Feature ~ Round 1 of 3: Logline - January 2012
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/1/2012 3:56 AM
And so my attempt to make it past the second leg of this contest begins again...
I know the path well. I am not afraid to travel down it. Will it take me farther than it has before?
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/1/2012 4:00 AM
Even though I won't rank, I'mm still going to work on my first feature lendght screenplay. I might use this as a writing sample instead of trying to have someone to buy it. It's time for me to take this up to the next level.
So stay tuned.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 1/1/2012 1:38 PM
This thread started last year, but it should be just as helpful now:
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/1/2012 1:39 PM
Got my logline in right at the opening -- FIRST!!! -- and just 12-1/2 hours later I hate it.
This first round gives me such a headache. Last year I felt good, really good, about my logline. Then I got the feedback and saw how mangled and wordy it was. Learned a lot -- though getting to the final round was a great boost.
I've got a dozen other logline(s and three finished scripts) I could enter that are probably stronger and interest me more because I've done some research and more outlining, but I'm eager to see how this one fares.
I think I'll try and find some third (non-MoviePoet) party insight. Couldn't hurt right?
Really, it's only the first? I don't know if I can handle this for another 30 days...
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2012 10:46 PM
Okay, I'm in. Good thing I have all month to tweak, because what I have right now sucks. haha. Plus, I may end up changing the story I go with completely.... I don't know... This is the least prepared I've ever been for this contest.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/4/2012 11:41 PM
I've enteed too. This is my first logline I've ever written, so I know mines will suck too.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 1/5/2012 10:24 AM
I'm going with the story I was going to go with last year, but couldn't make the logline short enough. Now, it needs to be spruced up. Lol.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/5/2012 12:05 PM
I'm still looking at ideas. How's that for prepared, Wind?
Rod Thompson (Level 3) ~ 1/5/2012 6:03 PM
Byron Matthews (Level 4) ~ 1/5/2012 7:06 PM
So, do most of you prepare an outline of your story then write a logline? Or do you write a logline then an outline? What heck...one more question, or do you write some of the story then the logline or vice versa? Because right now, I have an idea of one, but it's mostly just bits and pieces but no real idea of where it's going at this point.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/5/2012 8:04 PM
I come up with the logline first and then write the outline. After I have completed the outline, I sometimes wait until I see if I rank. If I do rank, I proceed to finish the outline and then start creating the characters. After I do the characters, I start writing the screenplay.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/5/2012 8:04 PM
In the past, I've had a pretty good idea of my story when I wrote the loglines. This year, I have nothing and am just wingin' it.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/5/2012 8:44 PM
When I get or work out an idea, always try to get it into logline form -- not a finished, this is it logline, but a guiding sentence or two that gives me the general feel of the story. Plus, when someone asks me what I'm working on, I have to be able to tell them something that doesn't take forever to explain (unlike this post...).
Then I outline, jot down plot points (all my pre-writing is paper and pen), figure out subplots, and characters that work for the script. Once I get a clearer picture of what the script is shaping into, I redo the logline. Unless I change things drastically, this tends to be more or less my finished logline.
Then I write the script, compare it to what the logline says, and change the logline as needed.
Last year, I had about twenty pages written when I entered my logline so there wasn't much for me to change in the ensuing rounds -- just small tweaks. This year, I'm at the outline part, still figuring out what the story is and how to tell it, but the logline I've entered captures the basic concept of the script I'll write. As I said above, once I do a post-outline logline it doesn't change much.
For me, the logline is a living sentence. Much like a screenplay, it's never really finished and always evolving (more so than a script) to meet the needs of the story, and the script as well.
If you're having trouble, Byron, I suggest writing a few paragraphs/pages of prose describing what your story is. Don't be neat, just get all of your ideas for the script out and see what sticks for you. It's helpful to actually see what and how much you already know about your script.
Byron Matthews (Level 4) ~ 1/5/2012 11:18 PM
Reginald, Brian, Zach -- appreciate the tips guys.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/5/2012 11:29 PM
I am not at all tempted to enter this year...really...not...at...all. Nope. No sir eee. I'll be content just watching from the sidelines.
Suddenly I'm sweaty and breathing heavy. But not because I'm considering this. Maybe I have a fever. That's it. A fever.
LOGLINE FEVER!!!!!! Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/5/2012 11:40 PM
It's not a fever, Marnie. I commanded you with my magical magic powers and now you have no choice!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/5/2012 11:45 PM
I think it was your Jedi mind trick. Damn you and your force!!!!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/5/2012 11:46 PM
[ Insert Evil (and victorious!) Laugh Here ]
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/5/2012 11:50 PM
I'm entertaining the weirdest idea for a script I've ever had.
Now I just have to distill the idea down and compose the logline. No biggy (he said, his hands trembling on the keyboard)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 12:58 AM
I want to do an all midget musical but I think putting that in a logline would ruin the surprise.
By the way, if there is a midget musical logline it's not mine -- so please, mods, don't edit this post as I find it incredibly funny.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/6/2012 1:31 AM
Crap! Now I have to come up with a new logline. Thanks for ruining it for me, Jansen!
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 1:54 AM
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/6/2012 2:40 AM
Since Zach gave away the plot of my previous unusual entry, I went ahead and entered my second place idea.
But seriously, the logline for my idea wouldn't gel at first and then BAM, it came together all at once. Time will tell if the idea is compelling/interesting.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/6/2012 4:46 AM
"I want to do an all midget musical but I think putting that in a logline would ruin the surprise."
I wanted to write a screenplay about a flying refrigerator, but that would hurt everyone's suspension of disbelief.
(That's not my current logline, so I'm not giving up anonymity)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 9:40 AM
If you properly set up how and why the fridge can fly, then you've got suspension of disbelief in the bag.
Don't forget to give it a "save the cat" moment and we'll be on his side for the entire film.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 10:02 AM
I'm hoping to take part - my first time! So far the log line has been the last thing I have thought about, something which needs to change.
However, I have to admit I am still unsure on the length that is permitted, or should I say has the best chance of success.
Is their a guide on max number of words and number of sentences? I note that up to three sentences are permitted, yet I also note a desire from the industry for the punchy single sentence, maybe two, but steer away from three!
In any event this is proving to be much more difficult than I would have once expected, which goes to show it is a craft.
All the best.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/6/2012 10:10 AM
There are many schools of thought on this, Bill. It's almost a matter of personal taste.
No more than 500 characters is the actual limit for this contest.
If it's TOO short then it becomes more of a tagline (the sort of thing that might go on a movie poster) than a logline and doesn't give sufficient information to make people want to watch the film.
Too long and it's more of a synopsis...and people's eyes glaze over and they can't be bothered to wade through it.
There is a balance somewhere in between those two!
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/6/2012 11:01 AM
I'd suggest going back and reading through the 90 loglins that have advanced in the past 3 years to get a good idea of what does well with the reviewers here.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 11:06 AM
Throughout my readings, it seems that an average of 25-30 words is a good length for a logline. The key, of course, is make every word count, just as with writing a script. An example: don't say something like, "ladies' man" when "playboy" brings the same connotation. You save a word and have a better-sounding phrase. Instead of, saying someone "runs for mayor" go with "campaigns for mayor." Campaigns is stronger word in this instance.
Loglines are a great time to break open that thesaurus
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 11:09 AM
Thanks Caroline and Brian.
Infact I have being doing just that, even down to counting the words!!! There are a hndful of different styles. Interestingly, my unsceintific observation is that many of the longer ones didn't get through, but we're not corrected for being long.
Whilst here I noticed another couple of threads on the log line competition, one had a link to a log line article. It states 27 words is best!!
If I wasn't confused before, I am now, however, what I do get is that the shorter the better, assuming it delivers the message. I have also noted Chris's six tips. I think my head's beginning to hurt.
Anyway this seems just the challenge to have a stab at.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 11:10 AM
Thanks Zach, our replies crossed the MP ether.
Some useful ideas there.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 11:18 AM
With loglines, my head always hurts.
When I entered on Sunday I thought I had a great one. But less than a week later I've come up with another handful of variations and all seem equally strong.
Perspective is needed. I shouldn't think about loglines for a while. But once it's in your head, wanting to get looked over, re-worked, and completed...
It's only just after 10AM by me, but I need a drink...
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 11:51 AM
It's stubbornly refuses not to go below 40 words.
Oh the paranoia!!!
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 1/6/2012 12:13 PM
"I think my head's beginning to hurt."
Don't worry about the word count. Read the winners from the past and you will see the come in all shapes and sizes.
When in doubt follow the three "C"s - Clear, Concise, and Compelling.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 12:46 PM
This might be worth a look, Bill:
Find all the phrases in your logline -- noun phrases (lonely man), verb/adverb phrases (fights heroically), etc. - and see if there are more concise ways to say them. Lonely man might be hermit, fights heroically becomes battles.
Same process for script writing. I really don't know how I did it before I found that site.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/6/2012 1:07 PM
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 1/6/2012 3:00 PM
great link, zach...just bookmarked it, thanks...
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/6/2012 8:13 PM
THis is probably the one and only logline I will enter for a contest.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/8/2012 10:15 AM
Ok, I'm probably going to get the award for daft question but here goes.
One of my current log lines ends with a question, such as (not real one) ".... but can they make it in time?"
I get this feeling that posing a question in the log line is a bit of a no no - is this right? Should I make sure I don't have a question or is it something you can get away with if appropriate??
Well you do have a thread with the title, there are no stupid questions!
If anybody knows the answer it would be appreciated. Thanks.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/8/2012 10:30 AM
As a 3 time logline loser let me answer that....you'll get slaughtered if you end it with a question. :P
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/8/2012 10:40 AM
Not sure you make that clearer - many thanks.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/8/2012 10:49 AM
Hey Marnie, whatever happened to Medieval Man? Did you ever finish it? Enter it in any contest? It seemed like an idea that would sell.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/8/2012 11:07 AM
JP...MM is still a project I intend on finishing. Rick Hansberry and I worked on it for a little while together but comedy is tough and for me, I have to be in a really good, stress free mindset to write it. My teenage daughter has sucked that out of me. I have however, been writing a lot of horrors. LOL :)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/8/2012 11:43 AM
When you write your logline, the question should be apparent without it. Since I don't feel right using others', I'll give my logline as an example:
-- The head of NASA enlists a Hollywood movie director to stage a lunar landing, but when the filmmaker proves useless behind the camera even pretending to land on the moon seems just as impossible.
You can see how after you read it, the questions "How will NASA get to the moon?" and "Will NASA get to the moon?" pop in your head (at least I'm hoping they do).
The trick is to take your plot point going into Act III and tell it in your logline. My plot point was the head of NASA realizing he hired a moron to do a near impossible task. Ergo, "even pretending to land on the moon seems just as impossible."
Have your questions be implied. If you read your logline and aren't asking any questions (to yourself), then you need to rework it.
To take your example above -- "...but can they make it in time?" -- let's try this:
-- An apathetic teen working at a mini-mart has four hours to prove he didn't mastermind a robbery-turned-hostage situation during his weekend shift before the SWAT team storms the store.
One of the implied questions is "Can he prove his innocence in time?" i.e. "Can he make it in time?" If time of the essence in your story, always, always include it in the logline. It gives a sense of urgency and moving forward.
Keep in mind, all of the above is just my take on it. But It works for me, so hopeful you can find some use for it as well.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/8/2012 11:45 AM
Sorry for the missing words in the previous post. And this double post.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/8/2012 11:57 AM
Zach, that's really useful. Many thanks.
I have my title now, which is something, but this log line business is tricky.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/8/2012 2:36 PM
You're welcome. I'm sure you'll get a logline you like by the 31st. Just keep playing around with it until something really pops. See what the logline looks like if you include a big twist from the script or mention the locale if it can act as a character.
I tend to write a dozen or so variations. The right logline is there, but it takes some cajoling to get it out.
Jem Rowe (Level 4) ~ 1/9/2012 2:22 AM
Aah, this is so frustrating. I'm desperate to enter this competition, I know how my story should feel, where it's set, what the charaters are like and what the themes are, but the few plot points I have just aren't coming together to a completed narrative! Very Annoying!
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/9/2012 2:56 AM
Just get the gist of the idea covered to get past round 1, then you've got 8-9 months to figure everthing else out.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 1/9/2012 8:31 AM
Don't "Swordfish" your story, though. Make sure, if you do, that you come up with more than just an opening scene and have to fit everything else around it.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/9/2012 10:42 AM
Bill - Try your logline out on as many people as possible before you commit to it. Especially people who will probably tell you the truth.
Like friends who don't have a problem handing you a discrete breath mint when you need one, waitstaff at restaurants and cafes, total strangers and friends of friends.
It helps you eliminate any awkward or confusing wording, and you get to see if the idea itself stirs anything in them.
I'm not talking about the idea for the story, either. Ask them about the logline itself. Your idea can be great, but not well worded in the logline and therefore a stinker. Been there. Done that.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/9/2012 1:13 PM
Loglines shmoglines! I hate loglines!
(still gonna try and enter one though)
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/9/2012 2:18 PM
Sally, I'm beginning to feel the same way!!
Margaret - thank you for the advice. I had started testing the name, which has been reasonably successful, but I would imagine the log line is a different matter. I can just imagine the blank looks.
If I have a concern, over and above having a clunker of a log line, it is that the story doesn't have a big ticket concept. May not appeal to all. Oh well we shall see because I'm sticking to it.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/9/2012 9:01 PM
It's also a good idea to run an imdb & google search for your proposed title, just to see if it's already in use for any other films or projects. (If it was used on some obscure film no one's see from thirty years ago or not at used at all, you can forge ahead. If it's the name of Brad Pitt & George Clooney's 2012 project or some "unknown to you but classic to others" cult film, you may want to reconsider.
On an unrelated note... I finally came up with a good logline that I was happy with over the weekend and then last night, I watched a film that was SO similar to my idea that I now have to scratch it completely and head back to the ol' drawing board.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/9/2012 10:11 PM
Bill - Try to memorize your logline, or actually read it to people the first few times. You'll know when you've got it right because the blank stares and the tolerant looks turn to real interest. It's a very neat experience.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/9/2012 10:33 PM
I predict my logline will go down in MP history as the worst logline of all time.
But, I promise you'll love this movie.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 3:03 AM
How much information is appropriate to give away in the logline?
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 5:13 AM
It's official, I'm now dreaming about log lines!! Is there a movie about a writer tormented by imaginary log lines?
David - I consider your post to be a worthy challenge! I may beat you to that (log line wise)
Margaret - agreed, this is what I intend to do. I tried a few out last night, alas my wife promptly liked the one I thought was worst, just goes to show.
Brian - good point.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 9:01 AM
It really depends on how much you want to give away.
But every logline would be good to give away:
1) The protagonist
2) The protagonist's ultimate goal
3) At least one obstacle s/he must overcome to accomplish that goal (i.e. the antogonist or a flaw in the protagonist)
"Two young children get lost in the woods and must find their way home before an evil witch eats them."
-- Protagonist(s): two young children.
-- Ultimate goal: find their way home
-- Obstacles: lost in woods, evil witch
Of course, that example is bare bones and has no hook, but it helps illustrate the three points.
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 10:37 AM
Logline in! I actually think this is my best logline yet, but that is not saying much :) Good luck to all that enter.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/10/2012 3:49 PM
I hear what you're saying, Jansen. Would this be a good example of a logline that has all of the requirments that you have written:
After discovering a fax machine that can send and receive messages one day into the future, an impossibly inaccurate weather man struggles for career advancement while trying to maintain the space and time continuum.
Ultimate Goal: Get a promotion
Obstacle: The fax machine might get him fired.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 4:00 PM
I think the problem I've faced is the struggle with minimalism. I edited my last logline down two 30 words where I told exactly what needed to be told and a lot of responses were asking for plot details that I didn't want to give away (because it would spoil the story). My question is: is that good?
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/10/2012 4:54 PM
Here's a logline I would love to see ripped apart and made better:
"When the blood of a murdered woman gives substance to a long buried evil, an Ojibwe teen must find her lost faith and do battle with Death incarnate, or lose her friends, her life, and her very soul."
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/10/2012 4:56 PM
Can I do that here, Chris? Feel free to suggest a different thread if necessary.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 5:06 PM
Did McGhee just call you Jansen?!
Tim Aucoin (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 6:01 PM
I haven't entered anything in so long so I figure I'll give it a whirl.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 8:19 PM
Am I being called out? That's it -- time for
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/10/2012 9:13 PM
First rule of BATTLE DANCE......
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/10/2012 9:15 PM
Screw the rules, Tim.
It's time to dance.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/10/2012 10:23 PM
that was the third rule.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/10/2012 10:30 PM
Wow we have a logline in mind, it is best to outline your proposed screenplay into a 3-act structure. The outline can help you figure out what the logline is really about (still include the Goal, Protagonist, and Antagonist in the logline). It rather helped me eliminate unnecessary details out the logline.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/10/2012 10:30 PM
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/11/2012 12:34 AM
Tim and Zach - I have no rhythm, but I love to watch.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/13/2012 10:06 AM
My logline's in! Now the sweating begins. And rewrites.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 1/13/2012 10:58 AM
Tim and Zach please dance in another thread. Let's try to keep this thread on topic. :)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/13/2012 1:18 PM
Sometimes when I'm having trouble with a logline I dance.
But seriously, loglines are about rhythm, the flow of words. Always be sure to say your logline out loud so you can hear the beats and meldoy of the sentence. If you struggle or get hung up somewhere, then you know one place that needs some more work.
See, Chris, it all comes together.
Debra Johnson (Level 3) ~ 1/13/2012 1:29 PM
Logline I entered wasn't working, so back to the drawing board.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 1/13/2012 4:44 PM
There is no in-between. Really plain or really detailed, without actually saying what the story's about. But, I passed on loglining this story last year. I'm not going to do it again.
