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Archive for the Category "Loglines"

Logline – Screenwriting Software for the Web Sep 28

Logline AppLogline Application

Here’s a great little web app I discovered at the Screenwriting Expo. It’s called LOGLINE. And while it has absolutely nothing to do with loglines, it has everything to do with writing a script… without traditional software.

This web application allows you to write your screenplay via a web browser. That way it’s available to you wherever you go, as long as there’s a computer you can access.

That means you could sneak in a little writing time at work (only during your lunch break of course), and not have to worry about installing Final Draft on your office computer, or worrying about which version you were editing.

It’s all stored securely online, with instant backups.

Features

The interface takes a bit of getting used to, but there’s autocomplete for characters and scene headings, and a slick drag and drop interface for adding/moving scenes. All the fundamentals you’d expect from your screenwriting software.

I really like how the format allows you to effortlessly go from the outline phase to the screenwriting phase, with a section for Treatment notes. It also lets you have as many “Acts” as you like. I use this system for my sequences, so I have about 8 sequences with about 4 or 5 scenes in each sequence.

You can import your scripts from Final Draft 8, and export to Final Draft 8 or PDF with the click of a button. If you’re lame like me and still haven’t upgraded to Final Draft 8, my understanding is that there may be a workaround for us coming soon.

Also on the horizon is iPad compatibility. I’m told this feature will almost certainly be ready by Spring of the new year.

The other feature I’ve been pushing for is the ability to specify how many line spaces you want between scene headings.

I also wish the app detected when you were writing a scene heading if you start with “int” or “ext” like in Final Draft. Right now you have to hit [enter] and then select “H” for heading. I’m sure they’ll refine this aspect as time goes on.

Right now the guys are working on an advanced versioning/commenting feature set, which will be unveiled some time in the next few months.

Free!… For now

The application is currently in beta testing. For all you non-web geeks, that means the application is stable and working, but needs people like you and me to try it out. Find bugs, report issues, suggest improvements, etc.

During this period, all of the various plans are FREE. Even better, after the beta period expires, any scrips you’ve uploaded will continue to be free to use. So the time to sign up is now.

I’m not getting any type of incentive for this post. I just think it’s a cool application and the guys I met at the Expo were a couple of fellow web geek/screenwriters who’ve spent a lot of time working on this app.

Give logline a try! I think it’s pretty sweet.

Here’s a video that shows you what I’m talking about:

Logline Contest: We Have A Winner! Nov 01

There were some great entries to the logline contest, but there can be only one winner. And that winner is PlucharC!

Here’s the winning logline:

One man finds out how far he will go to find his girlfriend’s cat that he traded on Craigslist for a case of what he insists is really good beer.

PlucharC even came up with a great title: “Even Trade”

I can picture Zach Galifianakis being tasked by his girlfriend to find a good home for their cat that they’re forced to give up, and making a stupid, yet inspired, decision. It’s funny, original and sounds like a premise that could actually work if executed correctly.

Zach Galifianakis

"No seriously, it's *really* good beer."

Congrats PlucharC. You’ll receive an autographed copy of Michele Wallerstein’s book: “MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career.” I’ll be in touch to collect your mailing information.

Thank you everyone for entering!

Logline Contest: Last Day to Enter Oct 31

That’s right. Today is the last day to enter the logline contest to win an autographed copy of Michele Wallerstein’s book, “MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career.”

All of you who’ve been holding off on entering while the competition plays their hand — now’s the time to submit your entry! Use that Halloween candy sugar high to crank out a funny logline for this free contest.

Click here for the full contest details and to enter.

Save The Cat! Logline Contest Nov 30

Blake Snyder’s web site is holding another logline contest. Here are the rules:

All of you Cats are invited to join STC!’s final contest for the year.  To enter, use the STC! rules of a well-written logline to rework the logline of a well-known movie and turn it into a Holiday classic.

For more deets, head over to Blake’s website1.


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A Logline Primer Nov 19

The Logline or “One Liner”

Blake Snyder used to refer to loglines as “the coin of the realm” in Hollywood. Having a great logline is extremely important — both for pitching your script, and for making sure your story is focused and engaging.

If you don’t have a killer logline, your script will probably never be made into a movie, or even be read by a producer/executive/agent/actor in the first place.

So what is it?

Here’s my definition:

logline (noun): one sentence (or in rare instances — two) that captures the essence of your screenplay in the most compelling and succinct way possible.

Here’s an example of a logline:

Falsely convicted of murdering his wife, a doctor desperately searches for the real killer, with a relentless federal agent hot on his trail.

“captures the essence of your screenplay”

Your logline should give a sense of the genre, tone, main plot, protagonist’s struggle, antagonist, time frame, location, target audience and budget. That’s a lot for one sentence! They don’t all have to be in there explicitly, but a good logline should imply all these things.

“compelling”

There needs to be a hook to your logline; something that compels people to want to learn more about the concept (i.e. read the script or see the movie).

Terry Rossio wrote a brilliant article about your concept needing to have a “strange attractor.” I think that’s the best way of thinking about it. Whether it’s something unique, ironic, gripping, or comedic, there has to be something that attracts you to the concept.

“succinct”

A logline is not a synopsis. You only have one sentence to pitch your movie. The full plot and subplots of your script have no place in your logline. Less is more.

At a recent panel of Hollywood screenwriters that I attended, I believe it was Shane Black who said, “Your logline shouldn’t have more than two commas in it.”

Avoid These Mistakes

Here are some mistakes to avoid in your logline:

  • Don’t use the names of any of your characters
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS to highlight any words
  • Don’t try to tell your entire movie
  • Don’t describe analogous movies (e.g. “It’s like Aliens meets Dirty Dancing“)
  • Don’t include your movie’s tagline (e.g. “This time it’s personnel“)
  • Don’t start with, “It’s about…”
  • Don’t forget to describe your protagonist (i.e. “… a clumsy surgeon” gives us a better feel for the story than simply “… a surgeon”)

It’s important to have an effective logline before writing your script, and after. Sometimes if you can’t create a compelling logline, it’s symptomatic of a problem with your story.

Is your logline up to snuff?

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