Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » OSC recommends that screenwriters read this essay about log lines

   
Author Topic: OSC recommends that screenwriters read this essay about log lines
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Received this link
in email from OSC who received it from a producer, and OSC wanted to share it with the writers on Hatrack.

Posts: 7809 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
InarticulateBabbler
Member
Member # 4849

 - posted      Profile for InarticulateBabbler   Email InarticulateBabbler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Kathleeen--and thank OSC, too.
Posts: 3649 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nick T
Member
Member # 8052

 - posted      Profile for Nick T   Email Nick T         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi,

One line that I liked in the link was the following:

quote:
If the screenplay has systemic flaws, these flaws will appear as symptoms within the logline.

It's a nice test to try and construct a logline for a finished piece (though I might find it a little depressing).

Regards,

Nick


Posts: 705 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There were some great movies in there - it gave me an idea for next month's Intro-Show.

[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited November 14, 2008).]


Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Very interesting.
Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
annepin
Member
Member # 5952

 - posted      Profile for annepin   Email annepin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've heard this idea elsewhere, and I think it's great. Imagine if you were in an elevator with an agent or publisher and you had 5 seconds to sell to catch his or her interest. What would you say? This is a great guide to how to construct that line or two that will bring your story home.
Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've encountered several terms that are virtually identical in purpose and meaning to logline. Another of those writerly things where the lexicon is all over the place. As annepin noted, an elevator pitch is a term I've heard from publishers, editors, and readers. Another is dramatic premise or story premise or just premise, what a story's plot is about. There's a bunch more, some cutesy, some la-la weird, some obfuscative. No wonder every emerging writer feels like they have to reinvent the wheel. What if there were a widely accepted writer's lexicon for newly emerging writers to start with?
Posts: 2803 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Patrick James
Member
Member # 7847

 - posted      Profile for Patrick James   Email Patrick James         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Kathleen.

I suppose the unvoiced wisdom is: If a logline cannot be written to your story, then maybe it isn't a story.

I smell a logline contest in the writers challenge section.


Posts: 599 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Feel free, Patrick James.
Posts: 7809 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Patrick James
Member
Member # 7847

 - posted      Profile for Patrick James   Email Patrick James         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Starting those things isn't for me.

That is for the more experienced forumites.


Posts: 599 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, all you'd need to do is start a topic in the appropriate area, and people could work things out by concensus.

We could have one in the Discussing Published Hooks and Books area where people could try to create loglines and see if anyone recognizes the book or movie.

We could also have one in the Writing Challenges area where people could attempt to create loglines for one of their works in progress.

Or, we could suggest a logline as an alternative to the 13-line posts when people are asking for feedback on stories.

Lots of possibilities.


Posts: 7809 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TaleSpinner
Member
Member # 5638

 - posted      Profile for TaleSpinner   Email TaleSpinner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the link, Kathleen. Also, it's nice to hear that OSC thinks of us.

I agree that if you can write a logline for a story you're in better shape to write it than if you can't, and maybe we should have some challenges based on the idea.

But, I have one or two stories which people tell me they don't understand. It's incumbent on me to revise them until they can be understood. For one such story I know what the logline is, but if I share it, readers will "get it" without having to figure it out from the story.

So the question is, if we share loglines for our stories, will we compromise the ability of Hatrackers to read and crit the story as would the slush-pile reader, who will not read the logline even if we put it in the query letter--not for a short, at least ... maybe this would be a better idea for writing and selling novels?

Cheers,
Pat

ps We could have a two-phase sudden fiction challenge, where the first phase is to propose and revise loglines, and the second phase is to write a story using one of the revised loglines as a trigger.


Posts: 1589 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theworldinthewords
Member
Member # 5483

 - posted      Profile for theworldinthewords   Email theworldinthewords         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's a good point, but the main purpose of a logline isn't so much to act as a litmus test for your story but to grab the attention of a producer who doesn't have any time to spare. Most producers work 10-12 hour days that are packed with everything from wrangling financiers to attaching directors, directors of photography, etc. to projects. It's a very rushed profession and you just don't have time to pour over a billion queries and at all times. Because you don't have time, you want something you can read quickly, something that will grab your interest immediately and stand out from the myriad of other ideas clamoring for, most importantly, your time.

If a logline sticks out and interests a producer, they'll ask to read a synopsis and/or the actual screenplay. And if the screenplay doesn't work, they'll be able to tell, regardless of whether the logline they read cleared up the story or not.

And sometimes, a screenplay will work, but they still won't buy it, because producers have to choose screenplays which get them excited. They know that whatever screenplays they choose to work on, they will spend the next 4-5 years working on that one project. So whatever they choose, it must be something that they can really devote their energy to.

It's a little bit different from the publishing industry where it seems like a query letter is more of the standard.


Posts: 31 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2