Debra Johnson (Level 3) ~ 1/13/2012 11:34 PM
Awesome! I am in again!!!
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/14/2012 11:05 PM
@ Reginald, I loved that logline. Would have definitely gave it an excellent. I want to see that.
My logline is waaay to long, but I don't know what to cut out.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/15/2012 11:44 AM
Okay. I think I have finally found something good.
It came to me while I was out shopping with my wife.
Gold, Jerry! Gold!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/15/2012 12:26 PM
We'll all look out for a log line about shopping with your wife... Can't wait.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 1/15/2012 10:16 PM
"So, if you have a wife and I don't, does that make me expendable?"
For some reason, I was in a "Speed" kind of mood.
I'm still mad that my logline is so vanilla but it's impossible to add to!
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 1/17/2012 2:25 PM
I'm looking for ways to avoid using cliche phrases like "at any cost," or "who will stop at nothing." I have my idea, my characters, their goals, and their obstacles...but I'm stuck on the over-used lines. Has anyone found a clever way around this?
Ammar Salmi (Level 5) ~ 1/17/2012 3:44 PM
As unhelpful as this may sound, If you need to use such expression in your logline to state the sense of urgency in your story, then using cliches is the least of your problems.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/17/2012 7:22 PM
Nick it's not really clever, but the way around it is to expand your vocabulary. Just look for alternate words or phrases with similar meanings and substitute as appropriate.
"...the villain who will stop at nothing." could just be "...the unrelenting villain." etc...
Brian Howell (Level 5) ~ 1/17/2012 8:37 PM
Nick, try the reverse dictionary :
I want to say it was Zach that shared this in another thread. If it was someone else, I'm sorry.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/18/2012 3:40 PM
Has anyone looked at this website?
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/18/2012 3:45 PM
REALLY proud of myself! So far I've resisted the temptation to enter!! (despite Westland's Jedi mind tricks) Unlike most of you, I will have a stress free February. ;)
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/18/2012 4:01 PM
You could enter and not stress about it, Marnie! Stressing isn't compulsory :)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/18/2012 4:42 PM
Just remember these tips when writing a logline or screenplay: Be cool, stay calm, stay tune.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/18/2012 5:01 PM
Ah, Marnie, but with two weeks to go there's plenty of time for a change to come over you...
I entered and will still have a stress-free February. I wrote a nice logline -- not the best, I know, but it does what it should -- and really have little to no concern if I make it through the next round since I'm writign the script right now anyhow. My main reason for entering the screenplay contests here is to get the free feedback. And if a logline isn't working getting 30+ pairs of eyes looking at it and offering suggestions for improvement is something I'll take any day of the week -- or month of the year.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/18/2012 6:21 PM
Is the title part of the logline contest? I can't come up with a title, and I haven't even sarted outlining my screenplay or anything. I just don't know where to start.
Brian Howell (Level 5) ~ 1/18/2012 6:47 PM
When I consider loglines in this contest, I also consider the title. Titles are huge, imho. There are some high-concepts where the title is all you need to know - Wedding Crashers, Snakes on a Plane, etc. Personally, I can't start writing, even a short script, without two things: main character names and a title (even if it's just a working title). I literally stare at blank paper or the flashing cursor until I have those two things, and usually in the process of coming up with those things, the story fleshes itself out.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 1/18/2012 7:15 PM
a good catchy title can be...check that...probably is the difference in moving on or not...just look at all the past comments that point out the title...
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/18/2012 8:46 PM
what you don't realize Marnie, is that I have forced everybody to try and convince you to enter using my Jedi mind trick skills. You don't stand a chance of not entering.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/19/2012 12:19 PM
Finally came up with a logline. This is the hardest challenge of the year for me. Loglines are hard work.
Good luck to all those who entered. I am sure I'm going to learn something from reading all the loglines.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 1/19/2012 8:55 PM
don't know if anyone else has read this...seems like good advice about loglines...
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 1/20/2012 1:45 PM
this advice about loglines comes from tawnya bhattacharya who is a writer on the USA network's "fairly leagal"...
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/20/2012 2:40 PM
David loves to give moderators little jobs to do just so they feel they can justify their existence (adding hyperlinks!)
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 1/20/2012 3:23 PM
that and that i'm cyber(ly) challenged...
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/20/2012 4:02 PM
I found an incomplete logline that needs to be reconstructed, and it still attracks producters.
An unlucky banker hooks up with a psychotic therapist by chance and struggles to find love and happiness.
Written by Spencer McDonald
I'm reading the spec script. It's lookng nice too.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/20/2012 4:08 PM
I forgot to tell you all that I had this weird dream that I came in seventh place in the logline contest.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/20/2012 5:25 PM
Reginald - Beware of Jedi mind tricks...
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/20/2012 5:39 PM
Okay. I think I actually like the logline I entered (just did a rewrite). And the title. Tomorrow's probably going to be a different story.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/20/2012 11:33 PM
Still struggling -- even the time in Hawaii didn't help.
Keep the prompts coming DB...
Debra Johnson (Level 3) ~ 1/20/2012 11:35 PM
Rethinking my logline as well....ugh
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/21/2012 12:48 AM
Look at you poor saps...stressing already. LOL. ;D
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/21/2012 2:05 AM
For some reason the only consistent thought I'm having has something to do with a Jedi...
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/21/2012 7:00 AM
I only have two objectives today. Shovel snow, tweak my logline, and work on Keaton's contest entry. THREE! That's three objectives today. Shovel snow, tweak my logline, Keaton's entry, and take down the Christmas tree. FOUR! Damn it. Four objectives!...
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/21/2012 8:38 PM
Marnie - You're smug now, but you'll be finding the urge to enter growing daily. By the 27th, there will be a little nibble at your mind that says this might be your year to shine...
It'll get big by the 29th. Why shouldn't it be your year to shine? You could do it...
On the 30th it'll be almost overwhelming. You CAN do it. You can move on to the second round if you only try...
On the 31st you'll be frantic. YOU CAN'T MOVE TO ROUND TWO IF YOU DON'T ENTER, BUT YOU HAVEN'T REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT THE STORY MUCH LESS THE LOGINE... CAN YOU GET IT DONE BY THE DEADLINE???
If you can withstand all of that until midnight in Jersey on that last day, you'll be kicking yourself day after day after day until the end of round three. That's a longer time than if you just entered the logline contest and got all of the angst out of the way in two months instead of forever...
It's a curse either way, so you might as well write a damn logline and get the kicking yourself over with ASAP. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/21/2012 9:13 PM
What would Bruce say?
Cue mood music
You know, when I was ten years old my dad told me, "Son, when are you gonna start doin' something with your life?"
I just looked at him and said, "Well, see Dad there's this place you can go to and be famous. All you need is a good logline and you could have all the riches and fame any one man could hope for. Or I was thinking of maybe starting a band."
My dad looked me square in the eye and said, "Son, you're from Jersey."
I looked down at his hands and they were all blistered from working twenty hours a day at the factory and I said, "Oh, yeah. I forgot."
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/21/2012 9:24 PM
When reviwing logllines, do you all take a dictionary to see what the words mean? After reading them, they all appear to be high vocabulary terms as I read alone them in the past logline contests.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/21/2012 10:23 PM
I just use the most specific and accurate words I can. Why say "runs quickly" when "sprints" works? Why say "works against" when "opposes" is better?
I tend to write how I speak, and I usually speak how most people write so I probably use more esoteric or obscure words/terms, but 1) as a writer I should have a larger vocabulary and 2) a lot of those words are pretty neat.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/21/2012 11:05 PM
Marnie... I made Margaret and David say those things using my awesome Jedi Mind Tricks.
And Mags is right... you'll be kicking yourself if you don't enter.
If it helps, I don't feel nearly as confident about my entry this year as I did the previous three. But I'm still entering it.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/21/2012 11:07 PM
If anything, just pick an idea you'd like to write a script for and see how the logline fares. I know wrote somewhere on this crazy site is the worst thing is you get 30+ people giving you comments and feedback -- which can only help you in the long run.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 1/22/2012 10:35 AM
I wasn't going to enter this year because I'm really busy with two novels but this morning I woke up with a great idea so...
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/22/2012 11:29 AM
Seems as though all of the pressure and Jedi tricks hit Faith!
Best of luck Faith! :)
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 1/22/2012 12:03 PM
My loglines always suck and I've never advanced past the logline contest, so you MPers won't get any competition from me!
But, it's still fun to enter!
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/22/2012 12:54 PM
How do you guys feel about starting a sentence with But or And in a logline? I mean the second sentence of course.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/22/2012 1:43 PM
I do it all the time. Sometimes you can make a stronger point by starting a sentence with a conjunction.
Here are somethings to look at:
Much like split infinitives and ending a sentence with a preposition, it's just an arbitrary "rule."
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/22/2012 2:10 PM
It's an arbitrary rule, yes possibly, but one that if ignored might turn off certain readers - myself included - so WHY RISK IT? (It's not that my opinion is sacrosanct, it's just an opinion - but if I have that opinion, then what's the betting that others have it? I mean professional readers, by this)
I would avoid anything that could possibly annoy...
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/22/2012 10:06 PM
It's poor grammar and it's definitely annoying and taken into consideration when writing my reviews and giving my grades.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/22/2012 11:04 PM
The point is that it's not technically bad grammar. Besides, if the flow sentence(s) works better broken up with a conjunction starting a sentence, why worry?
And, really, I'm sure we've all read spec, professional, and produced screenplays rife with bad grammer -- sentence fragments, misused punctuation, made up words, etc. As long the sentence/intention is clear it shouldn't matter.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/22/2012 11:07 PM
Also, if I have the opinion that it's not a problem what are the odds that others might have it, too? I'm referring to profession readers by this as well.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/23/2012 12:20 AM
I'm not good at grammar. Oh well. Maybe I don't know how to write English well. But I guess reading ther screenplays can help me learn English and write better sentences and loglines. lol
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/23/2012 1:02 AM
Why take the chance? NOT starting a sentence with But or And won't ever annoy anyone. Starting it with But or And WILL. Your call.
All I'm trying to do is give you all the best chances.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/23/2012 2:27 AM
I would agree with Carline. But using that word at the beginning of a sentence is weird.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/23/2012 2:55 AM
The way I was taught, 'but' or 'and' are conjunctions, meaning they are used to conjoin two thoughts. If either is the first word in the sentence, then they can not possibly be being used properly. It distracts me, it annoys me, I comment on it and will likely score lower based on the perceived grammar mistake.
Bob Johnson (Level 4) ~ 1/23/2012 3:40 AM
But me no buts...
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/23/2012 10:23 AM
I'll stick with the groundwork laid out my Chicago Manual of Style, which reads there is
"no historical or grammatical foundation" to not begin sentences with a conjunction.
Since there is no rule there is no need to not start a sentence witha conjunction. All the literary greats did, modern authors do it, journalists do, screenwriters do it, etc.
It's not grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with "but," "and," "for," "yet," "so," "nor," or "or." Whether you like it or not doesn't matter -- it's not wrong and knocking someone down for it makes no sense because you don't like it. I don't like the British spelling of words, but I let it go. Of course, in that instance, both forms of spelling are acceptable.
And I've never had a script where producers or directors or judges mentioned a sentence starting with a conjunction. For them it's story that matters, and as long as the story coherent and clear, they don't care if you start a sentence with "but" or "and."
For the record: The "And" that began the previous paragraph did connect two thoughts. Two sentences can be related and not be connected -- that's how paragraphs are formed. You can think of it as you having to take a flight from New York to San Francisco, but you have a lay-over in Saint Louis. You're still going from New York to SanFrancisco, you just have to stop in Saint Louis -- which is not your final destination -- for a connecting flight.
Keep in mind, too, that we were taught a lot of misleading and incorrect information in school. And as a screenwriting, English, and literature student I've discovered quite a bit of that deals with grammar.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/23/2012 5:28 PM
I didn't know that a title tells what the story is about.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/23/2012 6:36 PM
Whether technically permissable by various writing authorities or not, to begin a sentence with a conjunction is at the very least, sloppy grammar. If I'm the only person that's bothered by it though, then the 1 point it shaves off your score from me will probably be heavily outweighed by all the extra points it gains you from all the people who can better appreciate your risky use of conjunctions in a contest where you are being judged solely on 1-2 sentences. If I'm not the only person that's bothered by it, you'll have a dozen comments about it and will ultimately know that you probably don't want to start a sentence with a conjunction in a logline contest.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/23/2012 8:35 PM
I'll start a sentence with "And" or "But" in dialogue because one sentence ends and another stops, and that's the way we talk. I'll defend that one to the death.
In a logline, what's the difference between a period and a comma? Might as well use a comma and keep everyone happy.
Reginald - The title should be something that brings the movie to mind in some way. Which makes me think I should either change my title or modify my logline... What a dilemma. I like them both.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/23/2012 9:16 PM
It's not sloppy grammar. It is fully permissible, ergo, it's proper grammar.
But I don't blame anyone sticking their misguided grounds. You can't help it:
But to get back on topic: I don't see the need to start a sentence with a conjunction in a logline. As Maggie suggested, a comma -- or dash or semi-colon (if used correctly) or colon -- will work just fine since with a logline you can't really control the pace and feel of just one sentence. Of course you can try:
One protagonist. One goal. Dozens of obstacles. An antogonist who can't be beat. He gets one chance to succeed... Or else...
There's a sense of urgency there, as cliched and poorly done as it is. It does, however, read more like a tagline, so I wouldn't suggest using that format. Yet it still gives a sense of genre and tone, so maybe it would work...
As for titles: try to work in some form of irony or double meaning. That's one problem with movie title that are someone's name: "Rudy," "Forrest Gump," "J. Edgar," etc. You know who the movie's about, not much else -- especially if you don't know if the person is real or fictional.
I still think one of the best titles is "American Beauty." An American beauty is a type of rose; it's a way to describe a pretty woman (I think of Marilyn Monroe and Clara Bow as pinacle American beauties); it also implies something of the American dream; it's a reference to "America the Beautiful." Two words and they bring up so many different ideas and ideals. That's what you want a title to do.
Then again, a title that says what the movie is -- "Dodgeball," "Titanic," Ordinary People," "Step Brothers" -- can be just as effective. Essentially you're kind of at the mercy of your own sensibilities.
So as always, good luck.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 1/24/2012 12:28 AM
40 drafts and I'm still not satisfied with my logling. I'm having troulbe deciding what information to keep, because in the past, my reviews have asked for more...but I'm reluctant to give too much away.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/24/2012 1:09 AM
Two drafts. Initial entry. One minor tweak. It'll fly or flop, but I like it.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/24/2012 7:52 AM
I'm looking forward to the end of January because this log line business is beginning to get right on my @@@@@@@@@
You get the message.
I can achieve a crisp sounding log line it just doesn't have a hook, or suggest the genre, so whilst punchy, still fails IMO. So like most good first timers I will probably have too much detail and it will be too long, but hey, isn't that part of the learning process. Well, that's what I tell myself!
I' m sure writing is easier.
Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 1/24/2012 8:22 AM
My overall impression of loglines is that they don't have to be witty or flashy, they just have to sell the story.
I try not to think of loglines as a pitch to producers. I think of it as a 25 word blurb in tv guide. What do you want to say about your film?
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 1/24/2012 3:04 PM
@Nick "...but I'm reluctant to give too much away."
From all the study of I've done and from all the back-and-forth with professionals on newsgroups, that's exactly what's wrong with most loglines.
Except for the third act, you've got to give it away. To consider it, people need to know what the story is about.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/25/2012 11:48 AM
I'm in Tim's boat. Just a few word changes but it is what it is.
I wrote somewhere that if you're afraid to give to much away -- and this goes with Dan's comment -- you have to let at least us know where the story's going. I try to make sure I include the third act plot point, meaning the Break into Three beat to use Snyder's terminology. It's tougher if your script isn't necessarily plot driven, but you have to have some kind of story we can attach to in the logline. A goal or end-point works wonders.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 1/25/2012 12:02 PM
I want to explain, so badly, why my logline's awful but cannot be improved but it would give away which one is mine...
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/26/2012 8:38 AM
Here is what Michael Ferris says in a Final Draft article:
"Some books say you should write a short, 1- to 3-sentence paragraph to tell the reader
your script’s story. I say, bulls%$^. You write ONE sentence, and ONE sentence only, and
you SELL the reader on why he or she should read your script.
Let me repeat that: Your goal with a logline is not to talk about or encapsulate the story in an exciting way. Instead, a logline is meant to highlight the aspects of your script that would entice someone who didn’t give a crap two seconds ago into wanting to read or know more.
If you can write one sentence that entices the reader to want to read your script AND also gives some semblance of what the story will be, you’ve written the perfect logline."
There are so many different opinions and mine is to just write something that is going to grab people. It may be three sentences, it may be one but it must intrigue.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/26/2012 8:41 AM
Here´s a link to the full article:
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/27/2012 7:07 PM
I think I finally have a great logline. But the problem is, it sounds like a thriller, maybe even an action, when in fact it is a drama. I still like it, so I'll keep it! :D
So.... are we going to get anymore loglines? Only a few more days left and the entries are looking on the skimpy side. I was sure we were going to get about 120.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/28/2012 10:41 AM
Still tweaking three different ideas...
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/28/2012 11:37 AM
MJ - my goal with loglines has always been to follow the tried and true formula - and that has succeeded for me to a degree. What's more, I've never had a problem with writing in the format.
However, for the concept I have this year, what I came with initially "grabs me", even though it doesn't follow the formula. And when I write version which "have everything a logline should", it feels chunky and wordy and not as compelling.
Could logically be argued that "I just don't know my story well enough". True. I haven't gotten past the logline yet. I don't know my entire story. But that hasn't stopped me before in regards to writing a logline.
