BY DARIN BRADLEY, Premiumbeat
A well-written logline is an effective tool for selling your film project. A bad one, however, can stop it in its tracks. Here’s what you need to know.
A logline is a simple descriptive sentence that identifies the inciting incident (motivation and/or risks), the protagonist, the primary action, and the antagonist. This straightforward sentence reduces all the complexity and nuance of your script into a digestible takeaway that makes it simpler for the various brokers who bring movies to life to move big, beautiful, ungainly scripts around.
They are a tried-and-true tool that most box office successes don’t try to reinvent. Let’s look at an example from The Silence of the Lambs:
A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.
Here’s how the formula breaks down:
- Protagonist: “young F.B.I. cadet”
- Action: “must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer”
- Antagonist: “another serial killer”
- Inciting incident: “serial killer who skins his victims.”
Read more here on Premiumbeat about the Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Logline.