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Director
03-16-2013, 05:00 PM
I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of log lines people can come up with. This is open to everyone.

Rules:
1. Log lines must be originally yours, not from a movie.
2. You only have a log line and no script.
3. Log line must give enough information so people know what the movie is about.
4. It must be in as few words as possible.
5. It must be in one continuous sentence (commas are allowed, but punctuation must be correct)
6. Log lines become public domain and anyone can write a script from the log lines.
7. Log lines must begin and end in quotation marks.
8. You are allowed to critique log lines, but not criticize.
The rest of the rules we'll make up as we go along.

And so, without further ado, here's my first log line. I wrote it in about 7 minutes this afternoon:

"A timid software engineer creates a computer program that takes on a life of its own and begins to maliciously text vulnerable people, persuading them into committing suicide."

NHummel
03-16-2013, 05:42 PM
I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of log lines people can come up with. This is open to everyone.

Rules:
Log lines must be originally yours, not from a movie.
You only have a log line and no script.
Log line must give enough information so people know what the movie is about.
It must be in as few words as possible.
It must be in one continuous sentence (commas are allowed, but punctuation must be correct)
Log line become public domain and anyone can write a script from the log lines.
Log lines must begin and end in quotation marks.
You are allowed to critique log lines, but not criticize.
The rest of the rules we'll make up as we go along.

And so, without further ado, here's my first log line. I wrote it in about 7 minutes this afternoon:

"A timid software engineer creates a computer program that takes on a life of its own and begins to maliciously text vulnerable people, persuading them into committing suicide."

Reminds me a little of Echelon Conspiracy with a dark twist, and more background information. I like it.

Nick Soares
03-16-2013, 06:36 PM
Jenna, a single mother of two finally gets a vacation away from her stressful life, everything is going great until she realizes she has a sudden growth in her eye. As time goes on she slowly begins to understand it is not a growth, but a parasite that is trying to consume her body.

Director
03-16-2013, 07:02 PM
Jenna, a single mother of two finally gets a vacation away from her stressful life, everything is going great until she realizes she has a sudden growth in her eye. As time goes on she slowly begins to understand it is not a growth, but a parasite that is trying to consume her body.

Nick, how about:
"A newly divorced mother on the brink of reclaiming her life from an abusive relationship discovers a growth in her eye that turns out to be an alien parasite possessing her body."

Nick Soares
03-16-2013, 07:09 PM
Nick, how about:
"A newly divorced mother on the brink of reclaiming her life from an abusive relationship discovers a growth in her eye that turns out to be an alien parasite possessing her body."

Much better, I was never one to write log lines but I see you have quite a talent :)

Mark
03-17-2013, 09:42 AM
Haha Nick didn't follow the RULES! Shame Shame! -- Great thread Director

"A group of high school students investigate a campus suicide. As they get closer to solving the case they begin to realize strange events happening to all involved"

Log Lines are HARD

Director
03-17-2013, 10:22 AM
Haha Nick didn't follow the RULES! Shame Shame! -- Great thread Director

"A group of high school students investigate a campus suicide. As they get closer to solving the case they begin to realize strange events happening to all involved"

Log Lines are HARD

Yes, Nick broke some of the rules, but so did you. Look at rule #5. But that's all right. The purpose of this exercise is to help each other to become better at our writing craft.

Now, here's your log line rewritten. I'm not saying it's better, but I'm just trying to follow my own rules :)~

“Strange events occur when a group of underachieving students investigate the bizarre events surrounding a fellow classmate's suicide.”

Can you pick out the irony in the log line?

Nick Soares
03-17-2013, 11:44 AM
Wow director you are really good at this, I'm serious.

kevinAvis
03-17-2013, 12:00 PM
I like this...
Here is mine.
"A serial killer begins killing people who illegally download horror movies in order to dispense justice."
I will add a tagline to this:
Piracy kills film industry, now it kills you.

Director
03-17-2013, 12:52 PM
Thanks Nick.

onthebubble
03-17-2013, 12:53 PM
In the spirit of rule #4

"Ex proves she is a ho."

Director
03-17-2013, 01:02 PM
I like this...
Here is mine.
"A serial killer begins killing people who illegally download horror movies in order to dispense justice."
I will add a tagline to this:
Piracy kills film industry, now it kills you.

Nice Kevin, you added the irony.

