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How to write a Logline

Once you’ve done your preliminary research on your film or documentary you’ll want to start the process of crafting your logline.  This will help you identify some of the most important elements of your story and it’s a great reference to keep you on the right track.

A logline is generally a one to two sentence summery of your project. The logline generally consists of the following pieces of information:

1. The character
2. Their goal
3. The antagonistic force

As good sample log line would look as follows:

“A group of young, misguided rebels rush to save their leader’s sister from a gang of bandits”

There is no reference to subplots or character development. A logline is the script’s skeleton. Throughout your film or documentary your character may have many goals. However, with logline writing it’s important to stick with only the most important goal. Your character’s goal will generally be established by the end of the first act. But if you’re unsure as to what your main goal is then analyze your climax. During the climax is when your character will either accomplish or fail at achieving their goal.

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When you’re writing your logline you should use a well chosen adjective to describe your character (i.e. isolated farm girl). When you juxtapose this adjective with your character’s goal your logline will have a stronger impact. For example, if your characters goal includes a strong social element, the fact that she’s been isolated for so long will mean she needs to learn to deal with more human interaction. The conflict in this situation writes itself!

When writing your logline you should also evoke questions from your audience by using words that create that reaction. For example you your character may be in a “mysterious land“ or on a “dangerous journey“. Words like this will help make your logline more interesting and engaging.

Please feel free to share your film loglines in the comment box below.


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