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logline Loglines

I am a new screenwriter and very influenced by the concept of getting the bare bones structure idea down before proceeding. I am fascinated by loglines. Having just read Save The Cat and The Idea (Erik Bork), I completely convinced that without this core, the writer should not proceed. I am interested in the structure of loglines, as a form of expression as by nature they demand poetic functionality. If anyone has any comments about this, I would love to hear. I also have a logline (below) I would like to run by anyone who might care to give me feedback. Many Thanks, Michael

Comedic series logline draft

An Ivy League schooled, “Below The Line” worker, on a schlocky but popular SciFi TV series, has expectations, verging on entitlement, to rise “Above The Line” as a producer. His ambitions however are perpetually thwarted by his bad (personal, professional and drug) habits.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
The amount of commas shows just how wordy and complicated that logline is.

Also, quotation marks and parentheses.
 
I utilize two types of loglines... The first, which I call my COMPASS OUTLINE, is what I create to KEEP me ON TRACK with the STORY. Anytime I feel like I'm drifting off into the woods? I go back to my compass logline to help me see WHERE I might have drifted off.

The second logline I use is nothing more than a pitching logline... This is the kind of logline I use to pitch the completed or almost completed screenplay.

I certainly have my own ideas about how to construct both loglines but it would take me at least an hour to write it all down so I'll refrain from that.

As for your logline? It's a little wordy. Definitely too wordy to use in a pitch. I'd rather see you move your Protagonist's FLAWS up front however...

Maybe something along these lines...

An entitled Ivy League graduate druggie working on a schlocky SciFi TV series does whatever it takes to become a producer but at every turn he ends up being his own worst enemy.

It's not perfect but it's a start. I don't see why you'd need the below and above the line information... It adds nothing to the logline. All we need to know is he's not a producer but desperately wants to become one. Maybe he should be an assistant to the producer and always trying to scam his way into taking over AS producer.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I agree with what you posted and in fact, compass logline is needed before and as you write, and pitch logline isn't needed until after. Essentially.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
An Ivy League schooled, “Below The Line” worker, on a schlocky but popular SciFi TV series, has expectations, verging on entitlement, to rise “Above The Line” as a producer. His ambitions however are perpetually thwarted by his bad (personal, professional and drug) habits.
Sounds like a tragic hero story sans the entitlement. In other words, he should be humbled for us to care about his downward spiral.
 
I utilize two types of loglines... The first, which I call my COMPASS OUTLINE, is what I create to KEEP me ON TRACK with the STORY. Anytime I feel like I'm drifting off into the woods? I go back to my compass logline to help me see WHERE I might have drifted off.

The second logline I use is nothing more than a pitching logline... This is the kind of logline I use to pitch the completed or almost completed screenplay.

I certainly have my own ideas about how to construct both loglines but it would take me at least an hour to write it all down so I'll refrain from that.

As for your logline? It's a little wordy. Definitely too wordy to use in a pitch. I'd rather see you move your Protagonist's FLAWS up front however...

Maybe something along these lines...

An entitled Ivy League graduate druggie working on a schlocky SciFi TV series does whatever it takes to become a producer but at every turn he ends up being his own worst enemy.

It's not perfect but it's a start. I don't see why you'd need the below and above the line information... It adds nothing to the logline. All we need to know is he's not a producer but desperately wants to become one. Maybe he should be an assistant to the producer and always trying to scam his way into taking over AS producer.
That's great - I'm not sure if I can top that. Thank you!
 
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