How about:
"A serial killer codes movies with hacking tags to track people illegally downloading movies to dispense his own form of cruel justice.”

Director
03-17-2013, 01:08 PM
In the spirit of rule #4

"Ex proves she is a ho."

How about:

"An man's ex-wife takes a test to prove she is a whore by taking an oral exam."

:)~

kevinAvis
03-17-2013, 01:09 PM
Well yeah i think both will do the trick.
Let's say you've just decode my logline... :)

onthebubble
03-17-2013, 01:13 PM
How about:

"An man's ex-wife takes a test to prove she is a whore by taking an oral exam."

:)~

"A man's ex-wife takes an oral exam, proving she's a whore."

Director
03-17-2013, 01:14 PM
"A man's ex-wife takes an oral exam, proving she's a whore."

Even better.

Nick Soares
03-17-2013, 01:23 PM
"Seriously one of the most interesting threads on filmmakerforum.org"

Director
03-17-2013, 03:00 PM
Yes, and funny all the new threads from people wanting help with log lines seem to miss this.

mara
03-18-2013, 10:10 AM
A crack military unit is moved to its next assault position, leaving top secret documents guarded only by a group of army clerks.

(inspired by something my dad experienced many years ago, when he was in the army)

Director
03-18-2013, 10:25 AM
A crack military unit is moved to its next assault position, leaving top secret documents guarded only by a group of army clerks.

(inspired by something my dad experienced many years ago, when he was in the army)

Nice Mara. You've got irony, conflict, target audience, budget, and the complete story in one go. About the only thing I might have added was which war it was; Vietnam, WWII, Koren, etc., so it implies the antagonist. Other than maybe that suggestion, a beautifully, well written log line.

BTW. My dad was a WWII vet and 30 year military man. I still remember his harrowing stories and how as a kid I sat in rapt attention when he told one. And I think war movies, as a genre, will probably never go out of style.

mara
03-18-2013, 10:29 AM
Thanks! Korean War...
Now I just need a logline for the screenplay I'm actually working on !

Director
03-18-2013, 10:33 AM
I'm sure with your talent you'll come up with a good one.

mara
03-18-2013, 10:35 AM
Thanks! encouragement appreciated (seriously).

crypticpro
03-19-2013, 11:35 AM
Log line: “Paddy’s outstretched legs are anchored to the bench; Dr. Won Ball, an eccentric sex change quack, raises his arm for the final cut with a sharp instrument…… A meat chopper…… Ouch!”


Log line; Old Paddy’s sex life is a comedy of hilarious misfortunes that begin with a visit to Dr.Won Ball, a sex change quack who uses a meat chopper to castrate Paddy.

Benja
03-19-2013, 11:58 AM
Let me take a crack at it.

"An introverted clerk becomes the only witness of a robbery and must help a problematic cop who is trying to catch the robber."

Jhylton
03-19-2013, 12:52 PM
A aspiring Journalist decides to write a piece on a local sex offender. She quickly becomes obsessed and starts stalking him, what she doesn't realize is that she had become his target.

Director
03-19-2013, 01:19 PM
Let me take a crack at it.

"An introverted clerk becomes the only witness of a robbery and must help a problematic cop who is trying to catch the robber."

What is problematic about the cop? Is this a comedy?
Try to avoid using the same words, or similar words in your log line; robbery/robber, and remove unnecessary words, like this:
"An introverted clerk is the sole witness to a robbery and must help a problematic cop catch the thief."

Director
03-19-2013, 01:41 PM
A aspiring Journalist decides to write a piece on a local sex offender. She quickly becomes obsessed and starts stalking him, what she doesn't realize is that she had become his target.

Why add these words? They add nothing to your log line: aspiring, decides, quickly becomes obsessed, doesn't realize.
Be sure to use intriguing words.

Try:
"A na´ve New York Journalist writing a piece about a twisted sex offender unwittingly becomes his next target."

You're probably wondering why I added New York? Really, it could be any place, but this hints at budget. You could say Topeka Kansas to show an even lower budget. Also, there's something gritty about New York that adds a seamy, or sordid tone to it. I added the word "naive" to put more emphasis on the irony, and to create a mental image of someone vulnerable.

Director
03-19-2013, 01:44 PM
Log line: “Paddy’s outstretched legs are anchored to the bench; Dr. Won Ball, an eccentric sex change quack, raises his arm for the final cut with a sharp instrument…… A meat chopper…… Ouch!”

