child, are terrorized at sea by a handsome maniac.

THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
A Soviet submarine captain uses Russia’s ultimate underwater weapon as a means to defect to the west.

THE LAST BOY SCOUT
A private detective must team up with an ex-football star to catch the killer of a topless dancer.

HOW TO CRAFT AN EFFECTIVE LOGLINE

STEP 1
Identify what your story is about. This sounds easy, but knowing what your story is about and being able to express the subject in its simplest terms is a major hurdle for many beginning writers. If you’re having a hard time with this step, your story may not be ready for public consumption.

STEP 2
In 50 words or less, write down your story. During this step, try to include as much of the story as possible without going over the 50-word limit. Ideally, you want this description to read like you are explaining the story to a friend. Include details such as your major character, his/her goal(s) within the story, obstacles in your main character’s path, and the story’s resolution.

STEP 3
Condense! This is the key step in crafting your logline. Knowing what to take out of your logline is every bit as important as knowing what to include. The ideal logline gives a reader just enough information to make them curious about the story but doesn’t provide so much information as to render the actual screenplay moot.

STEP 4
Try it out. After you have fashioned your logline, try it out on your friends/family. If your logline leaves them puzzled and confused, it’s time to try again. If, however, your logline piques their interest and causes them to ask questions about how your story turns out, you may have a great logline on your hands.