logline Hostage (working title)

ZPashley

Member
The logline is for an action/thriller.

Thrilled to be maid of honour for her sister's wedding and dreaming of her own, a small town waitress may not live to the end of her shift, when terrorists took over her restaurant.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
Loglines are hard for those who haven't read the script because we are just rewording what you have written and you may have missed out on vital parts.

If you can post a synopsis/plot summary it would help.

But right off my thoughts are the "wedding" part does not even need to be mentioned. If it does tell us why because what you posted certainly does not make me want to watch this movie. Is something at stake?

The middle has an eminent doom feeling, or what's called a "ticking time bomb" scenario, and has potential. Can you elaborate on why the end of shift matters or what the terrorists want? Why have they taken them hostage?

Your protagonist needs to drive the momentum that carries us through the story.

Here is the logline for Speed (1994).

A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
What you have is the protagonist (check), the antagonist force (check) but lack the guts. What's the story here, what is at stake, what is she doing to make sure of a positive result (her goal)?

It must be compelling!
 
Your script will go through many permutations before it is finalized. As I have learned, the script will also be "rewritten" in preproduction, production and editing. It's much too soon for a logline.

Why is it important that she be a waitress? Couldn't she be any profession driving anywhere and stopping at the diner for a cup of coffee & a quick bite before she drives on? Why is a wedding important to your story? Why is "dreaming of her own wedding" so important? Why would terrorists take over a restaurant? A restaurant? Really? Why would terrorists take over a restaurant? These questions need to be answered.

The core of your unwritten script seems to be a young woman gets caught up in a dangerous, perhaps violent situation. It could just as easily be gang members chased by the police barricade themselves in the restaurant after their getaway vehicle is damaged and they can't go any further. She could be a waitress, a bank teller, an off-duty cop, an advertising exec, current or ex-military, a teacher......

Oh, your villain needs to be really interesting as well. (Make the antagonist female as well?)

I can set up scenarios by the dozen, and even fairly interesting characters, but I suck at character arcs and dialog. (When I was a musician I was never any good at lyrics, either.)
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
CART, HORSE!

I just realized in your Welcome post you said you always write the logline first, and you only have a logline in this instance.

There's nothing wrong with using this as a technique to come up with the basis of your story, but it's pointless to ask us for feedback on a logline you have no script for. No I am not discouraging your process but...

Go ahead and write your logline if it helps you brainstorm your idea
Then start writing your script
Rewrite
Rewrite
Rewrite
Rewrite again
Look at your logline. Does it still make sense?
Write another if not
NOW ask for logline feedback
:D

What you are asking is, "What do you think of the slogan, Coke is it!" When you have no cola recipe.
 

ZPashley

Member
CART, HORSE!

I just realized in your Welcome post you said you always write the logline first, and you only have a logline in this instance.

There's nothing wrong with using this as a technique to come up with the basis of your story, but it's pointless to ask us for feedback on a logline you have no script for. No I am not discouraging your process but...

Go ahead and write your logline if it helps you brainstorm your idea
Then start writing your script
Rewrite
Rewrite
Rewrite
Rewrite again
Look at your logline. Does it still make sense?
Write another if not
NOW ask for logline feedback
:D

What you are asking is, "What do you think of the slogan, Coke is it!" When you have no cola recipe.
Thank you for the feedback. I am going to write out the outline before I write the story and leave the logline until the end. I didn't realise that I had to do the logline after the script. Also, I will leave that bit out of my welcome post. 😊
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
There's no rules but it's easier to do in the end. You distill down the story to one or two sentences so the person about to read the screenplay knows the general premise.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Welcome to both indietalk and screenwriting.
I didn't realise that I had to do the logline after the script.
As Our Founder said, you don't have to do anything in any order.

The logline is really for "selling" purposes. I don't even think of it until my
script is finished and I'm looking for a producer (or agent) to read it.

I never write an outline or treatment either. Doesn't mean you shouldn't.
Just write. Sounds like you have an interesting story. Get to it![/QUOTE]
 
Last edited:

ZPashley

Member
Thank you for the help. I do need to put my socks on and start writing the story out don't I. I need someone to shout at me over my shoulder :director: like this.
 

ZPashley

Member
Welcome to both indietalk and screenwriting.

As Our Founder said, you don't have to do anything in any order.

The logline is really for "selling" purposes. I don't even think of it until my
script is finished and I'm looking for a producer (or agent) to read it.

I never write an outline or treatment either. Doesn't mean you shouldn't.
Just write. Sounds like you have an interesting story. Get to it!
[/QUOTE]
Thank you for the help. I do need to put my socks on and start writing the story out don't I. I need someone to shout at me over my shoulder :director: like this. If I posted this message twice I apologise. Trying to get used to the messaging.
 
Last edited:
I think I know where Zoe's coming from. One of the challenges I have when trying to share ideas is answering the question "what's it about?" when, in many cases, I don't know, or can't say. I might only have a beginning (I have an awful lot of beginnings in my head) or have a Great Vision that's too complex to put into words. In both cases, I've been advised in the past to start by crystallising my idea into a single sentence, with the further advice that if I can't do that, it'll be impossible to get anyone else to come on board. :(
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
I wouldn't call that a logline, I'd ask, "what do you think of this idea?" It may sound like semantics but you can tell us about your idea in a couple words or sentences, and it may be an awesome idea but terrible logline (written poorly for a logline).
 

ZPashley

Member
I agree with you on this. That is what I am trying to do crystallising my idea into a sentence as you put. But for me I can see the start of the beginning and the end but never in between.
 

ZPashley

Member
Well I have figured out the theme: courage conquers fear
and would this be much simple

a 30 ( or younger ) year old waitress who fears that she will never marry gets caught up in a dangerous situation at her resturant.

Maybe they are not terrorists after all.
 
I watched Deterrence the other day, in which a US president ends up stranded in a small town diner during an international emergency, so the setting and character sound perfectly reasonable to me. Without more to go on, though, I don't yet see the relevance of the waitress worrying about her love life. Maybe if it was her last shift before getting married, that might make more sense?
 

mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
If you want to incorporate some dark humor, I have a mental image of the waitress being in the restroom trying on her maid of honor dress to show to her colleagues - and that's when the terrorists storm in. So she deals with the entire encounter while trying to keep her dress neat & clean.

Of course you need a reason WHY they come to that restaurant at that moment. It could be because they're after someone who is eating there, who they THINK (mistakenly?) is there, or because they're running from someone/something.
 

Top