Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the elusive log line

Exercise 2 of my online class... write a log line for your story.

Thanks to Julian, and Christopher Lockhart, I knew a lot more about log lines than I had before, which was nothing. I made a few notes from Mr. Lockhart's article called "I wrote a 120 page script but I can't write a logline: The Construction of a Logline".

Logline must have three main things.
Who is the story about (the protaganist)
What he strives for (his goal)
What stands in his way (Antagonistic force)

Who: DO NOT use character names. (Doh! The first thing I changed in my logline after reading this article!) Use well chosen adjectives for the character.
Goal: find the ONE major goal. This is triggered by the inciting incident, or the turning point.
Conflict: what prevents the protag from reaching his goal.

Some tips:
Use visual/external aesthetics
Makes ure the Protag initiates the essential action of the story
For an ensemble, better to focus on one protag, or central character than the ensemble.
Physical goals ("Hero Archetypes") are prefered in Hollywood over psychological goals.

Sounds easy enough, ya? NO! It's still really hard. But thanks to this and my online class, I have a much improved log line now.

The Tea Group:
A shy bookstore owner has quietly conducted hypnotic readings for years, but when one of the ladies dies, leaving him a fortune, an investigation into his troubled past leaves him struggling to find the courage to face the woman he loves.

Of course, if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears, and grateful for the help!

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