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  • Need help with logline

    I just wanted some opinions on my logline. Is it strong enough? How can I spice it up, and any other tips! Thanks!


    Logline: Two teenage girls, neglected by the foster care system, take their lives into their own hands by selling drugs. Their troubled past leads to, drug addiction, violence, and hopelessness, which all come to a head in this gritty story of survival.

  • #2
    Needs more... Hmmm I don't know but If I knew a bit more about the story I could richen it out a bit. But it needs more "grittyness" if thats a word :)
    Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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    • #3
      Heres the Synopsis:

      Heads is the story of two wildly neglected foster kids, who break out of the system and support themselves by selling drugs. Mercedes and Krista became friends through disturbing circumstances, which led to an extremely dysfunctional relationship. They are both severely damaged from their troubled past and mask the pain through heavy alcohol and drug use. Krista's behavior has become more erratic and Mercedes is starting to draw near to another person. After two years of friendship their whole way of life is threatened on this fateful day

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jhylton View Post
        I just wanted some opinions on my logline. Is it strong enough? How can I spice it up, and any other tips! Thanks!


        Logline: Two teenage girls, neglected by the foster care system, take their lives into their own hands by selling drugs. Their troubled past leads to, drug addiction, violence, and hopelessness, which all come to a head in this gritty story of survival.
        Something your log line doesn't have, that ALL good log lines have, is irony. I don't see any irony in your log line.

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        • #5
          How about this?

          The lives of two reckless teenage girls come to a head, when their drug dealing and drug abuse, cease’s to disguise their dysfunctional relationship and their painful troubled past.

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          • #6
            [at]Jhylton:

            I think something like this is closer to what I mean:

            "Neglected by the foster care system that was meant to protect them, two teenage girls become trapped in a downward spiral of drug addiction and violence that leads them deeper into the criminal underworld."

            Irony - Neglected, Care, Protect.

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            • #7
              My 2 cents, FWIW:

              The sole purpose of a log line is to make the reader say, "I have to read this!" Do you feel that your log line does this? What carrot does it dangle in front of the reader?

              What I get from your log line is: Two teenage girls begin selling drugs.

              This is fine, a good start, but where do we go from there? Basically, you say that it leads to trouble. Okay, what kind of trouble? Addiction, violence, hopelessness. Yawn. Seen it a million times.

              Do you see what I'm saying? If you're going to tell a story about two teenage girls selling drugs, then tell us what makes this story different from every other story about drug dealers.

              For example: Two runaway teenage girls attempt to support themselves by dealing meth. When they become addicted, their supplier sells them into the sex trade, where the only way out is death...or murder.

              NOT implying that this is what your story is about at all, nor that the above is a particularly good log line. But you can see that I have given very specific information about what happens to the protagonists, what their central conflict is, and who the antagonist is. Generalizations do not sell readers. "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back." may be the essence of a story, but few will read it on the basis of that description alone.
              2001 Productions Web Site

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              • #8
                Check out this out:


                1. A logline must have the following

                - the protagonist
                - their goal
                - the antagonist/antagonistic force
                2. Don’t use a character name

                It has no intrinsic information and so is a useless word. Instead, tell us something about the character.
                - A sous-chef
                - An ex-superhero
                3. Use an adjective to give a little depth to that character

                This is your chance to show some character. Beware of cliche, and also of the power of irony.
                - A mute sous-chef
                - An alcoholic ex-superhero
                4. Clearly and quickly present the protagonist’s main goal.

                This is what drives your story and it will drive your logline too. Make sure that the goal is present early in the script - if you don’t make good on your logline’s promise early enough the rest of the script won’t get read.
                - A mute sous-chef wants to win the position of Head Chef at her boss's new restaurant
                - An alcoholic ex-superhero searches for his daughter
                5. Describe the Antagonist

                The antagonist should be described in a similar, but preferably shorter, manner than the hero. If the hero faces a more general antagonistic force then make it clear that they are battling something, not just life’s bumps and buffets.
                - A mute sous-chef wants must fight off an ambitious rival to win the position of Head Chef at her boss's new restaurant.
                - An alcoholic ex-superhero searches for his daughter after she is kidnapped by his dementing, jealous former sidekick.
                6. Make sure your protagonist is pro-active.

                He or she should drive the story and do so vigorously. A good logline will show the action of the story, the narrative momentum that carries you through the script. In some cases the protagonist will be reactive, but note, this is not the same as passive.
                7. If you can, include stakes and/or a ticking time-bomb

                These are very useful narrative devices that add urgency tou your script. If they fit in easily, include them in your logline.
                - To save his reputation a secretly gay frat-boy must sleep with 15 women by the end-of-semester party.
                8. Setup.