So this year I have elected to pull an "exception to my own rules" card and hope that the concept is compelling enough to overcome the "stick to the format" curmudgeons (I am typically one of them).
Having said that, I have always gone for "impact first, format second"... so I'm hopefully being consistent. Yikes!
I hate that we have to wait a full month sometimes. :-/
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/28/2012 1:41 PM
Yep, and an extra day to wait through as it´s a leap year!
Dave Kunz (Level 4) ~ 1/28/2012 2:58 PM
I've been researching loglines for the past couple of months and in the "impact versus format" argument I've landed on the impact side of the issue. I believe producers and directors want to be hooked first and informed second. Why? Because in shopping for stories they're already thinking ahead to the marketing phase and want scripts that will grab an audiences' attention fast.
The flip side to that equation is the fact that short-and-punchy loglines leave themselves open to a million questions about character and conflict and other basic story elements. No matter how hard you try you're never going to get intrigue and clarity to play nice together.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/28/2012 3:56 PM
So now I'm feeling better about the "impact" aspect. Cool. Thanks, Dave. :-)
Unfortunately, I won't know for a little over a month if the concept actually HAS any impact at all.
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 1/29/2012 8:23 AM
71 entries. Anyone think it will make 100 again this year?
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 1/29/2012 9:48 AM
Just entered, my first time for a feature log line!
Quite frankly i feel a sense of release by getting this off my desk. The whole task was quite an effort, almost more than writing if that makes sense.
If i had to "guess" at the core weaknesses in mine, it would be a failure to convey the genre strongly enough. Time will tell, indeed i look forward to seeing all the comments.
I'm also looking forward to reading all the others, as this in itself will be a good education.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 12:40 PM
I woke up this morning KNOWING the logline and title I entered last week-end was totally wrong.
Now I've entered a totally different title and logline.
I still hate loglines.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 1:22 PM
Update: still not in. LOL. :D
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/29/2012 1:52 PM
You're just teasing us, aren't you, Marnie?
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/29/2012 2:02 PM
try an experiment, Marnie. Put in a completely ludicrous idea and see what happens. Why not. Make it super crazy and see. Just get in this.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 2:14 PM
It's not gonna work Westland. I'm enjoying everyone elses stress too much. I mean look at poor Faith up there...three days left and she woke up thinking about it! Then entered a different logline...that would be me right now! I'll just enjoy from the sidelines, thank you very much. ;)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/29/2012 2:36 PM
I'll be glad when this is over with. This month is too long!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/29/2012 2:54 PM
Well, Marnie... I WILL have the rest of the year to torment you into entering the 2013 contest. So I have that.
[ insert evil laugh here ]
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/29/2012 4:58 PM
I agree with Tim, Marnie. Just think of the most ridiculous logline and enter it. Why not? You already planned on not entering, so it wouldn't hurt to put a fun one up. Just write whatever comes to mind first and stick with it. Just start writing it in the entry box and tap "submit". I'll do it right now: "A slew of rats infest an apartment and terrorize the tenants. Now it's up to a retired exterminator to rid the building of its infestation... before the queen rat emerges." Haha. That's what I came up with while I was writing this. Do THAT!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 5:10 PM
Here's my luck...the ridiculous logline would make it through. Then I'd have to come up with 10 pages and then possibly a feature!
Truth is, I'm very focussed on completing a feature right now. Really don't want the distraction. It's on a logline I already entered so...there ya go. I could have changed the titile but couldn't really change the idea enough to make it sound different and didn't want to risk getting DQ'd.
But I can't lie, I am truly enjoying everyone else's misery. :D
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 7:28 PM
I thought of a story I like today. I'll see if I can get a logline written before February 1st.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/29/2012 8:17 PM
"Save the Cat!" has some fun exercises for thinking of interesting movies:
FUNNY ________; where you take something like "All the President's Men" or "Ordinary People" and make it a comedy.
SERIOUS ________; the reverse of the above -- "Tootsie" or something Adam Sandler made as deep drama.
There are a few others, but they're all great for thinking of new ideas.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/29/2012 8:26 PM
That's cool, Zach.
Hey Marnie, you have your 2013 logline ready yet?
(and so it begins)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/29/2012 8:38 PM
So a logline can't be as easy as saying "While a man showers, the drain sucks him in as he discovers the inside is a world of a cartoon. He must save his wife, who is trapped in before his shower ends" without feeling stressed about writing one?
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 9:03 PM
It's going to be a L-O-N-G year...
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/29/2012 9:23 PM
That's a great logline, Reginald. Or at least a great start for one.
Other than some wording that's easier fixes my biggest wonders are: When did the wife get sucked in? Does the man know his wife is in the drain? What's the worst thing to happen if they get stuck in the drain? How will the shower end if no one's there to turn it off? Also, I'm not sure of genre/mood/tone.
Those, however, are easy questions to answer -- or allude to -- without making the sentence clunky. All in all, it definitely has potential.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/30/2012 12:31 AM
"Look at you poor saps...stressing already. LOL. ;D"
Absolutely correct. :) geez. Counted the rewrites and I did over 30. I'm in though.
Not optimistic, but I hope it's better than last year. Improving is the goal...
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 1/30/2012 12:52 AM
Just 30 rewrites? I've probably done 25 and I just got started.
It's my way of systematically creating the worst possible logline.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 1/30/2012 1:01 AM
I'm solid with my logline -- only reworked it a few times.
My concern is that I don't know if I can write the script. I mean, I *can* write it, it's just that it's in a genre, tone, mood, etc. I've not had much experience writing. I've been working in starts and stops on the damn thing for the past month and everything I do seems wrong.
So I'm kind of torn about the logline round: If I make it though, awesome, we all like good things, but then I have to write the script (at least the first 10 pages). If I don't make it though, well, that sucks, because no one likes to lose. But then I don't have to write the script (at least the first 10 pages).
See that, everyone? A perfect dilemma that could be put into a screenplay -- damned if you, damned if you don't...
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/30/2012 1:48 AM
I stopped counting at 30.
Spent days trying to come up with a single word. The story idea has been floating around in my head for several years. First time I actually tried to write down what it's about though.
Actually it's progress. I submitted number 99 rewrite last year with a brand new idea which had no chance of progressing. Thought doing that many again was a bit obsessive, plus would be proof I hadn't learned anything. :)
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 1/30/2012 7:29 AM
@ Marnie... It's not gonna work Westland. I'm enjoying everyone elses stress too much. I mean look at poor Faith up there...three days left and she woke up thinking about it! Then entered a different logline...that would be me right now! I'll just enjoy from the sidelines, thank you very much. ;)
Come on girl-friend. Enter! You don't want to miss out on losing an entire day because you're rewriting a logline every time you turn around! It is SOOOOOOO much fun!
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 1/30/2012 8:02 AM
Marnie...I'd care, if you weren't a Giants fan. :)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/30/2012 9:32 PM
I'm still sort of new to this website. I have a question. How many loglines usually entered in the contest? Is there a limit to how many people can enter a contest?
Jem Rowe (Level 4) ~ 1/30/2012 10:01 PM
Ahhh, I can't stand this, my script just refuses to be pinned down into a logline ):
@Reginald: There's usually around 100 and no limit as far as I know. Good Luck!
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/30/2012 10:04 PM
I am new to this site as well, but everyone else seems to be busy, so if you don't mind, I think I can handle this one, guys.
Last year I believe there were 107 loglines entered.
The year before that there were, hey, that's weird. There were also 107 loglines entered.
And if you go back to 2009, there were 119.
The answer to the second part of your question would be yes. The limit of entries could not exceed the number of Movie Poet members.
If you want a second opinion, I'm sure Chris will be returning shortly.
Glad to help.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/30/2012 10:08 PM
Well at the moment there are 4,540 members and I'm defintely NOT entering so at the most there will be 4,539 entries.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/30/2012 10:12 PM
Second to the last day...
Join us saps. How much pressure can there be in only two days? :)
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/30/2012 10:13 PM
You're not fooling me. I expect to see a logline about a family of wolves or some swamp in Jersey that eats people.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/30/2012 11:10 PM
How about a family of swamp wolf people who eat Jersey?
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/30/2012 11:18 PM
When a family of Swamp people is forced out of their home in the Everglades by a band of teenaged mutant alligators they move North only to find themselves in the swamps of Jersey and faced with an even worse SITUATION...SNOOKI!!!! And there are also werewolves. Music by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Starring Jack Nicholson.
Okay...maybe I really do rock at loglines!!!!!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/30/2012 11:24 PM
Hook, line and sinker, folks.
Enter that one, Marnie.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 12:47 AM
I just changed my logline to a completely new idea for the 5th time this month so far. I don't have any particular feature that I'm passionate to tell so I keep bouncing back and forth between several unfleshed ideas that I have floating around...
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 1/31/2012 12:54 AM
I changed to my logline several times. I originally wasn't going to enter. I guess I can see how this logline will do by March, since I already have an idea in mind. I don't know if I will write the first ten pages if the logline does make the top 30. Just entering for fun, I suppose.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/31/2012 1:11 AM
Reginald, if you move on and don't feel like writing it, let me do it.
Called it first.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 1/31/2012 2:31 AM
After 72 drafts, I have a good logline (I think. Bully on the rest of you--j/k). Characters are described. The plot twists are hinted at. The major obstacle is stated. Plus, I did it all in less than 40 words!
I'm just hoping that this year people vote based on the quality of the loglines themselves, because comments like "I'm giving this a 'good' because I don't like the whatever-genre" do nothing to help me improve my skills.
I really think that a lot of contestants do a great job with establishing the genre in their loglines, which is important, but it really isn't fair to the writer to deminish the score based on personal preference...is it? I really want to know, not trying to be sarcastic.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/31/2012 5:14 AM
I would hope that people don't do that too. Reviewing, however, is ALWAYS subjective. It can't be anything other than that but I'm sure everyone will try very hard not to bring personal taste into it.
The difficulty is that one of the things a logline is meant to do is to compel you to want to read the screenplay/watch the film!
I guess you could say that a logline has worked very well if you know that you DON'T want to watch the film as a result of reading it! That's to say, it has put across the genre and subject matter so effectively that you know it's not for you. That should be an EXCELLENT logline, if you think about it :)
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 6:30 AM
But by that rationale scripts that nobody wants to see or read will go through to the next round!!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/31/2012 6:48 AM
Duh! Silly me.
(I only meant in regard to genre and subject-matter! It still has to be a perfect logline with no technical flaws at all to get an excellent from me.)
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 7:28 AM
I just looked at my logline. I'm sure there are all kinds of things wrong with it but I don't see them so it's staying the way it is...
I suspect we will have 105 entries!
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 1/31/2012 9:03 AM
Yeah...my logline is horrible. Can I pay some $1 to write me a good logline?
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 1:14 PM
ooh ooh - I don't know which idea to go with horror or action?????
Kirk White (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 1:27 PM
Rich, I've constructed the perfect Movie Poet logline for you (guaranteed to place):
"The Diabolic Flarfigaffler"
A sadistic serial killer vampire screenwriter, suffering from a devastating bout of writer’s block, finds a mystical chalice that allows him to travel up his own ass.
please send my dollar to CaRoline and tell her to spend it on Chazz...
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 4:40 PM
Kirk! That's MY logline!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 7:04 PM
Going over my logline one last time, but I don't think I'll change it much, if at all. My brain is really tired. And full... And empty at the same time...
I think it's time for a new month to start.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 1/31/2012 8:49 PM
Logline entered. Let the anesthetic-free public dissection begin. Please discard my hopes and dreams in the proper receptacle.
Good luck, everyone. I'm really glad that judging takes place over the shortest month.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 9:52 PM
@NM...yeah, but they've added a day on us this year...
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 10:15 PM
I just entered the winner. I thought you other 106 people might want to know, while you still have time to withdraw and save face.
(Damn, that never works.)
OK, but I am gunning for somewhere in the top 100 this year (or close to it). So watch out numbers 101 through 107!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/31/2012 10:18 PM
@dan... why would I wanna save this face?
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/31/2012 10:37 PM
Wait, wait, wait. 107 entries? 107 three years in a row! No waaaaay!
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 10:40 PM
@JP - Over an hour left til the deadline. Plenty of time for another 50 or so.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/31/2012 11:04 PM
Marnie... the dark side of the force is calling youuuuuuuuuu...
Steve Dexheimer (Level 4) ~ 1/31/2012 11:40 PM
Sorry, just pushed the number to 110. Did I smash our kharma?
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/31/2012 11:41 PM
If I don't place.... IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT STEVE!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 11:42 PM
YES! I am victorious! Only 20 minutes left and I fought the urge. I will admit I was feeling shakey the last couple of days but Faith, Nick and KP talking about their woes helped me stay strong.
Best of luck...I'm looking forward to reading every one of these!
Doh...just realized, there is still 15 minutes left!!!!! Noooooooooo!!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/31/2012 11:45 PM
364 days of torture are all you have to look forward to, Marnie.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 1/31/2012 11:49 PM
I didn't really have woes, just frustrations. I tried to learn from years past, but found it hard to incorperate all the good advice and still keep my logline short.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 11:51 PM
Is anyone going to start reading these tonight?
Trent Carroll (Level 4) ~ 1/31/2012 11:54 PM
I can't believe I'm actually doing it this year. Last year I submitted a logline early and I edited it into a coma, so I eventually gave up and pulled out. I decided to not use the pull-out method this time (even though I edited it into a coma, I was able to resuscitate it).
*fingers crossed it spawns a screenplay baby*
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 1/31/2012 11:57 PM
@Trent - Even loglines in a coma can spawn a screenplay.....
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 1/31/2012 11:57 PM
...that's what he said.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/1/2012 12:30 AM
Just a reminder, please read our guide to reviewing loglines before actually reviewing the loglines.
Remember, you are not voting your personal taste in movie as much as you are voting on how well each logline is written.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 4:10 AM
Thanks Chris, I will have a read before starting.
Log line reviews are new for me so there's a nice challenge for the month.
Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2012 7:35 AM
Crap, totally forgot about this month.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2012 7:57 AM
Keaton you didn't?? Bummer
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 12:35 PM
Regarding Messineo's reminder on how to review loglines, covering the three elements: Title, Story, Craft. Just read one where I would score the Title and Craft "okay, but not great" but the Story is so intrigueing, that I think I'll boost the score because of that. Often the craft might affect me in that if someone can't craft a logline, how the heck do they craft a whole script. But when the logline still presents the elements that you KNOW make a good story, I feel like giving it a chance that the craft will catch up.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/1/2012 12:59 PM
Reviewing these loglines is a bit addictive...
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/1/2012 1:05 PM
What's addictive about reading a logline? Sorry to ask, just wondering.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 1:05 PM
Once you do one, you find out you've actually done 20... =)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/1/2012 1:32 PM
"Reviewing these loglines is a bit addictive..."
"What's addictive about reading a logline?"
I think it's addictive too. I keep wanting to find out what the next movie will be about.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/1/2012 1:37 PM
Man, as I write these reviews, I see the flaws in my own. Jeez, I thought I had a good one this year. I hope I skate by.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2012 1:48 PM
they are completely addictive - loving them!
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 2:19 PM
There have been a couple of clever ideas I never would've thought of. The thing I'm pissed about is that I had my script idea (and most of the script, actually) ready for the contest, but took it out because the logline was too bland. So, instead of going with a good idea of mine, I decided to revive an old one that I'm not particularly fond of...
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/1/2012 2:59 PM
Stop torturing yourself, Sean. You're feeding Marnie's smugness! :)
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 3:16 PM
It's a good thing. See, this way, she'll see another person who posed no competition for her and would've slightly increased her chances of moving on so she'll debate for the year 11 months whether or not participating was a good idea.
To quote Lance Henriksen from 1991, "'Course you gotta think... Thinkin's the fun part of it." (it was from Tales From the Crypt. Good times). =)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/1/2012 3:17 PM
Hmm. I was thinking about reviewing all the loglines before school starts. Maybe I can see how or if it is that addicting.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 3:32 PM
Okay. I'm done.
Excellents across the board. Good luck everybody!
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2012 3:50 PM
Golly, how can you finish so fast?? I've been reviewing for eight hours and I'm only on 15!!
Mohammad Nawaz (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 6:17 PM
Woah! I've only reviewed 34 so far, how could somebody finish this fast?
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2012 6:23 PM
That's what she said.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/1/2012 6:26 PM
It's because he gave Excellents across the board! No thought required! :)
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2012 11:27 PM
Thanks illustrious leader!
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2012 11:29 PM
I simply love logline month.
So much imagination...
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/2/2012 10:51 AM
It's two days late, but I just realized how to improve my logline. :(
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/2/2012 10:57 AM
Wow, I'm only on four. Some good loglines. I'm amazed at the ideas that you guys have!
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/2/2012 10:58 AM
Oh Chris don't!! I dream about it! I actually woke up on the 31st and got back online to tweak mine and then changed my mind and tweaked it back. It's crayzeee.
Chuckle Marnie, chuckle
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 2/2/2012 11:05 AM
i agree. i am finding the log line reviews most enjoyable. I'm only 15 or so in but so far i either love them or...well...not. Somewhat black or white, which is unusual for me. It will be interesting to see if at the end of 111 i then reconsider some i did at the beginning
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/2/2012 1:49 PM
All of these well done loglines are bringing my average comment lenght down. : )
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/2/2012 2:16 PM
I know, Nick! Same here!
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/2/2012 4:44 PM
Is it okay to make general observations about the loglines without being at all specific, or might that be considered influencing a bias?
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/2/2012 4:53 PM
"Is it okay to make general observations about the loglines without being at all specific, or might that be considered influencing a bias?"
Thanks for asking.
That would be a bad idea. General any discussion about the current contest, while the current contest is underway, just makes people nervous. :)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/2/2012 4:55 PM
"All of these well done loglines are bringing my average comment lenght down."
