I’ve been reading a lot about loglines recently. For those of you not in the biz, this is the one-sentence answer to the question “what is your story about?”
According to Terry Rossio on wordplayer.com, it’s the “strange attractor” – that unique and compelling aspect of your concept that will have the studio executive know immediately what your story is about and immediately makes them want to get it.
Blake Snyder, in Save the Cat! describes it in even better detail. There should be four elements: (1) it is ironic, (2) it offers a compelling mental picture, (3) it has a built-in sense of audience and cost, and (4) it works alongside an original, clear, effective, title.
As an example, from wordplayer.com: “A teenager is mistakenly sent into the past, where he must make sure his mother and father meet and fall in love; he then has to get back to the future.” Alongside the title, “Back to the Future,” we immediately see all four of those elements present.
I’m working on a screenplay right now. It’s a concept that I’d originally conceived as a comic book first, and then a movie, but as John Turman pointed out at AFF this weekend, the best comic book movies are the ones that aren’t based on comic books – Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Matrix – because they don’t have any source material holding them back.
The other factor is that I realized at Comic-Con earlier this summer that, as conceived, this piece is too ambitious for a first-time comic book project – the irony being that this one is ready now, but the other project I have in mind for comic book publication would require about a year’s worth of research before I could start writing it.
So I’m working on my high concept $5 million comic book movie. I won’t share the logline on the Internet, though I will start pitching it to random people on the street, in an attempt to see if I can keep the attention of people who are in a hurry to be somewhere else. Have a good night.