Tag Archives: The Black List

More Loglines from the 2014 Edition of The Black List

Eight Loglines from The Black List

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

Loglines from the 2014 Edition of The Black List

Seven Loglines from 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

Even More Loglines from The Black List

Back by popular demand, here’s part three of a series breaking down (and often fixing) loglines from The Black List. For ten more loglines, check out part 1 and part 2.

Story of Your Life: Based on the short story by Ted Chiang. When alien crafts land around the world, a linguistics expert is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.

Those who have read my previous logline breakdown posts or who have had my help with loglines before will know right off the bat what I’m going to say here: A logline is one sentence, not three. Other than that, though, the bones of a good logline are here. Let’s make it follow the rules.

“When aliens land and she is recruited to communicate with them, a linguistics expert begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that hold the key to learning the purpose of the extraterrestrial visit.” Continue reading Even More Loglines from The Black List

More Loglines from The Black List

My post about loglines from The Black List only covered five out of the enormous list of choices. I’ve decided it would be good to see more, including some that I think are excellent loglines (can’t be negative all the time!). So, without further ado, here are five more loglines from the 2012 Black List.

Americatown: In a China-dominated near future, a former LAPD officer attempts to save his family from destitution in Los Angeles by working for a crime lord in the American ghetto within a thriving Hong Kong.

While I don’t find this logline compelling to me personally (not my kind of story), it is a well crafted one. We have a setup (“In a China-dominated near future”), a main character who is well described (“former LAPD officer”), and a good grasp of the situation (“working for a crime lord” to “save his family”). All of the necessary elements are here, and this is pretty much perfect. Continue reading More Loglines from The Black List

Loglines from The Black List

Every year, a list called The Black List is made of Hollywood executives’ favorite, unproduced screenplays from the past year. The 2012 list is out and I’m scrolling through it. Some of these loglines could use some help, so I’m going to break down some of the entries to help you see what would make a great logline.

Before I jump into this, I want to make something clear. I can’t do the back-and-forth with the writers that I would normally do when helping someone with a logline. Instead, I’m just going to be giving a brief analysis of what needs to change to make each logline a good one.

With that out of the way, here are five instructive loglines from The Black List. Continue reading Loglines from The Black List