I still post at least 1,000 words on the logline. I have a different method for reviewing a logline in detail. I hope it helps anyone when they read them.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/2/2012 5:07 PM
@Chris - (locks lips and, winking, tosses away the key)
@Reginald - Right now, my comment average is hovering around 950 per entry. But it was much highter to start with.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/2/2012 6:32 PM
@ Chris: It's two days late, but I just realized how to improve my logline. :(
I know that feeling....
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/2/2012 7:12 PM
1000? 950? What are you guys saying about these loglines?! If they need some work, I'll get that high. Mine are like 350 if it's good.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/2/2012 7:32 PM
@JP - my thoughts exactly - how bad can they be??
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/2/2012 7:50 PM
It is actually pretty easy to go on about how good they are, too. Picking the things I really liked and detailing why I liked them. Maybe speculating on where I think the story might go based on the information used in the logline.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/2/2012 9:01 PM
I think I found a way to improve a logline too, but I don't know if it will work.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 11:44 AM
For some reason my average score this month is way higher than the average. I'm usually below the average. I guess you guys must have written some good log lines!! :)
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/3/2012 11:59 AM
Same here Pia. My greatest fear is that my entry is the reason why everyone's else's percentage is much lower than mine.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/3/2012 12:09 PM
My average score is unusally low. I'm surprised I had to rank three of them in a roll as poors. It's not like I'm trying to bump everyone down. Has anyone ever had that feeling?
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/3/2012 1:09 PM
@ Reginald. Yup. When I first started. I realized I didn't know what I was looking for, so I tended to grade lower. When I finally wrote down my own guideline for a good logline, I stuck to that. My grades suddenly started to be on par with the others.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 1:38 PM
Maybe I should do that, although mine always equal out in the end. The scores start off low, then seem to get better as it goes along.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 1:42 PM
I get a weird sense of deja vu with some loglines, absolutely convince myself that I've seen the entry before and spend ages looking through previous entries before getting seriously annoyed.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 1:51 PM
I think I just read the winner.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 1:58 PM
can previous entries be entered again?
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 2:09 PM
"can previous entries be entered again?"
That's been asked before and I'm pretty sure the answer is "No." I suspect you are reading something very similar to something that's gone before, but that the person who wrote the one you're reading never saw so they don't know it's an idea we've seen.
Sheesh, I hope my logline doesn't ramble on like that. ^^^
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 2:10 PM
Someone talk me down -- How do I resist rating an entry highly when the logline is "NOT GOOD" but the story sounds "SOOOOOOO GOOD!!"??
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/3/2012 2:12 PM
No, previous entries to the MP logline contest CAN'T be resubmitted, even with a different title, as far as I am aware.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 2:14 PM
OK. not as mad as I thought I was.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/3/2012 2:21 PM
Denise... I know exactly what you're talking about. If it grabs your attention, then rate it how you want to rate it. But if it's really poorly constructed, then you really have to remember that the screenplay might be constructed in the same fashion, and you'll just find yourself disappointed.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 2:24 PM
hey Denise i find that really hard too. What I do is grade the logline construction and then bump it up one because it's got me excited to read it.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 2:40 PM
MJ - I like that approach.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 2:50 PM
JP - Yes, if the logline isn't well written, what might I expect from the script? I think on some of those, I will rate it for the loglinea and tell the person to work on their craft, but stick with it because they have a great idea.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/3/2012 2:59 PM
I have a question. In March, will we see the top 30 loglines and the other 81 loglines, or will we only see the top 30s?
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/3/2012 3:03 PM
You will see all the loglines, Reginald.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/3/2012 3:03 PM
Unfortunately, I had to DQ a few loglines today, because they (or slight variations) had been entered in previous contests.
We do not allow rewrites of shorts or loglines to be entered, because they effect the anonymity of the entries.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 3:18 PM
I'll tell you how I keep from overscoring a good idea w/ a bad logline. I remind myself how difficult it is to read the first 10 pages of a poorly written screenplay. It's torture. My red flags go up when it has issues like a lack of focus and it's overwritten. Those to me are signs that there's trouble ahead...
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 3:34 PM
"I remind myself how difficult it is to read the first 10 pages of a poorly written screenplay. It's torture."
Trent Carroll (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 3:40 PM
Is it just me, or do the perfectly written loglines tend to not be as interesting as some other loglines that strayed away from normal logline structure?
I've been doing a balancing act with that problem.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 3:46 PM
"In March, will we see the top 30 loglines and the other 81 loglines, or will we only see the top 30s?"
When the results are posted, it's a little different than a regular month. The top thirty writers are listed, with their placement, but their loglines are not listed (because that would affect anonymity of the next round.) The remaining 81 are listed, with their writers and reviews, just like a regular month. On the results for Round 2 of 3, it's the same. Those writers that make the top ten cut are listed, but no loglines, and their reviews aren’t visible. The other twenty that didn’t make the cut show up as they do in a normal round. It’s not until the results are posted for the final round that you are able to see the reviewing for all writers in all rounds.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/3/2012 3:47 PM
"Is it just me, or do the perfectly written loglines tend to not be as interesting as some other loglines that strayed away from normal logline structure?"
I don't think there is a "normal logline structure". Fundamentally, I look for clear, concise, and compelling. How the writer does that is up to them.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/3/2012 3:49 PM
Just to clarify what Denise said. We do display the top 30 loglines that are moving on, we just don't display how they placed.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 3:49 PM
Caroline said, "Reviewing these loglines is a bit addictive..."
I am so there. I keep telling myself "this is the last one for now" then I click submit and I see the title for the next one and I decide "just one more..."
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 3:52 PM
"In March, will we see the top 30 loglines and the other 81 loglines, or will we only see the top 30s?"
You are able to see the top 30 loglines but in a separate list to the writers so you don't know which logline goes with which writer.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/3/2012 4:24 PM
@ Trent - I used to think that way, but I learned that what I find uninteresting is someone else's favorite genre. So that's why I tend to stick to judging the logline on clarity. 'Do I know what this story is about?' Not whether or not I liked it.
Trent Carroll (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 4:55 PM
My only concern is whether or not I want to actually read the loglines that tell me everything I, by normal standards, should know in a concise and grammatically correct fashion. Sometimes the loglines are perfectly crafted but I feel like I've heard the story a million times before or the conflict is sub-par compared to so many other original ideas that didn't present itself in the same polished fashion.
Trent Carroll (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 4:57 PM
*Correction*: "read the first ten pages or even the full screenplay of the loglines"
Trent Carroll (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 5:24 PM
I guess to phrase it better: should I put more weight on structure and presentation or the quality of the story being presented?
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 6:16 PM
The answer is both. There is an old adage that there's no such thing as a "new" idea. The advice so often heard if you pitch an old idea, make sure it has a twist that makes it interesting. So, if it feels like you've seen it before, look again to see if it has a twist that would make it new and interesting.
That said, I think MJ's advice to me, except switched, makes sense: Grade the logline construction and then bump it DOWN one because you're NOT excited to read it.
Trent Carroll (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 7:01 PM
That's kind of what I've been doing. If I don't like the story or I think it's been done to death, I bump it down one. If I like the story or I think it's interesting and original, I bump it up one. If I think the structure is bad, I bump it down one. If I think the structure is good, I bump it up one. I was just a little worried about how people would take it because people have been arguing the personal opinion vs. public opinion debate about what actually makes a logline good and what makes it bad.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/3/2012 7:18 PM
I never written a logline before.
Gary Rademan (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 7:21 PM
I disagree. Politely. A logline is good if it you want to go see it now. It's pass or fail.
The grading comes in how much needs to be done to get it to pass.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/3/2012 7:34 PM
So it's either poor or excellent?
"A logline is good if you want to see it now"
As I said before, people have different tastes. How is it fair to "fail" a logline if it's a subject you're not fond of? If the members of moviepoet were a bunch of historian fanatics, then I'm sure most of these loglines would "fail", solely because we don't want to see them "right now".
Paul Williams (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 7:36 PM
"I never written a logline before."
You ain't missin' anything, Reginald.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/3/2012 8:00 PM
"I disagree. Politely. A logline is good if it you want to go see it now. It's pass or fail."
I agree that is how it works in the real world. Because in the real world readers, agents, and producers are deciding if they want to read the script.
Here it is a bit different. We have to do our best to judge the quality of the writing too, because there are bound to be loglines in genres we don't find interesting, but we should still be able to judge them fairly. I discuss this in more detail in the logline FAQ, but hopefully everyone gets the idea.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 8:03 PM
I try to be neutral to the genre when judging these, but it's hard not to give an extra point when a log line excites me because it's something I want to see, because that's the genre I love.
Gary Rademan (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 8:05 PM
JP, well said. I will whisper a quote from an action movie I've forgotten the name of "there is no pass or fail, only do or no do." G'night all!
Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 9:24 PM
4 DQs so far. I think that has to be a all time high.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/3/2012 9:29 PM
I'm shocked to find out who the one of the four people are.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 10:20 PM
Do the DQ's get an e-mail informing them?
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2012 10:25 PM
Wasn't me....I know that. :D
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/3/2012 10:25 PM
Yep. Caroline said she sends emails to people who are disqualified. I don't kow if Chris does it too.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 10:47 PM
@ Marnie. LOL - Loglines are the least of your worries. Bamboozlefest is coming!!
@ Reg. Thanks. I guess I'm in the clear for now.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/3/2012 10:50 PM
If I DQ a script, the web site sends out an email notifying the member.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/3/2012 10:50 PM
^^ Temporarily runs away to check his E-mail...
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/3/2012 10:53 PM
Did I say that, Reginald? I'm obviously hallucinating again. It's Chris who sends the emails!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/3/2012 11:13 PM
That was my fault, Caroline. When you posted, "You will be e-mailed by Chris. There have been three DQs already. I haven't finished going through all the scripts yet but will do so as quickly as possible" in the Six Contest thread on November 1st at 5:50 PM, I misunderstood you and thought that you send them too.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/4/2012 12:14 AM
I feel kind of bad...I just gave a psychology lesson and a theroetical physics lesson to the same logline. It went on for almost 2350 characters. I gave the logline a Very Good. Am I going TOO far?
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/4/2012 12:16 AM
I think I've barely done 2,350 characters in ALL the loglines I've reviewed, total... Ok, not really, but still, that's a lot of typing for one logline. It must've been an interesting experience.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/4/2012 12:23 AM
As I said, I really liked it...I'm just trying to be helpful and informative.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/4/2012 12:51 AM
Nick, I would love a 5000 character analysis of my logline if I could get it. You are the man. I'm sure the writer will love it. Keep doing what you're doing. I hope you have that much to say when you get to mine.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/4/2012 1:06 AM
@JP at the end of the month, if I haven't, send it to me and I'll be happy to do it. Or you can send me one that you haven't entered and I could have a go at that one.
I have to do about this much in my day-to-day so it comes naturally. I work for a small press and I am constantly reading cover letters and query letters. My job is to write up an analysis of what the author has said about their story/book/article and then give my no-holds-barred critical response to these writings--many of which are no longer than a sentence or two. The more in-depth I am, the better my editor/publisher likes me because it's less they have to read.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/4/2012 3:27 PM
I am fairly flexible when I grade a logline. If the logline is written well, I still might not want to see the movie because of the genre. For example, I really do not like movies about vampires, werewolves, and zombies. But I might still grade an entry about vampires, werewolves, or zombies as very good or excellent if the logline is written well. On the other hand, if a story sounds intriguing but the logline has some problems I might count off a bit for the problems with the logline but allow myself to bump it up a bit because of the enticing story. It's a very subjective process. Which is why I always go over my comments on loglines a second time.
Audrey Webb (Level 5) ~ 2/4/2012 4:11 PM
A little diversion that seems appropriate to the topic:
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/4/2012 6:14 PM
I wish I'd written that short!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/4/2012 7:38 PM
Are we allowed to withdraw from the logline contest if we wanted to?
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/4/2012 8:56 PM
No. Entries cannot be removed. Especially after so many members have taken their time to write reviews.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/4/2012 9:00 PM
Reg... don't worry, man. This is an opportunity you have here.
Honestly, I expect mine to fare pretty badly. I mean, I love my logline because I want to write the story behind it, but I think I failed in the execution.
But the feedback I receive will prove very valuable to me.
So embrace it, learn from it, and improve.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/4/2012 10:10 PM
Yeah, Tim... And I'm sure mine will make it because it's so centered and excellent...
Face it. You've fared PDG in every logline contest so far. You're a rock star. Shut up and accept the reality of that.
Reg - If you're worried about whether your logline can compete or not, then you should shut up, too. Your logline is fine because you're here to learn. We all are. And you're among friends. Take advantage of that in every way you can.
Experiment with ideas and writing styles and whatever else you want to try out, read the reactions we each have, and then filter through all of it.
Submitting at MP is NOT a win/lose situation unless that's what you personally decide it is. It's win/win here when you take it for what it is: You learn from submitting and you learn from reviewing.
It doesn't get better than this. Unless it involves big wads of money...
Take a breath, stop second guessing yourself, and
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/4/2012 10:16 PM
I find it funny that you ran out of breath, Margaret. Thanks for the advice.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 2/5/2012 12:32 AM
Golly, you people are so good.
(My poor logline is toast...)
But (sorry CC), I will not despair.
"You learn from submitting and you learn from reviewing."
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/5/2012 7:19 AM
"But (sorry CC), I will not despair."
I have absolutely no problem with starting sentences with 'but' in dialogue or casual posting, blogging, texting and the like. It's just when it's something that's meant to be formal and will appear in writing.
Context is everything :)
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/5/2012 9:09 AM
Ha! I didn't realize what I did.
Have fun, Reg!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/5/2012 11:07 PM
Darn, I have revised my logline and the revison looks so much better than the one currently entered in the contest.
Sorry about that.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/6/2012 8:53 AM
Ha ha ha! Reginald, I did the exact same thing on my first logline contest! I think we all do!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/6/2012 2:18 PM
That's progress, Reginald, when you begin to self-correct!
Bryony Quigly (Level 3) ~ 2/6/2012 7:52 PM
Is there a way to see our logline entries? I haven't got my logline saved on my laptop.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/6/2012 8:00 PM
Bryony, unfortunately, no. We cannot see our loglines until the contest ends. But you can try emailing Chris and ask him to send you a copy of your logline without compromising the contest.
Bryony Quigly (Level 3) ~ 2/6/2012 8:09 PM
Thanks. I think I'll wait it out. Any opportunity to put off revising loglines is a good opportunity.
...and I've started reviewing the loglines and know how much mine sucks now. Oh boo hoo.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/6/2012 8:51 PM
So you must be able to remember it!?
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/6/2012 9:55 PM
What do we do if we find a logline already entered in a logline contest from previous years?
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/6/2012 10:04 PM
Hmmm... I thought I read one like that as well. Not sure... but it sounded eerily similar.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/6/2012 10:24 PM
"What do we do if we find a logline already entered in a logline contest from previous years?"
Email me with the information.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/7/2012 10:31 AM
The logline in question has been DQ'd as it was a rewrite of an earlier submitted logline.
I thought it was well known that we don't accept rewrites at MP because it can interfere with anonymity, but since we had a few people do it this year, I will make it much clearer before next year's contest.
Hopefully, at this point we have caught all the DQ's.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 2/7/2012 11:29 AM
well i should be safe as i have never written one before!
i probably won't get the chance but since i had finished reviewing them all (second review to follow) i wonder what mark i gave it? Will it be deleted off the system or pop at the end?
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/7/2012 11:35 AM
It, and your review, will disappear. Sorry for the time you've already taken over it - with over 100 it's hard for us Mods to get to them very quickly.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 2/7/2012 1:19 PM
Oh I don't mind, it's all a good learning experience. Now if it had been 10/20 pages that would be different.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/7/2012 1:21 PM
Stopped at 107!
Now I'm spooked, too.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/7/2012 3:22 PM
WOO HOO! Made it half way!
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 2/8/2012 6:22 PM
Phew! Done. That's a lot of loglines. There sure are some interesting ideas in there, and I feel like there are more genres represented than last year.
I wanted to get the voting done early so I can concentrate on an idea for the tournament.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/9/2012 1:07 AM
Kyle, you are now ON NOTICE !!! :-)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/9/2012 1:30 AM
If we advance, are we allowed to change our title if we feel that it is suitable for the revised screenplay?
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/9/2012 3:46 AM
"You can change your title and logline as needed. The gist of the story just needs to stay the same."
"Feature ~ Round 2 of 3: First Ten Pages" - April 2011
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/9/2012 1:05 PM
I'm at jury duty... Nothing to do but wait around... So i'm outlining the first 15 pages of my story. Hurray.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/9/2012 4:02 PM
I'm not writing one for this logline. I don't have the experience to write what my logline is.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/9/2012 4:03 PM
It would be nice if I could team up with someone to write this one.
Sorry for the double post.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/9/2012 6:08 PM
Reginald, if mine doesn't move forward and yours does, then I'm on board to team up with you.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/9/2012 11:49 PM
half way done!...should be done this weekend...hope the second half is as interesting as the first...congrats everyone...good job!
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/10/2012 7:30 AM
I got through all the loglines... :)
I'm looking forward to having a second look at this wide variety of creativeness and I'll probably start that today. One thing I noticed while reading and grading the entries... I experience a side-effect, a kind of JUMP START to my own creativity. Has anyone else had this experience?
This is my third entry into this logline contest. The first year I KNEW I wouldn't progress, and I DID NOT. The second year I KNEW I would progress to the next round, and I DID NOT. This year... I have no idea. It could go either way. I think I'm being objective about my logline but, really, it could go either way!
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/10/2012 7:59 PM
I just finished all my logline reviews too. Great stuff. I'm amazed at the diversity (and some of the similarities). I'm looking forward to reading the first ten pages.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/10/2012 8:07 PM
I have noticed that two days ago, I started off as level 4, then yesterday, I was at Level 3, then today, I was at Level 4, and a few hours later, I returned at Level 3. What does that mean?