                Some scripts operate in a world with different rules to our own and require a brief setup to explain them, e.g. most science-fiction stories. Others have a protagonist whose personal or psychological history is crucial to the story and needs to be explained. Again, be brief.
                - In a post-apocalyptic wasteland...
                - Driven to a mental breakdown by an accident at work, an aquarium manager...
                9. About the ending

                Do not reveal the script’s ending, even if it is the next The Usual Suspects. The story, and thus the logline, should be good enough to hold up by itself; a surprise ending should be a lovely bonus found when reading the script. N.B. This all changes when you get to writing your treatment.
                10. Don’t tell the story, sell the story.

                Create a desire to see the script as well as telling them what’s in it. Loglines are like poetry, every word counts. Tinker, test, and tinker some more.
                Good luck, and feel free to submit samples in the comments box.
                Reference:
                http://www.raindance.org/site/index.php?aid=5316

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                • #9
                  Ok, how about this:

                  Two intelligent teenager girls (protagonists, target market and irony :p) must fight against an evil drug lord (antagonist), and escape from the tropical island they're trapped on (location & budget) that is surrounded by man eating sharks with frigging "laser beams" attached to their foreheads (conflict).

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                  • #10
                    Love that you have the courage to get on here and ask for tips! The first thing I noticed was too many commas, but what I would like to see more of is something like "Two neglected foster girls must turn to selling drugs as they are kicked out of the system and find what? Danger? Love? Betrayal? Addiction good. Violence would be better if more specific. What must they do to survive? Kill? Prostitute?

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                    • #11
                      Did the OP figure out his Log Line?
                      Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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                      • #12
                        Still working on it

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                        • #13
                          Love that reference info, Director!

                          Yeah that first logline is just "2 Girls are addicted to drugs...oh, and it's bad for them" We've seen that a million times. It's the what happens next that counts.

                          I use something I call the BUT factor--it's usually the shift from first act to second act--but it doesn't have to be....but the idea is that that the status quo shifts to something with more problems, i.e.: conflict. Some writers call it the wrench, or treeing the protagonist, or a zillion other terms. I call it the BUT factor 'cause I use the BUT as a game changer. It spins the story in another direction.

                          Star Wars : A farm kid is being recruited to take part in the rebellion and refuses, citing family responsibilities.....BUT---when his guardians are killed by the Empire, he loses everything he loves and there's left nothing to stand in his way.


                          {These are by no means refined--just quick notes to make a point.}


                          Frasier: Eddie the dog is left in Frasier's care by his father...BUT--when Eddie gets sick in his care, Frasier must find a way to cure Eddie all the while keeping the events from his father.


                          Your second version is a bit deeper, but I still don't see the BUT factor there. You don't actually need to use the word BUT to spin the story--it's the idea I'm trying to impress upon you.

                          You kinda have a But factor starting here in version 2:

                          <<Krista's behavior has become more erratic and Mercedes is starting to draw near to another person. After two years of friendship their whole way of life is threatened on this fateful day>>

                          But it's not clear enough to suggest any real threat or jeopardy to the girls [other than addiction]...this may be fixed with fine-tuning your word choices. Maybe change erratic to dangerous or life-threatening....and tell us why Mercedes drawing to another person is bad {after all, it could be a good thing, depending--but it shouldn't be, story-wise, though}. And what is it about "that day" especially. There's a hint of a BUT factor--but it's not there yet.

                          FYI--ceases requires no apostrophe...don't fall into the trap of adding extraneous apostrophes for no reason. If you honestly don't know when and when not to use them don't use the social network to inform you...get a book on punctuation and read it--twice.


                          Kurt Hathaway
                          -------------------
                          VikingDream7 Productions
                          Video Production & Editing

                          khathawayart[at]gmail.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Director View Post
                            [at]Jhylton:

                            I think something like this is closer to what I mean:

                            "Neglected by the foster care system that was meant to protect them, two teenage girls become trapped in a downward spiral of drug addiction and violence that leads them deeper into the criminal underworld."

                            Irony - Neglected, Care, Protect.
                            That's perfect

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by khathawayart View Post
                              Love that reference info, Director!
                              I use something I call the BUT factor--khathawayart[at]gmail.com
                              WOW Kurt, that is awesome. When you can reduce something as important as that down to one simple word "but", it makes the rules easier to remember. Thanks for the insight.

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