Ummm...well, anyone want to take a crack at this one?

mara
03-20-2013, 07:36 AM
This (sort of) violates Director's 2nd rule, because I have 2/3 of the first draft of a script :)
But since (a) I like this thread and (b) feedback would be useful, here's what I currently have:

A newly divorced woman's drive from New Jersey to Florida to start her dream job is not the vacation
she envisioned when her companions include her widowed father, her mother's ashes in a coffee can,
and a GPS with a mind of its own.

Jimmy
03-20-2013, 08:04 AM
Hay Mara, what genre would that be?

mara
03-20-2013, 08:12 AM
Hopefully comedy, if I'm going to pick one. (hopefully meaning - I hope it's actually funny...)

But if I'm not forced to pick just one: I see it as predominantly light (comedy) with dark highlights (drama),
as well as having a fantasy aspect.

Director
03-20-2013, 08:26 AM
This (sort of) violates Director's 2nd rule, because I have 2/3 of the first draft of a script :)
But since (a) I like this thread and (b) feedback would be useful, here's what I currently have:

A newly divorced woman's drive from New Jersey to Florida to start her dream job is not the vacation
she envisioned when her companions include her widowed father, her mother's ashes in a coffee can,
and a GPS with a mind of its own.

Hi Mara

Well, if this is a comedy, which it seems to be, you might try this:
"Newly divorced and relocating to another state to begin her dream job, a woman journeys south with her aging dad, her mom in a coffee can, and a GPS with its own travel agenda."

mara
03-20-2013, 08:29 AM
Thanks, Director!
That's what I was trying for, but not quite getting.

Director
03-20-2013, 08:33 AM
Mara

As an additional note, I can picture this GPS wanting to stop at every roadside attraction, like the "Worlds largest ball of string" and other oddities, and even her senile dad taking sides with the GPS during arguments.

mara
03-20-2013, 08:37 AM
oh yes! I already had the GPS creating detours of his own liking, but I love the idea of the roadside attractions.

Once I have a good draft (2nd draft minimum) written, I'm going to drive the route myself, so I can find some great stuff.

Dad (probably) won't be senile, but since the story is going to (as usual in my writing) look at family
conflicts, there's nothing to stop him from agreeing with the GPS anyway.
It would just highlight father/daughter conflicts nicely.

Director
03-20-2013, 08:41 AM
oh yes! I already had the GPS creating detours of his own liking, but I love the idea of the roadside attractions.

Once I have a good draft (2nd draft minimum) written, I'm going to drive the route myself, so I can find some great stuff.

Dad (probably) won't be senile, but since the story is going to (as usual in my writing) look at family
conflicts, there's nothing to stop him from agreeing with the GPS anyway.
It would just highlight father/daughter conflicts nicely.

It sounds like a really good script idea. Hope it gets made so I can watch it.

You know, comedy is what I mainly write, and letting the comedy come from the characters is what makes it more fun.

Nick Soares
03-20-2013, 10:18 AM
Just my personal thoughts on the last Log Line:

You guys tell me if I am wrong, but I think the "GPS" part needs to go, If anything it causes confusion..?.. Its the last few words and all I think is "What could be wrong with it, is it broke, is the whole move based around this GPS, does it talk, - I don't know, let me know your thoughts

mara
03-20-2013, 10:25 AM
I want the gps in there somehow...yes it talks, offers opinions, is a bit of a Greek chorus, and adds
a fantasy element that's different from other road trip movies.

Not quite like the talking car in Knight Rider....much lighter, but that idea.

Nick Soares
03-20-2013, 10:30 AM
Ahhh ok, makes since!

I told you guys I am bad with Log Lines :0 - You all never listen ;)

Director
03-20-2013, 01:16 PM
I try to write comedy with a heart, so I can imagine this GPS talks, but more importantly, listens. Maybe the woman and her aging dad have some sort of rift between them, and this GPS (by sending them off to these side destinations), helps heal this rift.

But Mara, I'm not trying to re-write your script, but I have been thinking that it could really be made into a great story, funny yet touching, and since you deal with family type situation, should almost write itself.

And Nick, since it is humor, I think the last line really causes the imagination to envision such scenarios. I don't think it should be any sort of "deus ex machina", but a little fantasy thrown in could make it really cute.

mara
03-20-2013, 07:12 PM
Director - yup, that's pretty much where I'm going.
There are issues between father and daughter, and of course others involving the mother who died.
And I'm also going to touch on some serious other issues, but with a light touch.