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/10/2012 8:15 PM
It's because each level is worked out as a ratio of the total number of reviews...so when you've only just attained a level, if more people review then the number of reviews you require alters so you drop back again.
Don't worry, if you do a few more reviews you'll stay up at Level 4.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/10/2012 8:54 PM
"One thing I noticed while reading and grading the entries... I experience a side-effect, a kind of JUMP START to my own creativity. Has anyone else had this experience?"
Yeah, it's called "plagiarism". (I'm not serious.) It always works that way with me. I don't know if this is common or not, but around my house when I was growing I was always told if you want to write, read.
I've mentioned it before, but I think scripts and movies are naturally a collaborative process. If you get two or three people that have some talent, I'll bet that almost every time, what they write together is better than what they could each write alone.
I know, when I read stories (or loglines) I often think "This was really cool, but if they would have... hmmm...". I always get ideas when I'm reading. I bet most writers do.
What's also interesting is how much you learn by commenting. I don't know how many times I've said something doesn't work very well in a screenplay I'm reviewing and then realize that's exactly what I did with my submission. Sometimes you have to see somebody else make the mistake before you can see the same one in yourself.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/11/2012 7:56 AM
I'm not sure about mine this year, either. I think it's going to be middle of the road rating-wise. Oh, well.
I would love a writers weekend with someone. Have computer. Will travel. Prefer hotels to private homes so I don't need to be accommodated.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/11/2012 1:22 PM
Just a reminder, anyone looking to level up, this is the month to review at MP!
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/11/2012 1:59 PM
"Just a reminder, anyone looking to level up, this is the month to review at MP!"
And if you hit Level 5, you'll be rewarded with delightful 8-bit graphics and distorted midi music.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/11/2012 2:03 PM
"you'll be rewarded with delightful 8-bit graphics and distorted midi music"
Assuming you provide your own graphics and music. :)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/11/2012 3:12 PM
"Just a reminder anyone looking to level up, this is the month to review at MP!"
The ratio keeps changing. -facepalm-
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/13/2012 7:30 PM
Enjoy the roller coaster, Reginald. Once you are firmly in Level 4, it takes FOREVER to get to Level 5.
Tim Aucoin (Level 4) ~ 2/14/2012 2:01 PM
I'm actually voting this month! Mainly 'cause loglines are hella easier to comment on than a 5-pager. I'm finding lots of interesting concepts, but most of the loglines are way too long. Though I'm kind of a logline nazi and firmly believe they should be only one sentence.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/14/2012 7:02 PM
Tim and I create a united "one sentence logline" front.
Tim Aucoin (Level 4) ~ 2/14/2012 9:04 PM
I'm with you Zach!
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 10:54 PM
I like them longer. I think you get a better feel from the story when it's more than one sentence. One sentence just seems to be a teaser, whereas the logline is supposed to tell you a story.
Sorry for talking about the contest. I'll end my opinion right there.
Trent Carroll (Level 4) ~ 2/14/2012 11:01 PM
But you aren't supposed to be reading a synopsis of the whole story. If you feel the need to include subplots or extraneous details (or, dare I say, the ending), you are writing too much. Yes, two sentences are fine, especially in situations in which the logline grammatically works as two sentences instead of one, but you shouldn't automatically make the statement, "you get a better feel from the story when it's more than one sentence". Statements like that are just asking for a long-winded paragraph to "tell" the story. Single sentence loglines work. If it tells me enough so I know the details and am interested, what's wrong with that?
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 6:46 AM
I've made this suggestion before but I still think it would be interesting (and fun) challenge! ...
Chris M writes a generic logline and the monthly challenge is to write a 5-pager based on that logline!
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 9:02 AM
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 9:03 AM
Yeah, that sounds like a pretty cool one. =)
Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 11:21 AM
I subscribe to "25 words or less".
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 12:16 PM
Bill the Enforcer, eh? I give about 30 words. Most loglines I read -- none specific to the contest or Movie Poet, just loglines in general -- involve more explaining. Most screenwriters aren't writing high concept stuff, so 30 words, maybe 35, I'm okay with.
Although, having said that, my loglines tend to hit at 27 words. Coincidence? Who knows...
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 5:04 PM
I never thought to count the words in my logline. Mine had 37.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 5:08 PM
That's too many, Faith. Back of the line for you.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 5:23 PM
Just a reminder, please don't talk about loglines during the voting month. As an example, talking about the proper length or what you think the proper length is just makes people nervous.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 6:04 PM
@Zach. When it comes to loglines, I'm always at the back of the line. But, I keep trying!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 6:09 PM
I subscribe to a good logline. I don't care if it's 10 words or 100.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 6:21 PM
I think we're all in the back of the line with loglines. It just depends on how far back you end up.
I think Mr. Bienes has the right idea though -- you know a good logline when you see it.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/15/2012 7:01 PM
I just hate it when people make statements on what a logline is supposed to look like. Before I had said something, if a newbie just scrolled down and read the last few posts, then he or she would assume a logline is only supposed to be 1 sentence, and any other form of logline is wrong. Therefore forming a bias opinion. That's why we're not supposed to talk about the contest.
So to put it simply, I was just evening out the discussion.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/15/2012 7:04 PM
"Just a reminder, please don't talk about loglines during the voting month. As an example, talking about the proper length or what you think the proper length is just makes people nervous."
I'm not going to be nervous. I just gave my logline away.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 12:28 AM
3/4 of the way done!...top of the stretch and turning for home...some really good ones and looking forward to the last batch...funny how reviewing and commenting shakes some of the creative cobwebs loose...good luck all!
William Dunbar (Level 5) ~ 2/17/2012 1:35 AM
Done! That was a log of lotlines! (brain fried from hours of reviewing...)
By my rough calculation, the average person who reviews all of the loglines is writing around 10,000 words in reviews this month. Pretty impressive!
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 2/17/2012 3:04 AM
@William - Interesting thought. How are you calculating # of words? I've got 21 reviews still to complete, but I went back and counted the character count on my reviews so far - 58,482. Hopefully there's something worthwhile in some of those characters!
William Dunbar (Level 5) ~ 2/17/2012 8:29 AM
@Matthew - very rough calculations. 107 loglines * avg length 571 characters (last I looked) = 61097 characters. 6-ish characters per word is probably a little stingy, but hey.
BTW 10,000 words by some estimates I saw online seems to be about half a feature. Since the month is only half over, we should obviously all be writing a feature a month!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/17/2012 8:38 AM
These loglines are making me hungry!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/17/2012 2:11 PM
I am just a tiny smidgen below site average on scoring... But a lot lower on word count. I suck.... Or am I just being economical? Wait... Don't answer that.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/17/2012 2:25 PM
I am below on scoring as well. What are thoughts on going back after you've finished and bumping some of your scores to get your average closer to the site average?
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/17/2012 2:30 PM
I make notes of entries I'm on the fence about -- is it 2 or a 3, a 3 or a 4 -- and reassess then. But my average is my average, why try to conform to the site? It's not like you win anything for being dead on with the site. Or do you? Are there new achievement badges I'm unaware of?
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/17/2012 3:48 PM
"I am below on scoring as well. What are thoughts on going back after you've finished and bumping some of your scores to get your average closer to the site average?"
If your scoring is near the site average don't worry, but if it is way off, you definitely need to give another look.
I always go back at the end of the month and try and give my reviews and scoring a second look.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/17/2012 4:09 PM
It depends on what you consider way off, too.
I've noticed I have a constant deviation from the site average, so as long as I'm around that deviation I figure I'm doing fine. But my acceptable deviation might be way off for someone else.
Right now the contest is running at 2.97. I can see people freaking out if they're at 2.00 or 4.00. But given that 3.00 is the exact split, being up to, what, .60-.70 off the site average is within the standard deviation. Of course, that's on the very high end.
but as Chris said (and I alluded to) it's always good to go back and double check reviews and re-read loglines. Thinks might be different this time around.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/17/2012 4:52 PM
"It's not like you win anything for being dead on with the site. Or do you? Are there new achievement badges I'm unaware of?"
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/17/2012 5:56 PM
I'm so full of it I'm wondering if I could ever be sincere again.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/17/2012 6:32 PM
you certainly are
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 2/18/2012 12:29 AM
I have a few questions regarding the order of the loglines if anyone knows the answer. What determines the order we review them in? I notice there is a set order to them (If I sign out and come back to do reviews later, I am on the same exactly logline). Does everyone review in the same order or is it randomized?
Thanks for the info!
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/18/2012 2:50 AM
Hi Felipe, welcome to the site!
The order is randomized for all.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/18/2012 9:09 AM
Khamanna is correct - the order is random for each reviewer, but once you are assigned a logline to review there is no way to skip it - that is why you keep seeing the same one each time you come back. Once you review that way you will be assigned another one at random based on which logline currently has the least number of reviews. This way by the end of the month all of the entries have approximately the same number of reviews.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/18/2012 9:39 AM
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 2/18/2012 3:04 PM
Thanks for the info and the welcome!
Just to clarify, I wasn't asking because I was trying to skip any of the loglines. I was just seeing if it was done in a specific order for everyone because I would guess there might be some discrepancies with either the earlier reviews or the latter reviews. Like if the reviewer was still getting into a reviewing mood earlier and was giving everything a lower score before getting into his/her groove. Or if a reviewer was just sick of reviewing near the end and was just glossing over the loglines. I figured it would be random so I was just looking for clarification.
Thanks again and good luck to everyone! I've been reading some great loglines; The site is full of wonderful creativity!
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/19/2012 11:44 PM
DONE!!!...good luck everyone...sure glad there's an extra day in this month...
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/20/2012 12:30 AM
I have a 2013 logline in mind.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/20/2012 12:42 AM
Now I'm (currently) only 263 more reviews away from obtaining the mythic status of
I think, if I vote on every entry (which I'm trying to do this year), that will happen sometime in October, maybe November.
Then I never have to review anything ever again...
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 2/20/2012 1:14 AM
"Then I never have to review anything ever again..."
I think reviewing is addicting. There's always a potential terrific story (or logline) going to pop up next...
I've reviewed every entry since I joined in 2009 and can't wait to join the 1,500 club. :)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/20/2012 1:36 AM
Glad that was taken in the good humor intended.
Because of course I'll still review entries. You know, when it works out, gimme a break I'll be a
But to keep on-topic: I had a few loglines that really popped for me. Hope to see them in the round of 30.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/20/2012 5:28 AM
Is anybody else as completely and totally freaked out by 107 loglines three years in a row as I am? What's really wiggin' me out is that I had to enter each of those years or the total would have been different. I had the power to change the count, but like a mindless sheep I didn't.
Was it mind-control? Maybe. I know one thing; I sure hope to hell my logline doesn't go anywhere this year. Because I have no clue what the story would be. It was like, you know, something compelled me to enter it at the last minute.
"Lawrence Welk Zombies"
They sing and smile and snap their fingers, joyously as the whole world collapses around them. Can Nimrod Clankernitch do anything to stop them before they drive the world crazy with those pasted on smiles?
Seriously, these dudes and dudesses were completely demented. I still wake up screaming at night, thirty-three years after I watched them sing "Bye, Bye Love", while snapping their damn fingers and smiling their idiot smiles. "Bye, Bye Love" is not a happy song, you sick bastards, someone's heart is broken and he's lamenting, but every song is a happy song for the Lawrence Welk Zombies.
Watch it if you dare.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/20/2012 1:36 PM
Just read this... applies to loglines..
"if you can't explains it simply, then you don't know it well enough".
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/20/2012 1:39 PM
Very apt, Tim. Incredibly apt, in fact.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/20/2012 2:20 PM
except for the spelling error... but I entered that on my phone so i'm gonna cut myself some slack.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/20/2012 2:42 PM
I was taking it as a German accent.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/20/2012 5:17 PM
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 2/20/2012 9:54 PM
Loglines are like pulling weeds...
I spend hours pulling weeds in our rather large yard. I set a goal for the day, and then stop when I reach it. It's neverending -- there are always weeds to pull.
I figure out how many loglines to read each day so I finish one or two days before the end of the month. Usually it's four or five a day, so when I've read that amount for the day, I stop. Occasionally, I'll read one or two extra...
I like the challenge. :)
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 2/21/2012 4:05 PM
OK, I've entered the logline competition, read and reviewed all the others, and now I'm thinking a bit more about the script i "may" have to write.
That part is fine. I accept that others may have written their scripts already or be more advanced, but again, thats ok, its all about learning.
Whats getting in the way, is another script that has stubbornly refused to leave my head. It's only a short, 10 pages, but i seriously like it, and it would be cheap to produce, which gets another thumbs up. It won't let go.
I've finished it but i still am more interested in this than the feature i should be planning. Not a good sign, me thinks!
I suppose thats life. It would nice to have simple plans but it doesn't always work out that way. Besides i should be pleased to have the short script thats has forced its way out.
Best of luck everyone.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/21/2012 4:41 PM
I kind of do that accept a lot less organized and a lot more spastic. I figure four a day and go take a snooze for a week or so, an then say: "Oh crap, I'm thirty loglines behind!" Panic for awhile, catch up, go a few days ahead and relax. Then: "Oh crap, I'm thirty loglines behind!" I've done 81. At four a day I should be at 84 by the end of the day.
Except: "Oh crap, I should work a few days ahead if I want to write a script for this month!"
That's pretty much the way my life works.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/21/2012 5:51 PM
I'm "lucky" enough to not have that problem, of having to write a short this month, Dan. I feel for you... Lol.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/21/2012 6:00 PM
I'm trying to juggle too much writing as well with an outline for my course on the go. I get all guilt feelings if I write or review for MP so I'm actually getting bugger all done.
I keep coming to the loglines but I can never do more than 3-5 in a row; I get really grumpy and spend far too much time trying to be constructive. I think I should probably just say what I feel politely and succinctly.
Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 2/22/2012 2:19 PM
Is this thread broken for anyone else? I'm using Firefox 10.0 and the thread is cut off.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/22/2012 2:21 PM
For me the thread is fine.
Everything else today is not fine at all but the thread is fine. I wish it was the other way around.
But the thread is fine...
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/22/2012 2:22 PM
I mean it's not cut off.
Byron Matthews (Level 4) ~ 2/22/2012 2:32 PM
The thread was cut off on my Firefox as well, but when using Internet Explorer it's normal as usual.
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 2/22/2012 2:56 PM
Google Chrome. Fine for me.
Does anyone else feel hypocritical reviewing these loglines and giving advice when they realize they made some of the same mistakes? I'm trying to review the loglines honestly but I always have this voice in my head saying "You made the same mistake. Why are you pointing out theirs?"
I don't know. I'm still pointing them out and making suggestions, I just wanted to see if I was the only one. =D
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/22/2012 3:12 PM
Yes, I feel that way too. For example, when I write a short story for a contest, say the Fifth Year Openning, I would point out that someone has grammar errors when I have grammar errors in my own writing. That goes for loglines too.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/22/2012 3:14 PM
you worry too much Felipe. Say what needs to be said in a constructive way. Your reviews have no bearing on anything you entered.
Byron Matthews (Level 4) ~ 2/22/2012 3:34 PM
Being a parent makes me a hypocrite, so I got over that feeling.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/22/2012 3:34 PM
That worst things that happen are you know you're not the only one having logline troubles and now you know where to make your loglines better.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 2/22/2012 4:58 PM
AAAAhhh!! I just had a tall, refreshing glass of LEVEL 4!
For you guys still back at Level 3, it's sort of like the Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy's house lands in Oz and she opens the door. Level 3 is the farm house in black and white and Level 4 is Oz in brilliant technicolor.
Now starts the long trip down the yellow brick road to Level 5.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/22/2012 7:18 PM
Then level five is when Dorothy discovers that she could have reached level five by herself without having her house to land in Oz to begin with.
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 2/22/2012 9:57 PM
Level 5 is just level 3 all along. You just don't realize how great level 3 is until you reach level 5.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/22/2012 10:38 PM
Dibs on being a flying monkey!
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/22/2012 10:58 PM
Felipe, you are HILARIOUS!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/22/2012 11:10 PM
I'm reminded of the movie "Defending Your Life".
Some people call you "Level 3's". But we Level 5's call you "Little Brains".
I love that movie.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/23/2012 11:17 AM
My grumpiness is lifting - it seems all the gems are in my final third. hurrah!!
the yellow brick road to level 5 only puts you in amongst the flying monkeys... not to mention the M&M vending machine...
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/23/2012 12:22 PM
"My grumpiness is lifting - it seems all the gems are in my final third. hurrah!!"
Would like to get to the final third thay you had, MJ... Lol.
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 2/23/2012 4:55 PM
What do you guys think about titles? A lot of times I really like the way a title sounds, but have no way of knowing how it relates to the story just from reading the logline. I still think it's a good title and don't like to take points off for it.
I usually take points off when the title feels lazy, like when the movie is about a kidnapping and the title is: Kidnapped.
It just feels lazy to me and I think a good title is an art, not just a description of the story.
The Silence of the Lambs is a good example. If that script (I realize it is based on a book) was a part of the logline contest here, there would be no way of knowing what the title was referring to, but I still like it as a title and you find out what it means in the script.
What do you guys think?
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/23/2012 5:21 PM
I agree with you totally Felipe. I think a title is of major importance, it's the first thing anyone hears or sees about your script and it should be evocative of mood and genre and be clever and original.
The title is taken into consideration when I score, definitely.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/23/2012 5:27 PM
If the title can sell the movie -- you pretty much know what "Wedding Crashers" and "Transformers" are about from just the title -- or has some irony -- "Angels in the Outfield" or "The King's Speech" -- I'll likely bump up my rating. I want the title to get me prepared for the script/film and give me an idea of tone and mood.
