Welcome back to iUniverse’s second screenwriting article. In our first segment, we discussed high-concept pitches and the “logline”, which encapsulates your film in one memorable sentence or three sentences at most.
Just to reiterate, we started our discussion of loglines by describing the need to have uniqueness and the ability to create a vivid mental picture. The former is essential for differentiation purposes and also to get the attention of movie producers. And the creation of a clear mental picture about the story brings the screenplay to life.
So let’s move on to the other two elements of a successful logline:
Indication of potential audience: Loglines should provide a clear indication of who will go to see this film. Romantic comedies tend to attract couples from 18-49, horror tends to appeal to the 12-20 age group, and children’s films of course attract kids and their parents – which is why they are so lucrative!
Generation of a great title: A strong logline should lead to a strong title. While titles are not easy to come up with, there should be something significant and different about them. Good titles excel through brute force, an ironic twist, or simply something that sticks out as odd and interesting.
Naturally, there are movies with unusual or uninformative titles, but at the present time – with studios and producers under considerable pressure – a winning title will help put your screenplay above the competition.
Some titles over the years that have succeeded in giving customers and producers a clearer picture of the film include:
Night of the Living Dead
Back to the Future
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Bachelor Party (an early Tom Hanks film)
And again, Snakes on a Plane
And so we have discussed loglines – make sure to keep this concept in mind next time you watch a film In iUniverse’s third piece on screenwriting, we’ll discuss film “treatments”. Stay tuned.