Love em or loathe em every writer is going to have to encounter them at some point.
Christopher Lockhart writes in his article that a logline should contain the following:
- Who the story is about (Protagonist)
- What he/she strives for (Goal)
- What stands in his/her way (Antagonistic Force)
This is not so difficult for a High Concept script. One of his examples is Liar Liar. The High Concept being “A Lawyer that cannot tell a lie”. As a logline he suggests that this could look like the following:
When his son wishes he will only tell the truth, an attorney, and pathological liar, is magically compelled to be honest for one day and struggles to win the biggest case of his career without telling a lie.
What though, if you are writing what he terms; a “slice-of-life screenplay”?
Todays post is to answer the question; have I met my first target of writing a logline for my script? The answer, thankfully, is yes I have and managed to get stuck into the paradigm a little to boot. There are still areas of concern, which I’ll get onto later. For now back to the question of loglines for psycologically driven screenplays as opposed to physical ones.
Using another example from Lockhart’s article, he sugests the logline for Love Acually would look like this:
A varied group of individuals struggle with the pleasures, pain and power of love.
Rather uninspiring yet accurate. And, as he points out, redundant; for Mr Curtis needs no logline to attract the attentions of a producer. It took me a long while to formulate the logline for my film, by which time I was pretty much in control of the plot and the characters, but I couldn’t get the logline down, because I kept thinking “this will never sell it”.
Then I realised something, the logline must be honest to the script, if someone is interested in getting behind this kind of a film they will want to know more than just the logline anyway and if they don’t… well then it wouldn’t matter what the hell I wrote.