Titles are tough, for sure, but when you get a good one... Winning.
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 2/23/2012 5:34 PM
MJ, you say the title is definitely taken into consideration when you score, but in what way?
A lot of people seem to take off points when a title doesn't seem to have any relation to the logline. Sometimes I can't bring myself to do that, because I feel the title is intriguing and the relation will probably come out in the script.
Sometimes I like the revelation of a title's meaning to come later. It should definitely sound intriguing, but I don't always want a title to just describe what will happen in the story. I want the title to be a part of the story. Does that make sense?
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 2/23/2012 5:45 PM
I think you have raised a decent question. Rightly or wrongly, it seems to me this competition is fairly unique to MP ( i await the corrections) but by this i mean it is evaluated by writers, rather than readers. From what i gather writers seem to judge in slightly different ways to industry readers, maybe with writers tolerating a little more information, indeed wanting it.
I made sure that i read the title first, wrote what i thought of it, and only then I read and judged the rest. I wanted to see what the title said to me. However, i accept this makes the relevance of the title more important.
For example, if i wanted to do a dreamy drama, i could use a title that appears to make no relevance eh "Once upon a cloud". It may work, but for this competition where they are judged together, with nothing else, it may go against me if not directly relevant. Time will tell.
But to be honest, this is my first ever comp here, so i will be V interested to see the outcome and how my thoughts compared with others.
Just lovely to take part.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/23/2012 5:51 PM
yes, totally. your example of The Silence Of The Lambs is great because its importance is not revealed until we're into the story but the title is a clever play on words because why would lambs be silent unless they were dead? It is evocative of mood - death, killing of innocents, it's a chilling title. And when those words are uttered by Clarice in the story it's a really important moment and resonates.
I'll knock a point off if the title is incredibly dull or unoriginal - generally though I find that boring and unexciting titles accompany dull loglines so the score is likely to be low anyway.
I will also bump up a point if the title is amazing but the logline sucks.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/23/2012 5:53 PM
@ Bill - I do the same, read and comment on the title alone and then read the rest. I like to see if I can sense the genre or feel of the idea through the title. A lot of times you can and that's a good title.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/23/2012 9:26 PM
I don't mark down for titles which don't relate to the logline or which seem mundane. I simply note it and move on.
This is a logline competition, not a Title competition.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/23/2012 10:23 PM
I mark up for good titles that add something to the logline.
I don't normally mark down for bad titles, unless those titles are completely alien to what's in the logline. For example:
"Mangle, Cut, Slither"
When six-year-old Jenny decides to open a lemonade stand the competition heats up after Timmy, from across the street decides to compete. During a severe lemon shortage they decide to work together and go on to found the largest lemonade company in the world. (Based on a true story.)
I like it when the title can strongly suggest a genre, that makes writing the logline easier. For example:
"Mangle, Cut, Slither"
Jenny discovers parasitic worms in her basement, that enter the body through open wounds, and uses them to eliminate all her lemonade stand competitors.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/23/2012 11:09 PM
From the Movie Poet "A Guide to Reviewing Loglines:"
"So, how do you review a logline? Consider the following three elements: the title, the story, and the craft."
The contest does ask to take title into consideration. Of course, like anything, it's really up to how you review.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/23/2012 11:23 PM
I would revise my earlier comment.
If I were to encounter a situation as extreme as the one Dan suggests, I might take that into account.
But mostly I'd be perplexed.
Still, I'd rather the loglines existed without the titles.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/23/2012 11:37 PM
I agree, Tim. It'd be nice if the titles didn't come into play until Round 2.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/24/2012 12:28 AM
"If I were to encounter a situation as extreme as the one Dan suggests, I might take that into account."
Yeah, well those examples were extreme. I mostly agree with you. Titles are almost always changed anyway.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/24/2012 9:32 AM
Okay finished all the loglines. I am looking forward to seeing who goes forward. There were some very strong loglines this month. I think we are all learning and growing stronger in our logline capabilities.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/24/2012 11:37 AM
Got 19 more to go.
Then I'll start my entry on the 27th. :)
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/24/2012 1:34 PM
It only take you guys three days to write a short?
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/24/2012 1:50 PM
"It only takes you guys three days to write a short?"
That depends on what I'm writing. I wrote my entry for this month in couple hours, last night. (It's crappy, but so are most of mine that I take two weeks or more to write.)
The thing is; did I really write it last night? Not really -- I typed it in last night -- its been cooking in my head since the beginning of the month. I just put it down on paper (pixels?) last night.
A screenwriting newsgroup that I spent a lot of time had "screenplay challenges". Someone would give a screenplay challenge with some criteria (similar to what happens here) and you had a couple hours to come up with a four or five page script.
I did a lot of those so it taught me to write fast when I had to. (Sometimes, more time, just gives you a chance to overthink it.)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/24/2012 2:45 PM
I can easily pump out a short in a couple hours. I usually do. Then a few more hours re-writing and it's done. Sure, the re-writing might cross into a few days, but the initial draft I'll write in one sitting. It's a short, you know? Get the idea down with the characters who need to make that idea happen. Fine tune the structure and theme and you're done.
The only time I've agonized over a short is for my school's screenwriting contest. I don't know why for sure, but it might be having to prove myself to fellow students in the screenwriting department that if you take your writing seriously -- which many don't, sadly -- you can create interesting scripts. I've won two years running with record setting scores, so this year the presure is really on.
Back on topic: Good luck to those with loglines yet to review and to those loglines I thoroughly enjoyed and want to see advance (mine included...).
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/24/2012 4:58 PM
If mines advance, I might call AT&T and ask them to turn the logline into commercial.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/25/2012 7:21 PM
DON'T BE COY! DON'T BE VAGUE!
Thought I'd just share that with you ahead of time. Cause it may well crop up a few times in my comments.... but anyway... ahem....
First a hello to all you moviepoets. I used to be a fairly regular member here for a while and it's good to see so many familiar faces... so to speak.
I'm only back cause Chris 'pulled-me-back-in' with the Champions contest. Nothing like feeding my ego.... I don't really have one. If I do it's weak and shriveled.... hence why it reacts to being fed from time to time.
Anyway, back on topic, 55 loglines in (and in a row... I'm a MACHINE!) and the one thing that is really drawing out my harsh side is how many people commit the cardinal sin of what I will call-
-'And s**t happens' logline.
This is where, for some reason, the writer has got it in their head that being coy and holding things back is the way to go with loglines.
It's the ones that read- 'Must fight a strange force' or 'discover the truth' and any number of other utterly vague meaningless string of words.
It's getting increasing frustrating. It's this mentality that if you have a twist it should be revealed first in the script...NO... WRONG! If you're final climactic twist is what pulls the disparate parts of the movie together- IT GOES IN THE LOGLINE!
The logline is your sales pitch when you are absent. Would you go into a sales pitch without all you ammunition? Would you demonstrate a vacuum cleaner without attaching the plug? With a logline you provide every story element that is relevant. And every part that will make a producer sit up and notice!
This whole 'Oh, but I don't want to give away the whole cow. I want them to read the twist and be shocked by it' is AMATEUR HOUR! A producer is not stupid. He will read your script with primarily one thing in mind- WOULD IT MAKE A GOOD AND PROFITABLE MOVIE?!
It doesn't matter that he or anyone knows the twists in the script. This is a business. Your script will be evaluated based on how it might translate to screen. Producers and their readers are pros. They evaluate in terms of how an audience will react to the twist. They couldn't give two figs if they already saw it coming.
Now that said, if your story/logline is strong anyway then you don't HAVE to include the twist, but if the whole script relies on it (well that's an alarm bell to begin with) then stick it in there. It may well be the final piece that gets a producer to read.
*Sorry. Had to vent after I opened yet another vague detective logline that told me nothing, but was quite clearly holding back a twist. You think this is bad... wait till you see the rest of my comments. Ho- boy!*
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/25/2012 7:29 PM
So what you're saying is......
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/25/2012 7:41 PM
That I'm glad to be back.
If only to vent my spline! :)
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/25/2012 7:42 PM
Or SPLEEN even.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/25/2012 7:46 PM
In a short wind version (LOL)...a lot of people tend to only reveal what's in the first act..or even just the first ten pages. So not only do we not know what the major obstacle is or what's at stake, but it doesn't come acrossed as a feature length idea.
Since this is a learning site, constructive reviews from people who understand the craft can only help writers who struggle with loglines. Just keep in mind, loglines don't come easy to everyone. I know the formula but I still can't ever seem to get it right.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/25/2012 7:56 PM
My comments are never nasty and hopefully I always include something of value in times I do overstep the mark. But equally, I won't hold back.
Especially.... well some of you will see what I mean, but there's one or two loglines that are really questionable. Moralistically in one or two case. Ones where what seem to be Protagonists are presented in a slightly unsavory way.
But I'm keeping this vague (like some of the loglines) since I remember the rules of discussion. Keep it schtum till after the contest.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 2/25/2012 7:58 PM
And it isn't like there is only one formula or even agreement on the function of a logline. It's certainly been discussed to death on this forum and there's no end in sight.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/25/2012 8:03 PM
Oh, I've marked a few loglines high that entirely disregarded the format, but still got across an intriguing story. I'm not a stickler for format. I'm a stickler for not putting across the important story elements that flesh out your story.
Beyond that, as long as I get some semblance of Protag, Antag/Antagonistic force, Protag goal/objective and a little idea of the story, then you can write it in past tense on the back of a soggy napkin for all I care.
Just tell me a story.
A lot of them haven't done that. Hence the vent.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 2/25/2012 8:37 PM
I like this guy already.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 12:30 AM
"DON'T BE COY! DON'T BE VAGUE!"
Hear, hear. I've used those too words in a lot of my reviews this month too.
Imagine you're talking to someone who could make your script into a movie and he says: "Tell me about your story."
Now tell him/us.
Also, stories are about people, not events. You tell your story through your characters. They can't be just an afterthought.
END MINI RANT
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 12:54 AM
Disclaimer to MINI RANT, above.
Of course, saying it and doing it are two different animals. In a year, I'll forget I wrote the logline I entered in this contest and rip it apart for being vague and coy.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 12:58 AM
My votes were higher than the site's average the entire time.
So many great ideas.
Don't think my entry stands a chance with such terrific competition, but I hope I learned enough to do better next year.
Good luck everyone. It was great fun!
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/26/2012 1:14 AM
That's slightly worrying on my part.
I'm quite a bit below the average with my votes and 90 loglines in, with only 17 to go, I haven't given an Excellent. I want to, and I was close three times, but didn't get there.
I guess everyone's criteria is different. For my part, I'm judging these based on their chance of sale in the spec market. Harsh I know, but what else would be the point in judging them by if not the standards they'd need to meet to be produced and the competition they'd be set against.
It's fun, yes, but few of us are writing feature length scripts primarily for fun. Thankfully, that's part of it, but we want them to be produced. So I figured I should grade that way. Hence the low averages.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/26/2012 1:37 AM
I'm wondering how you know the chance a script has in the spec market. Are you a reader? Have you sold a script?
No irony, just wondering how you know.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/26/2012 1:41 AM
Apologies for spelling your naming incorrectly. I know too many people named Alex/Alix/Alax and I get confused with it -- even when the name is right there in the post above mine.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 2:02 AM
No one knows what will sell in the spec market - this I know.
Alex does have some experience but what he probably means is it's based on his best guess of what will sell in the spec market. Which puts his assessment at the same level as pretty much any one of ours.
As a matter of fact, anyone that takes a punt on what script will sell, might as well play the horses.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 2:09 AM
"That's slightly worrying on my part."
I used to worry about it more than I do now. My votes are way below average this month, mostly for the reasons you mentioned. But on other months my votes can be much higher than the average. I gave up trying to figure out why and just try to be fair and consistent and hopefully nice with my comments.
Personally, if my logline is terrible, please don't sugarcoat it. It's fun to have the ego stroked, but it's a lot more useful to know what I'm doing wrong. It's really, really helpful when a lot of people are honest enough to tell me the same thing is wrong. That's a huge red flag and I know it's something that absolutely needs to be corrected.
All you younger people -- please grow a thick skin. All writers need one. Reviewers have the obligation NOT to be nasty with reviews, but their reviews do need to be honest or you'll never learn anything.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/26/2012 6:28 AM
Yeah, what Michael said. Remember this is Hollywood. No-one knows anything. But it's also fairly clear what is a commercial, high-concept idea and what isn't, and if original, those things tend to sell. Strong hooks tend to sell. Thrillers that the logline suggests can be made on a shoe string budget tend to sell. Claustrophobic thrillers with that strong hook mentioned above tend to sell. And so on. And so on.
But as Michael said. it's best guess stuff. With a slight bit of knowledge which comes from keeping tabs on the spec market for the last three years. Ever since my script went wide. Which answers the other question. I've had a script optioned. Which lead to assignments. I've now written 3 scripts for producers. In that time, I've learnt a lot about the business spoken to and been read by so power players.
You start to get a feel for what sells. For what works. For what producers are looking for. You begin to discuss with your manager what are viable projects ahead of time. Knowledge that you then take on to other places ie. here.
But as Michael said. No guarantee. Just educated guesses.
There is a slight worry in my first time back on the movie poet site, that I'm going to alienate a lot of people in my harsh marks. But, at the end of the day, it's only a logline. And I don't think writers will get quite as attached to a logline as they would a script. So maybe they won't react quite as badly to the criticism.
I've provided comment to justify my reaction everytime and in some cases rewrote the logline to try and fix it. Hopefully that's enough not to have to bear the brunt of lit- torches and pitchforks.
As I said before, never nasty. Maybe a little flippant sometimes. But never nasty.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 8:22 AM
...as long as it (the logline) isn't a faux synompis, then i'm fine with whatever entices me to read your screenplay...that's the purpose of a logline...i don't want to know the whole story...THAT'S the purpose of the synopsis...
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/26/2012 10:19 AM
To repeat this important note from Mr. Delgado:
"All you younger people -- please grow a thick skin. All writers need one. Reviewers have the obligation NOT to be nasty with reviews, but their reviews do need to be honest or you'll never learn anything."
The beauty of Movie Poet is that the anonymity helps the reviewer be more honest, and in turn the writer gets better instruction on how to improve. If you enjoy the writing, taking the criticism and using it to make your writing better is exciting. Don't be discouraged with what seems negative. Take the advice that makes sense and dive into your next attempt. It will get better.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/26/2012 11:27 AM
Thanks, Alex. Having your kind of experience helps you be a better judge. For as subjective as to what's good and what'll sell, Hollywood has been fairly predictable. For me it comes down to if I like, I like it. And I don't know if I like it until you tell me what it's about. And then even then I'll probably not like it.
I like that everyone hast heir own criteria for reviewing these loglines. Percentage-wise, I gave out my usual number of EXCELLENTs, but some of those probably woouldn't do well on the spec market -- I just wanted to read them, so I gave them a score that would help facilitate that.
Also, like the short scripts, some people are writing these features to shoot themselves -- so their chances of getting purchased don't matter. From what I've read/seen, studios/companies/producers are more willing to buy a finished film than a script -- with makes complete sense.
The endgame of what I'm saying is that I regard each logline in its own merit, and then take into consideration the outside factors -- and you can get a fair idea as to which loglines are meant to be high-concept specs, which are probably being written for a contest (different monsters all together), which are being written for small, independent production, and which are just being tossed up with hopes of sticking. (My logline really sucked, but I still have some confidence I'll make it to Round 2.)
And to jump on the bandwagon of the severity of reviews:
If you get a lot of mediocre to bad reviews, it's going to hurt like hell. You might want to cry -- or even cry. You might want to quit writing. You'll probably call Movie Poet a wast a time. That's okay. We all fell that way when confronted with negative criticism -- that's why it's called negative criticism. But keep in mind that the feedback, no matter how bad, will not kill you. It won't ruin your life. And above all, it is not an indictment of you in anyway. Because of the anonymity in this process, no one can lay a personal attack on you. The review only reflects the thoughts and feelings of one reviewer in regards to one piece of writing.
Unfortuntately, to somewhat paraphrase an old saying, it only takes one sentence to know you're in the presence of someone who can or cannot write. And in this contest, you only get one sentence -- and every movie idea should be able to be expressed in one sentence (that's should be, not must be).
Fortunately, writing is something you can get better at. I think that's the part many new writers forget. Tom Brady wasn't throwing 50 yard touchdown passes when he started out. LeBron James probably didn't hit his first few free throw attempts. Tiger Woods could barely hold a golf club when he started. But you know why those guys are considered great? Because they kept at it. They practiced as much as they could and didn't give up if someone said they couldn't/shouldn't do it. They worked at the simple drills and mastered those. They worked at more difficult drills and mastered those. You can't become a better writer if you don't write. And all writing is a drill. It betters you for the next writing you do. You have to write.
Also, if the feedback you get on Movie Poet turns you away from writing, it's better that it happens here and now instead of a few years from now and an agent or producer rejects your material. At least in this forum, you have a chance to get better. But a couple of script rejections in Hollywood can spread quickly, and that's an even bigger hole to climb out of.
To quote Alex, from above: "Maybe a little flippant sometimes. But never nasty." This is how I'd describe my reviews -- event he positive ones I gave. My review character average this month is 714. That's about 119 words per review. I spent time with these and gave my dead-to-rights, honest opinion. If anyone has questions about their reviews from me email me and I'll help out as much as I can.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 11:58 AM
Good luck everyone! I've only had time to review a few of these and have otherwise been spinning my wheels trying to come up with a script for this month.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/26/2012 1:57 PM
I was lucky when I decided to start writing. A guy with something like 16 produced features told me early on...
"The first thing you have to do is leave your ego at the door. Not a single person in the business is going to take your delicate feelings into account when they comment on your work. You're asking them to spend millions of dollars on what you've written, so they are going to comment on every single thing. If you can't handle people tearing your work to shreds, get out now."
