logline The Runner

Hi.

I created this logline and would like to know your thoughts.

A college football star's dream of turning pro is jeopardized when he's charged with the task of caring for his niece following his sister's tragic death.



Thank you very much for your feedback.
 
Another suggestion? Throw an adjective in there before 'college football star.' Give us a taste of his personality.

Not saying to use this but as an example...

A narcissistic college football star must put his NFL dreams on hold to raise his orphaned niece.

With some kind of adjective? You're helping US read between the lines. You're helping us SEE the drama. We're already wondering how it unfolds.

Good luck!
 
What's the inciting incident? What forces this change? Why does HE have to be the one to care for the niece? What challenges will he face? Give us the promise of the premise - tell us what we can expect in terms of drama and conflict in Act 2.
 
What's the inciting incident? What forces this change? Why does HE have to be the one to care for the niece? What challenges will he face? Give us the promise of the premise - tell us what we can expect in terms of drama and conflict in Act 2.
The sister's tragic death is the INCITING INCIDENT. No one else being available to care for the niece is what FORCES the change. Maybe the possibility of the niece being placed in foster care or worse... An orphanage. Could be why he is the only one left to care for her. The challenges are OBVIOUS in my humble opinion. A kid who wants to become a football star now has to care for his niece. How would THAT alter his day by day life? Quite a lot! A logline doesn't have to detail the challenges... All it has to do is give us some DOTS to CONNECT on our own. Allow US to fill in the blanks.

This is a story of a kid now having to take care of a kid when YESTERDAY? All he wanted to do was become a football star. That's your drama. That's your conflict.

Which is all a marketing logline needs. If this were a logline created to stick in front of the writer to keep them remembering what their concept is about during the writing process? Then yes... It might help to have more info depending on the writer.
 
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There is a large difference between writing a logline for a finished script you are bringing to market and one for a story idea you have floating around in your head. It was not stated which this is for. I find that having a clear idea of the story before writing helps me stay on track as it were. Even if Fitmax2011 has written the entire screenplay, knowing the answers to the questions I asked would allow me to make an informed decision on how effective that logline is at portraying the story.
As far as the inciting incident being obvious, not so much. Where is the father? The grandparents? Are there no adult relatives who aren't in college? Is he, perchance, the child's Godfather? I can project a lot into Fit's logline, but the story I envision isn't necessarily the one (s)he wants to tell.
Asking, "Is this logline good?" is a bit vague. "In a dark, distant, past, where food is more valuable than gold, one woman must fight for survival." is a good logline. It doesn't really convey the story of Gone With the Wind though.
 
You're preaching to the choir... I use two loglines myself. One I call the compass logline that I write before I ever sit down to write the actual script. Another logline for marketing the script afterward.

And? I KNOW it was not stated "which this is for."

I replied to the post, which I would never do before actually reading it in the first place.

Based JUST on what the OP has in their post? I think the inciting incident is obvious... What does the father have to do with the inciting incident BASED JUST on the OPs stated logline? We can immediately assume he's NOT in the picture. He's exposition. He doesn't even need to be mentioned yet.

Where is the father? The grandparents? Are there no adult relatives who aren't in college? Is he, perchance, the child's Godfather?
Based on what the OP has written here? These questions should be played out and answered in the script... They don't have to be included in the logline unless of course, it's a logline to keep the premise and concept in front of the OP while he or she writes the script.

I can project a lot into Fit's logline, but the story I envision isn't necessarily the one (s)he wants to tell.
Exactly. That's what a marketing logline is supposed to DO. Make the listener or reader project... Ask questions. Connect some dots. Want to know MORE... Just like you.

Asking, "Is this logline good?" is a bit vague.
I think it's fine for what it is. Which is why I replied with what little notes I thought could enhance what the OP already has. I assume if the OP wanted MORE than what they asked for in the post? They would have done exactly that... Asked for MORE.

"In a dark, distant, past, where food is more valuable than gold, one woman must fight for survival." is a good logline. It doesn't really convey the story of Gone With the Wind though.
LOL. No argument there re: GONE WITH THE WIND. Not the logline. Not quite sure what THAT has to do with anything but sure.
 
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Hi!

Thank you very much for the replies.

So this is some additional information about the story.

The protagonist's name is Arthur and he had a very strong bond and close relationship with his late sister (the opposite with his older brother). They had an abusive father. The sister was the only one to stand her ground against the abuser. Arthur, the youngest, was commonly the favorite target of his father's rage, so it was common that his sister acted as his protector (or at least tried). Their mother was a victim of the abuse too and to survive, she excused her husband's behavior by blaming the children or minimizing the situations.

Despite the extended family cared for Arthur, his brother and sister, nobody dared to criticize the parenting skills of Arthur's father...with the exception of grandma. The grandmother loved the children unconditionally and dared to give advise to their father. In Arthur's eyes, she was the only adult figure who believed in him. Grandma died when Arthur was 17 years old. Arthur never met his grandfather.

Due to his upbringing, as an adult Arthur has experienced light symptoms of PTSD without knowing it, and once Arthur is taking care of his niece, every mistake the protagonist makes while rising her creates a burden because Arthur thinks he is like his father. Thus, he now experiences full PTSD symptoms.

* Where is the father? He died in the same event Arthur's sister died.

* Are there no adult relatives who aren't in college? Yes. Arthur was so concerned with her niece's fate that he talked to the people he thought could take care of her. Arthur talked with his brother who loves children (other people's children) and has the means, but there was a reason why the brother decided not to procreate. Other candidate was Arthur's brother-in-law...a hard worker, family man father of 4 children. He did want to take care of the child, but his wife was not willing to do the work. The grandparents in the husband's side are struggling with their own problems as the grandfather is in dialysis and the grandmother could not take care more responsibilities. Other relatives were willing to take care the child only for some days.

As "unknown screenwriter" said, there was no way Arthur would let his niece to end up living in foster care or an orphanage. There is also one important reason Arthur feels he has some responsibility in the matter. Arthur thinks he is in debt with his sister. She always tried to protect him...take care of him in the middle of the storm. Now, he needs to give back and protect her sister's daughter.

Thank you very much for your replies. I really appreciate the feedback.

I'm still developing the story and trying to see where this can lead me.

Have a great and productive day!
 
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Hi.

This is a new version of the logline.

When a perfectionist college footballer is tasked with fostering his niece after his sister’s death, his new parenting role threatens to jeopardize his NFL dreams.

Thanks!
 
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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Why "perfectionist"? Aren't all star athletes perfectionists by necessity?

"Tasked" is awkward and rarely used so I'd avoid it.

I'd try "raising" rather than "fostering." It's clearer and (I think) the term foster care is usually used outside of the family.

Cut "parenting" as it's already implied.

I think you can say simply "jeopardizes" rather than "threatens to jeopardize." And "life" might be better than "role"?


So I'd take it down to something like this:

When a college football player must raise his niece after after his sister's death, his new life jeopardizes his NFL dreams.
 
The Higher the Concept the easier it is to get read.
Mlesemann nailed it with ,"A college football star puts his own dreams on hold to raise his orphaned niece," which is essentially "A person subjugates his own wants to the needs of someone he loves" and that's as High a Concept as there is. It's beautiful-- everyone can relate, and adding more info will only damage the log.
It's a High Concept because it's a basic human story that everyone can relate too. He could be a Longshoremen, or an Astronaut, a Fast Food Manager or a Road Kid. It doesn't matter.
In any case, loglines are not meant to answer unasked questions, they are meant to provoke them.
 
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