I wrote a one act play a few years ago that involved talking cats, the high cost of health care, gay marriage, and what
It means to be a writer. I like to combine things like that, so I can make some points without preaching/lecturing.

Director
03-22-2013, 08:19 AM
Mara

In writing screenplays, I think that combining elements will become the standard to which most script writers will aspire, yet it is truly a difficult task. The best, most recent example of combining elements into a script that I have seen was Jim Uhls' "Fight Club".

And here's why I think this is true, and what validates your take on writing. There are no new stories to tell. They have all been told a thousand times before, and the only thing we can do now is try to tell these stories in a different way. So combining elements and weaving them into and out of each other is probably the best way to create these dimensions. This is not easy to do without confusing the viewers, but some other great examples of this are: Memento, The Usual Suspects, The Game, The Matrix, to name but a few.

Kevin
03-22-2013, 12:37 PM
Okay, here's one.

Lost on the sea's of time Jameson, a man who no longer exists, must choose between reshaping history to prevent millions of deaths or to correct the mistake that caused his birth to never occur.

I admit, I based this on a time-travel idea I've kicked around for a while, though it's more based on the fictional "Science" of the concept than the story I have rattling about in my head.

Director
03-22-2013, 01:31 PM
Okay, here's one.

Lost on the sea's of time Jameson, a man who no longer exists, must choose between reshaping history to prevent millions of deaths or to correct the mistake that caused his birth to never occur.

I admit, I based this on a time-travel idea I've kicked around for a while, though it's more based on the fictional "Science" of the concept than the story I have rattling about in my head.

Well, I had to read this one a few times.

So here's my question. If one of Jamesons' choices is to "correct the mistake that caused his birth to never occur." how was he ever alive to begin with?

Let's get past that one first before we move on to a log line.

Kevin
03-22-2013, 09:01 PM
The physics of the universe, in this case. My concept was, he could exist in time BEFORE he was supposed to exist, but not after. Like I said, I was using a concept from a different story concept I had. It's what came to mind. Heh.

Director
03-23-2013, 01:43 AM
The physics of the universe, in this case. My concept was, he could exist in time BEFORE he was supposed to exist, but not after. Like I said, I was using a concept from a different story concept I had. It's what came to mind. Heh.

Ahhh...huh...I see...hmmm (Director drums his fingers and contemplates the ceiling for a few seconds. He then inspects his nails and chews off one that has grown overly long. He spits it towards the corner of the room, where, if one looked close enough, a small collection would come into view.)

Ok, that being the case, try this one on for size:
"In order to save humankind from near extinction, a multi dimensional being must travel through time to alter history and in the process risk his own existence."

Never use a person's name in a log line.
Someone check my punctuation on this log line.

Kevin
03-23-2013, 05:05 AM
Fair enough. No names. (Makes a note).

Director
04-16-2013, 09:40 PM
New Logline:

Genre: Comedy

"A group of has-been actors force a comeback when they hijack a high profile movie set, casting themselves with their kidnapped A-list counterparts."

Director
05-10-2013, 09:55 PM
"Worldwide independent filmmakers hatch a plan to make history by creating a movie pieced together by their collective efforts, but it all goes wrong as each one starts dropping dead from the evil that creeps from their computer monitors."

I started writing this as a joke, but really, it's not a half bad idea. :/~

Director
05-10-2013, 09:56 PM
LOL. And maybe even call it "Log lines from Hell"

L A Morgan
05-11-2013, 02:00 PM
"After the war between humans and machines, the humans have to create new ways to function."

It could possibly be a dark comedy.

L A Morgan
05-11-2013, 07:18 PM
Where would you like to go with your dark comedies? I might collaborate with you.

Aaron Jones
05-11-2013, 08:12 PM
"Adam lives a blissful existence until a dirty secret creeps up within him and his curiosity forces him to investigate himself, and he finds that he has another independent personality."

Anonymous Filmmaker
05-12-2013, 03:54 AM
I've just read every post on this thread, and learned all about the art of writing log lines! Thanks guys!

Havey
05-12-2013, 07:20 AM
These are hilarious, lol.

Anonymous Filmmaker
05-12-2013, 07:22 AM
These are hilarious, lol.

I second that :)