I took this to heart. It has allowed me to appreciate the comments of others and use them instead of fearing them or having my feelings hurt.
My average score is a little below right now with about 20 left to go. My average review length is about 1/2 the average.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/26/2012 2:11 PM
And with 20 to go, my votes are a perfect Bell curve. Weird.
Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 2/26/2012 4:23 PM
@Alex - "It's getting increasing frustrating. It's this mentality that if you have a twist it should be revealed first in the script...NO... WRONG! If you're final climactic twist is what pulls the disparate parts of the movie together- IT GOES IN THE LOGLINE!"
Why should the twist should be in the logline? It'll lose its effect when you read the script because you know it's coming.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/26/2012 4:33 PM
@ Bill - in that same post he does present the other side of the coin,
"Now that said, if your story/logline is strong anyway then you don't HAVE to include the twist, but if the whole script relies on it (well that's an alarm bell to begin with) then stick it in there. It may well be the final piece that gets a producer to read."
Also, please let's keep the discussions about which loglines work and which don't on hold till the end of the voting period.
It always makes all competing writers nervous and we end up with some discussing their current entry without realising it.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/26/2012 5:35 PM
If your script hangs on a twist -- especially a feature-length script -- then you've *probably* got a one-trick pony with no story. PROBABLY. The problem I've seen is with the loglines -- not here specifically, but in my classes and writers' groups -- where you get the feeling there's a twist being held back, you don't get much of a story or a sense of irony. Irony goes a long way if you don't want to reveal big plot points, since a reader might be more interested in the irony than figuring out if there's a twist.
Also, I thought I'd pass this along:
And not to sound callous, but if you think others are talking about your logline in some way, then you know you probably need to work that writing muscle -- and if you don't like the vague comments here, the reviews are going to be hell...
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/27/2012 12:44 AM
Is this a leap year? Do I have two more days to review?.. Please let me have two more days to review.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/27/2012 12:52 AM
I grant thee two more days to review.
Not one, or three, but two... Two being the number, which is neither one nor three... but two.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/27/2012 3:11 PM
I need two and a huff!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/27/2012 3:14 PM
I added an extra day to the calendar, because I didn't think everyone who is so dedicated to reviwing loglines aren't done reviewing them. You all should thank me for adding another day.
Sean Chipman (Level 4) ~ 2/27/2012 3:31 PM
Thank you for making the year an extra day longer, Reginald... I'm so grateful...
P.S. You suck. Just kidding. Lol. =)
Seriously, though, I am glad to have an extra day this month. I was without my laptop for three days and couldn't review anything so I fell way behind. I did about 20 today and am on pace to finish in time.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/27/2012 10:07 PM
My daughter is so happy that she finally has a birthday, her first in four years. She's going to be five and is a sophomore in college.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/27/2012 10:13 PM
Does she celebrate a birthday-by-proxy? A friend of mine is a leap kid and he always celebrates on the 28th -- 28th and 29th in a leap year.
'Cause, yeah, that'd suck only doing one birthday every four years.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/27/2012 11:01 PM
She celebrates on the 28th every year that is not a leap year. She doesn't like having a leap year birthday.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 12:25 PM
UUGGGH! Feels like I'll never finish. Okay. If I do one an hour at work, then eight when I get home, then do the same tomorrow, I should finish....
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 12:31 PM
My buddy hates his birthday, too. But knowing him has been interesting since I think because he "is" only 8-years-old he's the kind of person who acts his age.
I've gotten a lot of good dialogue tidbits from him. It's weird how bitter someone so young can be...
Back on topic:
Good luck to those finsihing their reviews in these last 36 hours. I thought there were some gems in the 106 I reviewed and some that were almost there. All had great potential to be interesting. I hope thsoe that don't advance still write their scripts. I'll gladly give them a read if you'd like.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/28/2012 12:37 PM
I might finish the reviews tonight when I return from school.
Bob Johnson (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 6:19 PM
How can anyone have their fifth birthday fall in a leap year..?
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/28/2012 7:04 PM
fifth birthday celebrated on the real day, meaning five times four which equals twenty years old.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 7:11 PM
In case anyone's counting, 99 comments in... just gave my first EXCELLENT. My god the concept is good. I mean wide theatrical release good. I mean top 5 studio good.
I'm still buzzing from it. If the script logline doesn't advance, I'll be contacting the writer to read this. I want to see this made!
Mohammad Nawaz (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 7:42 PM
I think I know which one you're talking about, Alex. If it is, I'd kill myself if it doesn't come in the top 3! Only joking! But I'd be very surprised if it doesn't make it.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/28/2012 7:52 PM
Now you got me curious.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:05 PM
I dunno. Hard to know if we're talking of the same one. I tend to look for stuff I think will sell. Not necessarily what I think is a clever take.
This just happened to be both. I wouldn't write it. I may not even see it. But my god this is a marketers DREAM!
Well, that brings up a question. Are we aloud to talk about this in specifics in an hour? I mean no-one can vote beyond then, so surely nothing can be changed.
Is it cool then? I haven't been on here in years so I forget the rules.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:07 PM
aloud..... Or ALLOWED even.... Did I mention I'm a writer? Words are my tool! Unfortunately, in this case Spellchecker wasn't!
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/28/2012 8:13 PM
I think in 28 hours. Midnight, Eastern Standard Time, March 1. We get an extra day this year.
It's kind of one of those foreboding things (at least in the United States). "Every fourth year, when February runs a day long, it will come to pass that an asshole will be elected president."
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/28/2012 8:15 PM
Sorry, kind of political, but it does work out that way. A pox on 'em all!
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:18 PM
Oh, and I meant can we talk about it in six hours? As a Brit, I think my time difference clock just malfunctioned. I was thinking in terms of business hours ie. 6.00 PM. Not in terms of midnight. Brain must have melted...
...also meant I had more time with my "Champion" entry! Whoops!
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:18 PM
Political or not, Dan, it's the one constant we can all count on in the U.S.
And, Alex, thanks for giving my logline an EXCELLENT.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/28/2012 8:18 PM
don't sweat it, alex...i get the same thing with tow...err...two...
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:19 PM
I suck at smileys/emoticons, so hopefully I used that one correctly.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:20 PM
If you're in Britian, Alex, I think you're looking at 5AM on March 1st for the contest to end.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:21 PM
"Sorry, kind of political, but it does work out that way. A pox on 'em all"
Dang it! When can we talk about it? I'm itching to chat to the writer of said script. Oh, I ended up giving a second EXCELLENT before the 107 was done.
It was great. But not as good as the first I gave.
Oh, and like some members do, I put what I gave each logline in the comments to be clear. I used to do that before I seem to remember. Since it frustrated me that when I got comments on my script, I couldn't attach the notes received to a specific grade given.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:26 PM
"If you're in Britian, Alex, I think you're looking at 5AM on March 1st for the contest to end."
I missed dinner to get those damn logline comments done! :). It's kind of a Pavlov's Dog thing where I was pre-programmed to think of a deadline as 6.00 PM PST. Hence 2.00 AM my time. But, I guess it sped me up to get it done. And now I can get a late night snack.
Good luck all. And don't lynch me for being harsh. I was. But hopefully there's something helpful in there too. Just have to look hard!
Anyone know when the comments get posted.... err.... PST time? ;)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:28 PM
Should be 9PM PST on February 29.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:32 PM
Knew it was a leap year. Still forgot to factor that in. My brain is mush recently. Hmm... may have time to edit my "Champion" entry.
"Every fourth year, when February runs a day long, it will come to pass that an asshole will be elected president."
Ohh.... There's times that doesn't happen? Consider yourself lucky. We got Blair... Then Brown... Then Cameron... As we go through the Douche List alphabetically!
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:34 PM
@Thanks Zach. Looking forward to checking out the comments. Good thing about this site is even if you don't enter, you still get a buzz waiting to see if your comments are in tune with others and if your favorite makes it through.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 8:36 PM
I agree with you about the comments. I always feel like I'm the only bad guy here, so the first thing I do is check the entries I rated low to make sure I wasn't the only one. If you don't like something you don't like it, but it does suck to be the only one at the table not eating.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 9:01 PM
Oh, I have no doubt I'll feel a bad guy wayyyy more than once. I've been known to criticize a project, then feel huge pangs of guilt at the humility of the response, and end up reading and providing notes on the whole script.
I'm harsh, but I'm a pussy cat really. I feel guilty about my harshness so easily. Someone responds badly, no sweat. But someone answers with a heartfelt thanks and I'm putty.
I just hope whoever comes onto the discussions doesn't take offence at any comments. A harsh mark at this stage is no indication that the script doesn't work, just that the logline doesn't. The script could be a masterwork that just hasn't been marketed right.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/28/2012 9:05 PM
"Hmm... may have time to edit my "Champion" entry."
I don't usually do that after it's entered. (There have been some exceptions.) But not this month. When it comes to my entries, you can only polish a turd for so long before you realize it's still a turd. Best to enter it and forget about it, that's what I say. Of course, I do this writin' up things stuff just to annoy people. Normally sites will have run me off by now, but Chris Messineo is extremely patient.
However, I still might have a chance to place, if twenty-three other people (so far) would be kind enough to withdraw their entries. Whatdya say guys and gals, be a pal?
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 9:25 PM
Fair point. I think I'll leave my turd to fester.
Just got some great feedback/notes back on a draft of a script I wrote for a Prodco... literally a second ago... It's almost like they knew how important Moviepoet's contests were and waited until I'd finished the logline comments and "Champion" entry. Means also that I'll easily have my mind occupied so can enter and forget about it as you said.
Hear that, Chris? Hollywood producers are psychically in tune with the importance of MP. It's official!
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 9:30 PM
That was my thinly-veiled attempt to share my good news.... I hope no-one noticed.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/28/2012 9:45 PM
"I just hope whoever comes onto the discussions doesn't take offence at any comments."
No worries at all, Alex. I'm sure you thought my logline was fabulous and said so in your comments, so there will be no need for any of the events in your life, following March 1, to get ugly. I think I found this site after you were already gone and it's likely you haven't seen any of the defamatory allegations against me, about me being a vengeful and frustrated writer with connections to rogue agents, very brutal men, in many countries around the world, including yours, Alex. (You can take a breath now, the sentence is over.) While it's true that I do enjoy using these contacts to collect the intimate details, including the whereabouts at all times, of all those who may make comments about my writing, I assure you it's only done as a hobby of mine and nothing to concern yourself with, as long as I do not find your comments about my writing to be in any way derogatory, at all, even a tiny bit so. (Breathe again, that sentence is over too.) Sometimes (in my opinion) derogatory can be taken to mean not effusive enough with praise of my excellent, almost ethereal writing ability. (Almost my ass, my writing is ethereal and many have rued the day that they didn't realize that and didn't comment accordingly.)
Having said that, I look forward to your "honest" critique of my logline. I hope you're looking forward to my looking forward to your "honest" critique of my logline too.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/28/2012 9:53 PM
Congratulations, Alex. Break a pencil lead.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 10:52 PM
Should have made that your logline, Dan. Might even have a got a FAIR. Instead of the POOR I'm afraid I gave you. Oh yeah. I know which one was yours.
See, I'm a frustrated commenter with connections to rogue assassins, very skillful men, in many countries around the world, including yours, Dan. And whilst it's true that I do employ these assassins to gather information and maybe occasionally to do my laundry runs and help out around the house, I assure you it's only done as a means to cheap labor and they in no way report back to me of all MP entrants and their corresponding entries so I can adjust the grade according to who gave me sufficient platonic man-love that month via discussion. Just like they in no way sometimes double as a means to considerably less platonic man-love when it gets cold enough at night.
But I've said too much. Good luck with your logline. Next time I suggest more Robot Ninjas! Everyone loves Robot Ninjas.... Producers love Robot Ninjas?
What? Are the assassins I employ Robot Ninjas?.... I couldn't possibly comment.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/28/2012 10:53 PM
Do Robot Ninjas constitute OFF TOPIC I wonder?
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 12:37 AM
"Should have made that your logline, Dan. Might even have a got a FAIR. Instead of the POOR I'm afraid I gave you. Oh yeah. I know which one was yours."
You gave me a POOR?! That is so awesome!!! That's the highest score any professional has given me, ever!!!
Thank you, Mr. Hollister.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/29/2012 2:22 AM
The highest my professional has ever given me was excellent. My logline was so bad that it ranked first place because the owner of the site felt so bad about it that he told everyone to give me excellents across the board.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/29/2012 9:54 AM
It's great having so many writers (new and old) participating, but PLEASE do not discuss any details of the current contest while it is underway.
Also, after the month is over, you can discuss the loglines that do not move on, but DO NOT discuss those that are moving on, as those writers need to maintain their anonymity.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/29/2012 10:51 AM
I still need to review 50 loglines before midnight.
So the logline contest ends at 11:59pm Eastern, right?
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 11:44 AM
"Also, after the month is over, you can discuss the loglines that do not move on, but DO NOT discuss those that are moving on, as those writers need to maintain their anonymity."
Just an FYI: Anyone talking about my logline whether it advances or not can expect a libel charge against them so fast they'll be reviewing next year's loglines in the U.S. penal system.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 11:45 AM
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 1:31 PM
Finally done with second looks and had to boost as well as lower a few scores. I probably knocked myself out of the second round bracket by raising some scores, but I's gots to go with my gut!
My average comment length was 1,102 characters, so I think I gave some good feedback. Lots of good stuff, but only a few Excellents. It was tough this year because of how good everything was. I needed to raise my standards. Everyone has learned a lot since this contest began. Even the Poors I gave out would have been considered Good a few years ago.
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 1:38 PM
Here we are... exactly where I did not want to be. Less than 24 hours left and I have 32 loglines to go. This week has a deadline every day for me. YIKES!
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 1:59 PM
"My average comment length was 1,102 characters"
Woah! Mine was 650! Did you even leave the house in February?!? :)
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 2:20 PM
601. Now I feel inadequate. I guess I still have some time to go write some gibberish on each review.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 2:22 PM
I guess that should have been "more" gibberish. (My reviews already qualify as gibberish.)
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 2:37 PM
Dan, you crack me up!
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 3:07 PM
Yes, I left the house. Mostly to see a physician about carpal tunnel.
I felt it easier to praise the really good loglines by saying exactly what I liked about them and why. It's easy to destroy a bad logline, and by going on and on about the same thing that everyone else pointed out can get both frustrating and demeaning. So I went the opposite route. On the bad loglines, I spent as much time as I could saying what I liked about it. And, as I said, there was a lot to like this year.
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 4:48 PM
Looking forward to tomorrows results and all the feedback.
Interesting that so far i have had 59 reviews out of 106 entries - i wonder what the normal ratio is? ( i know this as it is my first competition here)
I will endeavour to take part in re writes where possible and take part in the debate that follows, as that must be useful.
All the best to everyone.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 6:44 PM
@Bill - Last year the reviews for this contest were around 55, so it looks like it is a little higher this time. The number of reviews is directly proportionate to the length of the entry - Loglines around 60, One Pagers around 50, Five Pagers around 40, Ten pagers under 30, and Full Scripts about 20.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 6:44 PM
FINISHED! yay. OMG now i can finally get on with the writing I'm meant to be doing!!
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 7:19 PM
If I'm not mistaken, this marks the first month I failed to review all the entries in more than 2 years. And I failed with flying colors, only getting around to reviewing 2.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/29/2012 7:23 PM
thank you for reviewing my logline Brian.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/29/2012 7:32 PM
This is the first time I didn't review the loglines too (well, this is my first time ever reviewing loglines, so it's kind of obvious). Maybe I write too much detail on each logline. I wasn't sure if my comments would be removed if it wasn't detailed enough.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 8:03 PM
Brian - there's still time ...
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/29/2012 8:35 PM
It's like Christmas Eve. I can't wait to see who is moving on! Not too long to go now!!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/29/2012 8:50 PM
Haha, Sally. You know when we were little kids, and we find it hard to go to sleep because we are so exceited about openning up our presidents under the tree? The last day of this month, where we can see the results, reminds me of Christmas Eve too.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/29/2012 9:02 PM
I have never opened a president... Grin
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/29/2012 9:22 PM
Just finished the last two. WHEW! Barely in time.
My average is exactly the site average.
My review length is less than half the average. I apologize if any of you feel I gave you less info than you wanted. I had to be sure I made it through all of them and just barely did.
If you have a question about anything I said, please email me.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 9:34 PM
Despite Tim's generous allocation of two more days, I'm no where near being done reviewing. Apologies to everyone I missed. Life's a beach, and then you die.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 9:49 PM
This month has been way too intense and probably too long. I did end up reviewing more than
Brian, which is huge!
Good luck to everyone. Write on if you don't make it this year...
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 2/29/2012 10:21 PM
I got through all the reviews over the weekend - a little under the site score avg, and a little above the site length avg.
Tonight I'll be re-working my first 10 pages. Please God let me into the second round! Getting into and through Round 2 for me is a huge goal since this will be my second full feature script and my first one died at the logline stage last year.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/29/2012 10:26 PM
I don't know if I can stay up another hour to see the results of the logline, because this NyQuil is putting me to sleep. I can battle against medicine. Curse you NyQuil!
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/29/2012 11:28 PM
I have to do some last minute shovelling... Hope to be back to see the clock turn for the March contest -- I've got scripts and ideas and want to enter them.
And, of course, see how the logline contest unfolds.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/29/2012 11:57 PM
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 2/29/2012 11:59 PM
One minute left.
Pete Barry (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 12:00 AM
HA! One minute to go, and finished all the loglines.
EAT IT SUCKERS! HAHAHAHAHA!
Now I'll go check my place in the rankings at the bottom of the heap.
