Notes from a Screenreader: Loglines Done Wrong

image

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.

Advertisements