1. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    Thought on a logline

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Mklangelo, Apr 6, 2019.

    Hello to all!

    I'm attempting my second screenplay applying lessons learned in the first one.

    For this attempt I'll be doing a beatsheet and a full outline. I thought the first logical step would be a logline.

    If anyone has thoughts on it, please feel free to share and thank you in advance!

    Logline: In the dismal aftermath of a civil war in Earth’s distant future, brothers Chel & Tan are presented with a dangerous plan that promises to change their lives forever.
     
  2. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    From this guy's article https://www.raindance.org/10-tips-for-writing-loglines/ you've broken his first two tips.

    1. A logline must have the following
    – the protagonist
    – their goal
    – the antagonist/antagonistic force

    2. Don’t use a character name
     
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  3. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    thanks for the reply but read the logline for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. John Huston wrote the adaptation and the script. lol and it violates all three of those rules.
     
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  4. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    But was it the logline or a tagline for the marketing?
     
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  5. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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  6. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    It's the logline. I've reworked it:

    Logline: In the dismal aftermath of a world economic collapse, two brothers undertake a desperate plan to travel to a hostile alien world to retrieve a device that will provide wealth beyond measure.
     
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  7. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Contributor Contributor

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    In the dismal aftermath of a world economic collapse, two brothers undertake a desperate plan attempt to travel to a hostile alien world to retrieve a device that will could provide wealth beyond measure.

    Never written a logline so I likely have no idea what I'm talking about, but the above reads a little better to me.
     
  8. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    It is more compact that way. The words you've taken out can actually be described as redundant.

    In the aftermath of a world economic collapse, two brothers undertake a desperate attempt to travel to a hostile alien world in order to steal a device that could provide wealth beyond measure.
     
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  9. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Contributor Contributor

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    I think it could possibly be better using the word brink to invoke some urgency?
    "In a world on the brink of economic collapse, two brothers...." Perhaps there is also an adjective you can use to describe the brothers, or perhaps even assign the 'desperate part to them and change what follows?

    Just ideas, I'm not clued up on this but hope it helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  10. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    This is good.
     
  11. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    No, 'cause it is the aftermath. On the brink would mean it hasn't happened yet. Urgency is good in a logline though, but what I'm getting is that if they are successful the economy would come back. Is it urgent that they do it? Maybe. It may be just enough that it is dangerous.
     
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  12. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    I've come up with another version with a few less words:

    In the aftermath of a global economic collapse, two brothers travel to a hostile alien world in a desperate attempt to steal a device that could provide wealth beyond measure.
     
  13. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Maybe change the word could to "will". I don't know about risking one's life for maybe.

    In the aftermath of a world economic collapse, two brothers undertake a desperate attempt to travel to a hostile alien world in order to steal a device that will provide wealth beyond measure.
     
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  14. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    More thoughts...

    I assume the two brothers want the device for the whole planet and not just themselves, so they would be heroes. If not make it clear in the logline. In fact according to that article:

    3. Use an adjective to give a little depth to that character
    This is your chance to show some character. Beware of cliche, and also of the power of irony. It’s helpful if the characteristic you describe will have something to do with the plot.

    – A mute sous-chef

    – An alcoholic ex-superhero


    See if you can come up with an adjective for the brothers.
     
  15. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    In the aftermath of global economic collapse, two estranged brothers travel to a deadly alien world in a desperate attempt to steal a device that will provide them with wealth beyond measure.
     
  16. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Good, but I still don't know why these brothers? Like, could they be prisoners and they have not exactly volunteered but offered freedom or something if they do it. If you can get the motivation in there I think you've got it.

    ETA: I see you added "provide them with wealth". Are they greedy bastards that want wealth only for themselves or are they on a humanitarian mission for the whole planet?
     
  17. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    Actually I envision this as a tragedy. Their greed will be their undoing. The partnership is strong at first and they seem like they can overcome the family baggage (which is something of which I have intense experience with) but when the wealth is seemingly within their reach, the paranoia and greed sets in and causes their undoing.
     
  18. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    That's good, it peaks my interest. But see if you can get that motivation into the logline as that is the pitch to a producer who may want to make it. I assumed they wanted to be heroes. And like in the guy's article you don't tell how it ends.
     
  19. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    In the aftermath of global economic collapse, two estranged brothers travel to a deadly alien world in a desperate attempt to steal a device that will provide them with wealth and temptation beyond measure.
     
  20. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Good article.

    I just turned a novel I had been querying into a serial for my blog. I could never write a short logline and spent weeks screwing with query letters. Like he said, "if you can't make the logline work, the story might not work." The next thing I write, I'm going to follow this guy's example and come up with a logline first.
     
  21. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    I think the logline provides focus and is worth obsessing over.
     
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  22. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Yep. Remember, unless it's on a micro budget a production company is going to spend millions to make it. You have to have a pitch that makes them want to read your script and see if they want to spend millions on it.

    I'll be back later, there is a website that posts the loglines of iconic movies that have already been made. Compare them and see how they did it (of course a lot of loglines are written after something has been made which of course is easy to do).
     
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  23. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Okay from the site: http://www.filmdaily.tv/logline/top-box-office-logline-examples

    RESERVOIR DOGS
    After a simple jewelery heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

    THE GODFATHER
    The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

    Your logline so far:

    In the aftermath of global economic collapse, two estranged brothers travel to a deadly alien world in a desperate attempt to steal a device that will provide them with wealth and temptation beyond measure.

    Estranged isn't a strong enough adjective to show character and probably isn't related to the plot.

    Your logline peaks interest but before you write it, it brings up a lot of questions that I'm sure you will be dealing with:

    If it is after global economic collapse how do they have the money or a ship to get to this other planet?

    (This is why I wondered if the planet sends them on this deadly mission to get the device then their greed could get in the way to jeopardize the mission.)

    How do they know about this device? If others know wouldn't they want to go too?
    (Again, why is it these two brothers that are going)

    What is it about this device that would provide wealth to, anybody really, in a collapsed economy?
     
  24. Mklangelo

    Mklangelo New Member

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    There's no way to answer all of that in one sentence. That's for the synopsis.
     
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  25. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Only you know your plot but this is what comes to my mind, you would have to change it to fit your story.

    In the aftermath of global economic collapse, two brothers are offered stays of executions and release from prison if they travel to a deadly alien world and steal a device that will provide wealth beyond measure to the ailing planet. But will their greed and selfish interests jeopardize the mission?

    So, in this example we know a lot. The brothers are no angels (we don't need to know they're estranged in the logline), the stakes are high, and their flaws may ruin it for everybody.
     

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