Examples of Loglines
Action/Adventure – An American Army captain leads his unit to find the last survivor of five brothers during the Battle of Normandy in World War II.
Science Fiction – A young man leaves his frustrated life on a lonely planet to rescue a princess from an evil empire.
Comedy – An unethical lawyer cursed by his son’s birthday wish and unable to speak anything but the truth for an entire day must try to do his job while unable to lie.
Drama – A German industrialist risks his life and fortune to save his Jewish workers from the Nazi death camps.
Dramedy – An egotistical TV weatherman is forced to relive Groundhog Day over and over in the small town of Punxsutawney until he can determine how to stop the endless cycle.
Romantic Comedy (RomCom) – A dysfunctional woman traveling to France to win back her fiancé is unwittingly drawn into a thief’s attempt to smuggle a stolen necklace into the country.
A well-defined logline keeps the story on track and helps to avoid straying into a completely different story than what you want to tell. It saves time in the future writing process. Also, an idea that cannot be communicated in one concise sentence will fall apart when the writer attempts to move on in the writing process too quickly.
A common mistake is to rush on to the next steps and fail to compose a tight but completely descriptive logline. As this will be the central idea of the film and is frequently the first chance a writer has to present the story idea to a producer or director, it should be worked and reworked to perfection. Write and rewrite the logline until it expresses the fundamental idea of the story as clearly as possible. Tell it to a friend and get their reaction. Ask for feedback.
What was their reaction? When you think that the logline articulates your image of what the film should look like, you are ready to move on. But it goes without saying that if you cannot formulate a logline that adequately conveys the idea you have for a movie, do not try to go further.