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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Trying out loglines

I'm planning to write a movie script in April as part of Script Frenzy. I've had an idea in the back of my mind for over a year (think I even posted about it on my Noveling Notes site back then) and I'm about ready to try my hand at a script. I've never written a full-length feature film script before, so I turned to one of the great pros for advice: Blake Snyder. I was in a workshop led by Blake not long before his death in August of 2009. He has been considered one of Hollywood's most successful spec screenwriters. And his book, Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need is a gem for getting things started.

The first thing I learned in "Save the Cat" was that my story wasn't about what I thought it was about. In fact, it turns out that there was a far more interesting (and personally exciting to write about) story lurking just beneath the surface. In the first chapter, Blake describes the process of creating a logline or one-sentence description of the movie. In the process of doing that, I found out more about the story I want to tell than I imagined possible. It has become the third great idea for my next NaNoWriMo in November as well.

What is it? you ask. Interestingly, that's Blake's first question. The logline must include four basic elements. Irony, a compelling mental picture, audience and cost, and a killer title. In other words, it has to tell what it is. And it needs to do it in just a few words. Here's an example he uses: "A newly married couple must spend Christmas Day at each of their four divorced parent's homes. -4 Christmases" Okay. Irony: they're newly married and their parents are all divorced. Mental picture: exhausted couple drives from home to home to home trying to relive everyone's fantasy of what a perfect Christmas is supposed to be. Audience and cost: Date pic for the 20-40 range couple with moderate expense as its mostly interior shots. Killer title: 4 Christmases says it all.

I haven't seen the movie, but the previews and logline all sounded fun. Now I just have to do that for my script. Let's see if you can guess my movie from this logline. I'd love to have your comments on whether it works and whether you'd see it.

Deskbound computer forensics detective dives into real life when he links a damaged hard drive with the snatching of a young woman from the streets of Seattle. - ESCape Key

Okay. Let me know what you think!