Notes from a Screenreader: Loglines Done Wrong

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Photo via Go Into the Story.

Loglines are tough. They can lie about your story if you let them.

This is how you do Indiana Jones wrong:

  • In World War II, an archaeology professor gets a call about a powerful artifact that changes his life forever.

This is Silver Linings Playbook done wrong:

  • A violent mental patient delusionally pursues his ex-wife.

Bridesmaids:

  • A mismatched group of women overcome their differences to give the bride her perfect special day.

There’s the hook playing way too hard to get, a very misleading genre, and then a completely inverted tone, not to mention no protagonist. The proper loglines for these movies make them stand out; they have it all—hook, genre, tone. Keep at your logline until it wins in all three categories.

ANNIE LABARBA

Annie is a screenwriter, story consultant, and reader for major screenplay competitions.

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