Last time, I walked you through the process of refining and critiquing seven loglines from The Black List 2014. Today, I have eight more instructive loglines to show you, along with my thoughts on how they could be improved.
Once again, remember that most of the time when I recommend changes to a logline, I am guessing at story details the author has left out. Because I’m not working with the writer on these loglines, I often can’t create a final version. However, I can make the first round of suggestions that would then go back to the writer for further rewrites. Continue reading More Loglines from the 2014 Edition of The Black List
Each year, The Black List is made of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, complete with title and logline information. Back in 2013, I discovered these lists and also found out that some of the loglines could be instructive cases of how to improve a pitch. I ended up writing three blog posts with details on how I would improve 15 of the loglines from the 2012 edition of The Black List.
Well, it’s back again for 2015. Here are some instructive loglines from the 2014 edition of The Black List, with my notes on how each could be improved.
It’s important to note that most of the time when I recommend changes to a logline, I am guessing at story details the author has left out. Because I’m not working with the writer on these loglines, I often can’t create a final version. However, I can make the first round of suggestions that would then go back to the writer for further rewrites.
With that out of the way, let’s jump right in. Continue reading Loglines from the 2014 Edition of The Black List
It’s very important to make sure that what you’re promising in your pitch is actually true of your story. A good pitch can mean the difference between somebody flat-out hating your story, merely liking your story, or becoming its next big fan.
You see, your pitch gives us cues about what kind of story you’re telling. The events you pull out to focus on, the storylines you say are important, and the characters you tell us about, all of these contribute to our expectations. And when your audience has expectations, you’d better believe that you want to meet them.
Of course, you can take it further and own their expectations. You can purposely create expectations that match your story’s content. That’s why novelists have back cover copy and filmmakers make trailers: to manage expectations.
This was brought home to me by a movie I recently saw for the second time. Let me show you how a pitch gave me expectations that changed my perception of a story. Continue reading How Your Pitch is a Promise