Re: Log The Line... LOGLINES
In the Logline forum, jonpiper gave a suggested logline to the OP suggesting for the focus to be just on the antagonist and not to include the protagonist, or his goal elements in the logline.
When I pointed out to jonpiper that his suggested logline was misleading because it gave the impression that the antagonist was the protagonist/anti-hero of the OPs’ story, he replied:
“in my opinion, nobody knows what ingredients a logline for a given screenplay must have to attract the most readers and decision to that screenplay.”
jonpiper says, “nobody knows.”
I wanted to address this, but I didn't want to derail the OP's thread, so I'm gonna discuss it here.
It’s been said time and time again that the basic ingredients (elements) that are required in a logline to attract readers are: protagonist, protagonist’s goal and antagonist force.
If someone wants to include these elements in a logline, is a different story.
All one has to do is look at written loglines from writers and they’ll see it includes these three basic elements.
For example, in a past thread called “Open Query letters to Michael B,” a hundred members posted a hundred loglines for Michael, an industry manager, to give his opinion if any were commercially worthy enough for the industry.
jonpiper, if you’d look at those hundred loglines, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that will not have included these three basic elements, so, this to me, means that writers DO KNOW what “ingredients” a logline must have to attract readers.
I don’t know of a screenplay that doesn’t have a hero, or anti-hero with a goal. Also, it’s very rare to find a screenplay that doesn’t have some type of antagonist force. The closest I can think of would be GRACE IS GONE.
When a Midwestern father learns his army wife was killed in the Iraq war, he must come to terms with this devastating news before he could tell his two young daughters about their mother’s fate, so he delays by taking them on a road trip to their favorite amusement park in Florida.
GRACE IS GONE doesn’t have a clear antagonist, but you could say the antagonist is himself where he must cope and accept that his wife is gone.
In this thread and others there have been some members who have given examples of loglines with just the antagonist and excluded the protagonist and his goal, saying this was an effective way to get industry reads.
Do I believe this is possible? Sure, anything is possible, but I believe it’s also possible that it would turn off some industry people because the logline wasn’t clear on who the protagonist and the goal of the story.
With a logline having at least the three basic elements, I believe an industry person would have no other reason but the concept itself not interesting them, rather than an incomplete logline not getting across to them the “A” throughline of the story.