Thursday, February 18, 2010

Logline Central - Prom

Logline Central is an irregular segment that takes a deeper look at loglines of scripts or projects that have just been purchased, as listed on DoneDealPro

Or, How NOT to Write a Logline.

Title: Prom
Logline: A group of teens prep for the big dance.
Writer: Katie Wech
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
More: Ted Griffin and Justin Springer will produce. Joe Nussbaum will direct.  

I'm sure there's more than meets the eyes with this logline. Disney is usually pretty smart about the moves it makes, so we have to trust that there's something this logline is hiding. So, not to rag on Disney, but I thought this snippet of a logline offered us a good reason to go over logline basics.

This one sentence offers us nothing. A scene, maybe, but certainly not a movie. When you write a logline, make sure you give a sense of the conflict involved. Or at least of the twist that makes this film unique.

A group of teenage aliens hiding out in human society try to avoid being discovered while getting ready for their high school prom. 

Ok. I'd bite.

A group of Hawaiian teens prep for their big dance on December 7, 1941. 

Conflict. Twist. More than the characters anticipate. I would also bite on this one.

Of course, Disney's making this, a director's attached, and I'll bet you the script's been written (or at least there's a treatment that's been approved). I don't think that a logline really matters for this project's future at this point. But if you read Done Deal Pro or other loglines for tips on how to write yours, DO NOT just mimic the above.

Remember, loglines should roughly follow the, "When X (inciting incident) happens, Y (protagonist) must..." They should be relatively active and, though only a sentence or two, give a sense of the overall plot. "After his wife is killed by an English magistrate, a Scottish farmer leads a rebellion against the crown for Scotland's freedom." Braveheart. You see the conflict (war, England), the protag (the farmer), and why he's doing this (his wife was killed). Teens getting ready for a prom maybe tells you who (the teens), but nothing as to why this is a challenge (or even a story).

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