(I apologize for the massive spelling errors I chose not to take the time to correct, everyone.)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 12:01 AM
A quick reminder.
If you placed in the top 30 do not talk about your logline.
We need to keep those entries anonymous.
Mohammad Nawaz (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:05 AM
Oh, dang it! :P Didn't make it. For the first contest I entered though, I think I did a good job.
Gratz to all who made it. :)
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:06 AM
They're up. Happy to see my favorite and one of only two Excellents I gave made it through. The other didn't.
Congrats to those who advanced. Odd to be able to see who it is, but not what they wrote. Makes sense, but still strange.
And now to see if my comments marry up to public opinion :)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 12:09 AM
Just to be clear, everyone is now free to talk about loglines in general and about those that are not going on to the next round. I'm sure we all had favorites that did not make the cut.
But, please do not discuss those that are going on.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:19 AM
First off, apologies. Already see a number of names who didn't advance and I've chatted to on these discussions in my short time back. Including someone who commands an army of rouge agents for just such an eventuality.
Not that much to discuss from me since most of the VG and one of my two E's I gave advanced. But I expected Terra to do better. It was a bit generic, but, as I said before, I marked on whether I thought something could sell and pitched right, this had potential.
But other than that, nice work! And commiserations to those that didn't advance. As I said before, simply a matter of a badly constructed logline. Nothing to do with the script or the scriptwriter's skill. Just one of those things! :)
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:21 AM
Despite not advancing -- and the lack of enthusiasm from the reviews -- I'm going to finish the script anyway.
I figured I should've added more to the logline. Like the stripper. And the drill sergeant baking instructor. And the porn.
Ah, well, live and learn.
Good luck to the top 30.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:22 AM
Oh, I should say... I thought I was being harsh. Man was I wrong. Some of these grades don't exactly pull punches. Shows just how subjective it all is!
Jo Gates (Level 3) ~ 3/1/2012 12:26 AM
Ditto @Mohammed Nawaz. I'm bummed not to share this script in this contest, but happy with the feedback and reworking my logline appropriately.
And ditto @Alex Hollister. At least one of my Excellents didn't make it.
I'm looking forward to seeing the next round from the top 30 loglines.
Jo Gates (Level 3) ~ 3/1/2012 12:27 AM
@Zach - The drill sergeant baking instructor was exactly what was missing from mine too.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:31 AM
Hey Zach. Commiserations for not advancing. That was my issue with your logline. I didn't quite see the story or how the premise could be sustained for a feature.
You definitely had room to add a little more detail. It was missing the second act. Once he'd resolved to bake for his kids love... than what? It's not enough to have him inept in the kitchen. We need more. So as a for example-
A lowlife father decides to impress his kids by saving their school's music program with a bake sale despite not knowing the difference between a cake pan and a rolling pin, but when his secret stash of weed accidentally falls into the mix, he has 24 hours before the sale to track down the cupcakes already collected by the school.
Or whatever. Not great, btu you get what I'm saying. Now we have a clear story, clear objective/goal and even a nice ticking clock into the bargain.
Without that, it was hard to get a handle on the story.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 12:34 AM
"Including someone who commands an army of rouge agents for just such an eventuality."
The rouge agents are too busy laughing at my logline to have much interest in mayhem tonight. Each year I spend less time on them and each year I do worse. I wonder if there's a correlation?
I think your comments were right on and I appreciate you taking the time. Thanks.
But what's mostly on my mind is, did the logline you were most excited about make the cut?
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:36 AM
Third time must have been the charm. Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I hope to answer a lot of the questions raised within the first ten pages in April.
As I said before, the bar was raised this year. A lot of good loglines didn't make it through, which should indicate just how tough the competition was.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:38 AM
I don't know if this is the place to discuss it, but if anyone wants more clarification in my comments on my logline or even how to rework it, just give me a shout.
As I said, before my issue with some of them was the vague/coy style that hinted rather than outright stated.
The script may well be a masterpiece.
Which only made it stranger that loglines held back from showing that in all its glory instead opting for vagaries like 'learns the truth' or ' 'not what they appear to be.'
Too many teasers.
Mohammad Nawaz (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:50 AM
:/ I feel as if I've been really harsh with my reviews. I apologize now and if anybody feel I need to answer any questions, I will be happy to do so.
@Jo I didn't mean to rewrite your logline, Jo. I was unaware that you were not meant to.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:56 AM
A quick look and it appears all but one of my EXCELLENTS advanced. Unfortunately, I know how many I gave out, but not which scripts I gave them to.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:56 AM
I wanted to like yours. Funnily enough the producer notes I got back yesterday are for a script with supernatural elements (sort of) set in 1050 AD in England in the final years before the Norman invasion. So this kind of stuff is at the forefront of my thinking at the moment. Which only made it a shame I didn't have an idea of story.
As with a lot of loglines, it was mostly set up. It described probably up to a 13th page catalyst and maybe the rest of the first act into his training.
What was missing seemed to be the moment something attacked. An introduction of a Antagonist. Also, the POV is off. Some writers don't seem to think POV matters in a logline, but it does. You present it as the Irishman, when it should surely be the agnostic son... So just for fun-
BATTLE YOUR DEMONS
In 900 AD, an agnostic son is reluctantly taught the family business of demon killing by his six century old Irish father, but when a new breed of demons ravages his village and slaughters his parents mid-way through training, he must take what little he learned with him in the hunt to track down the demons whilst all the time fighting his own.
Or something like that. You get the idea. That was the part that was missing. Even this logline is mostly set up, but the talk of hunt shows us what the second act will be like and the obvious third act resolution is implied in the slaughter of the demons.
...And yeah. My favorite logline advanced :)
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 12:58 AM
Oh, that title was obviously a joke. But something playing with the idea of battling your demons could work here, Dan. Since he's agnostic but having to take on demon killing. Kind of lends itself to turmoil and inner-conflict. So the title, reworked, could work.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:01 AM
Oh... I see. I didn't realize that. So you guys can see your comments that advanced but we can't. Funny old process this. But obviously the only way it can work.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 1:03 AM
I had four Excellents this month. Two moved on and two didn't.
"The Boston Team Parity" by Richard Buckley
In England, soccer's taken very seriously. However, Boston Wanderers and their grizzled, misogynist, manager are not. All is about to change with the arrival of a little, old, tea-lady. Her greatest challenge yet? To turn this group of bottom-rung misfits into a unit capable of drinking from the greatest cup of all.
"The Novice Angel" by Cecilia Potenza
When Jack is born prematurely, his guardian angel Gabe is pulled out of training school before the end of term. Gabe struggles in carrying out his duties as Jack grows up to be a rebellious and thrill-seeking kid. He seeks the help of the more experienced guardian angels he encounters, including the radiant Angelica.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I could see the whole movie when I read these loglines. In my opinion they did exactly what loglines are supposed to do.
Strangely enough, Cecilia Potenza has entered three contests and I've given her two Excellents.
Richard Buckley has entered four contests, I only read commented on three of those and have given him two Excellents, out of three also.
To make things even weirder, those other two Excellents were also on the same month. (Deja Vu -- March 2011). I guess it's safe to say I like their writing styles.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:08 AM
Yes, if we are among the advancing we get to view the comments left from voters, but others cannot. Which is a shame (though necessairy), because I'd love to add some of the loglines to my favorites list...
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:13 AM
I only gave Boston Team Parity GOOD- But it was an early one I read and I meant to go back (not least of all, because I'm a Liverpool fan and it spoke to the Brit football fan in me) and give it a VG. Definitely one of the better comedic set ups I read.
Wasn't quite there with Novice angel. Nice details in the premature birth, but it felt too familiar. We've all seen this guardian angel before. The inept confidante set up has even been done recently with the not so great Tooth Fairy (Stephen Merchant... what were you thinking?!). And again, couldn't quite see the story. Inexperienced Guardian Angel has to suppress hellraiser kid... but how?
Once again, it was one of those instances that might have got higher with just that last added detail-
'....but when the little hellraiser gets himself arrested for (insert hilarious crime), the inexperience Guardian Angel most turn to the help of his more professional counterparts, including the radiant Angelica who he's worshiped from afar since forever.'
Without that, I just felt like we needed to do to much work to join the dots. But, hey, It's all subjective :)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 1:15 AM
"But, hey, It's all subjective"
Ain't that the truth.
Nick Miranda (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:44 AM
I guess one of the ones I commented at the first of the month was DQed...shame.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 1:49 AM
Congratulations to everyone that advanced.
Wow, look at those names. So many of the same people in the "Tournament of Champions" this month too.
Like I've always said -- there's a ton of talent here.
Can't wait to read your first ten pages. Good luck.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 1:58 AM
"In 900 AD, an agnostic son is reluctantly taught the family business of demon killing by his six century old Irish father, but when a new breed of demons ravages his village and slaughters his parents mid-way through training, he must take what little he learned with him in the hunt to track down the demons whilst all the time fighting his own."
That looks like an interesting story and a great logline. Mine was a love story and to be blunt, the agnostic descendant and the demons were an afterthought. (So it's even worse than you thought.) It was also a comedy.
There's this really, really stubborn Irishman who flat-ass refuses to die, period. He fell in love with this woman, married her and has taught her the knack of refusing to die too. He's not the smartest person but he's having a blast, enjoys killing demons and would like to go on doing that forever. She, on the other hand, is family oriented and while their children and their descendents lived, she found one way or another to become involved in their lives. But except for this one, last holdout, who doesn't seem interested in marrying or children, their family line has completely died out. Now she's sad, feels her life doesn't have any purpose and wants to move on. The only thing he takes seriously in his life is his love for his wife.
He doesn't want to die -- he doesn't want to live without her.
So he tries to buy some time hoping she'll change her mind. He asks her to stay around until he trains a replacement that he "claims" can only be of their blood. The agnostic descendent doesn't know who they are, doesn't believe in anything supernatural, but is just as stubborn and tenacious as the Irishman.
They have difficulties at first, and yes their is a "super demon" who thinks he smells a chance to do in his old enemy in, once and for all and sends an all out attack, the youngster kicks in, in the nick of time to beat back the demons. The Irishman's wife, who is an excellent demon killer herself, takes an interest in the agnostic, introduces to him to someone special and happily settles in to meddling in their lives.
Absolutely no arc for the Irishman. Lots and lots of room for funny bits. I especially like the part where the Irishman is trying to prove the supernatural exists to the Agnostic (while trying to teach him how to refuse to die). He stabs him through the heart and keeps the kid alive through will power, the agnostic still finds a way not to believe. Repeat -- still doesn't believe. This could go on for awhile.
So as you can clearly see, this was not well thought out. The logline was even crappier than the story and I appreciate you taking the time to take a stab at a much, much better logline, that I'll hold on to it and use it as a pattern for better stories.
But, really this is pretty much a lost cause that I've invested only about ten hours in. And that's mostly while driving back and forth to work and daydreaming.
I still want to know about the logline you liked, but that could take months of waiting now.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 4:43 AM
Okay... Think I'm allowed to do this. I wonder if anyone else has broken these stats down. Could make for interesting reading and a great indicator of whether your grades are on point. Here's how mine break down.
First the top grade-
2 EXCELLENT GIVEN- 1 Through- 1 Out.
12 VERY GOOD GIVEN- 9 Through- 3 Out
Now the middle ground where you'd want a sort of 50/50 split
32 GOOD GIVEN - 12 Through- 20 Out
And Now lower ground- Where alas, a vast percentage of the grade I gave lay and where obviously Outs is the important stat-
42 FAIR GIVEN - 8 Through - 34 Out
19 POOR GIVEN - 0 Through - 19 Out
Pretty happy to be part of the crowd. Don't think, on the evidence of these stats, I was as harsh or as off the mark as I thought I might be at times.
Anyone else care to venture theirs?
Bill Sarre (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 5:16 AM
Well, if you don't try you don't learn...thats what i'm telling myself!!
Thanks to all those you reviewed and left comments - really useful feedback. Whilst i wanted to get through, i'm not surprised i didn't make it with my first logline, after all, there is some decent talent on this site, so no easy wins!. What is slightly annoying is that i knew the core issues in advance, but wasn't sure how to resolve them. This will help.
I am happy to share rewrites if anybody wants to go through the process of working together to improve the loglines.
all the best
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 5:26 AM
oh boy, when I enter with a fully fleshed out plot I don't advance, when I enter with a vague idea I do. now I'm panicking...
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 5:33 AM
I am not allowed to say much as per contest rules, but I do want to say this...
Thanks to everyone who helped me advance.
Crap! Now I gotta write a friggin' movie.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 5:36 AM
I quite liked your idea despite giving it a FAIR. It was only that it was hard to see where the concept could sustain a feature length script. But certainly don't give up on it. There's a lot of laughs to be rung out of the bewildering nonsense of some new age remedies.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 3/1/2012 5:47 AM
Looking forward to the 10 pagers! Awesome group advancing. Congrats everyone!
James C. Schlicker (Level 1) ~ 3/1/2012 6:00 AM
Hi. Being very new to this website I didn't take the time I should have to understand how the competition went. My fault for not giving more information in the logline. I have trained myself to give just enough to know what the story revolves around in a logline so that's what I did here. I see more should have been submitted in the logline here. My mistake. I'll have it ready for the next time. Good luck to those who advanced!
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 6:27 AM
Stats (for what they're worth).
4 EXCELLENT GIVEN- 2 Through- 2 Out.
13 VERY GOOD GIVEN- 5 Through- 8 Out
43 GOOD GIVEN - 13 Through- 30 Out
36 FAIR GIVEN - 8 Through - 28 Out
10 POOR GIVEN - 2 Through - 8 Out
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 6:36 AM
I've got exactly ten that made it from my "Poor" and "Fair" and exactly ten that didn't make it from my "Very Good" and "Excellent".
Different strokes or ignorance or both, I guess.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 6:40 AM
Interesting. Our Good ratio's were similar. I'm glad to see someone else kept the Excellents back for a select few. I wasn't sure if my two was a little harsh.
I was probably a little more willing to hand out Poors than I probably should have been. But looks to me like we were reading from the same page for the most part.
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 6:49 AM
It is all subjective, but unfortunately, I see the requirements of a 'good' logline here greatly differ from what is considered a 'good' logline in the industry.
I'm actually surprised a few solely based on a pun, or joke, or just have a matching title got through. To be honest, it gives me mixed feelings seeing my logline below some of these entries. On one hand, I feel I should just do better next time, on the other (looking at some of them which got through) I believe people really don't understand what a logline is. I'm not saying mine is perfect, I should have made it more clear, but it at the very least contains goals, obstacles and a (described, not named) lead character.
Seeing how those who posted their erroneous loglines were also the ones who voted, there might be a link there.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 6:58 AM
Yours was one of my eight "Very Goods" that didn't move on. Sorry, I didn't even like the story all that much, but I knew what the story was and that's what I was trying to rate the loglines on.
Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 7:24 AM
@Alex Just one more message tonight/this morning.
I went and looked at my eight "Very Goods" that didn't move forward.
Out of those eight you had 5 as "Fair", 2 as "Good" and 1 as "Poor".
I think I'll read the rest of your reviews and try to learn something.
Good night. I mean it this time.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 7:31 AM
One of these days I'll understand the logline. In the meantime, here's my blog that announces WINDFALL'S sequel: ANGEL'S KISS, DEVIL'S MARK.
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 8:03 AM
Damn this is over already I was planning on reviewing more than 20...Sorry and thanks to all who reviewed mine. Once again....I HATE LOGLINES :) - I am just going to pay someone next year to write the best two sentenced logline the world has ever seen! :)
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 3/1/2012 8:17 AM
Rich Keel, frustrated by his several failed attempts at getting past the logline round of a screenwriting website, audaciously declares that he'll hire a pro to play proxy but ends up warding off a female lumberjack who answers his plea.
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 8:36 AM
You are amazing...Amazing!
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 3/1/2012 8:39 AM
Jo Gates (Level 3) ~ 3/1/2012 8:50 AM
@Mohammad Nawaz No problem. I don't think that's a hard-and-fast rule (and if it is I broke it sometimes too), because offering rephrasing suggestions is a useful part of reviews. Your comment was very helpful. Thank you.
Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 9:06 AM
I'm honored and humbled by my advancement but it is frustrating not seeing some of my favorites advance.
For me (and I assume others), this contest is so important because of the possibility of feedback on a feature length script. FREE feedback and coverage from numerous scribes of varying levels. If I didn't place, I was prepared to shell out $118 bucks to two different pro readers.
No, my spot will not be wasted this year. My script is already written, yet the rewrites continue. Again, I'm honored to be in the company of greats.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 3/1/2012 9:08 AM
Well, the effort you put in has paid off then, Bill! Enjoy it and grow, that's the whole point.
All the best!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 9:53 AM
Congratulations to everyone who made the cut.
I know my logline was flawed, and I appreciate all of the time the reviewers put in on rating it and helping me see where it needs work. Thank you.
I do not, however, think it was bad enough to bring anyone to the brink of wrist slitting. If that ever happens again, please feel free...
Dimitris Chiotellis (Level 2) ~ 3/1/2012 10:19 AM
Im new here. Is there any way to find all my reviews from a previous contest? I made 13 reviews for loglines but i cant find them because the month change.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 10:21 AM
"Im new here. Is there any way to find all my reviews from a previous contest? I made 13 reviews for loglines but i cant find them because the month change."
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to see all the reviews you did for a previous month. You would need to go to the results page and open individual entries to see your reviews.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 10:28 AM
hey, BIG UPS to TIM WESTLAND (and if i missed anyone else i apologize in advance) for making it through for the fourth year in a row!!!...as far as i have been able to research he's the ONLY ONE that is 4 for 4 in the logline contest...take a bow, my friend...
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 10:56 AM
A few logline stats for those who like such things.
Number of logline contests: 4
Entries moving on: 120
Writers who have moved on: 88
Writers who have moved on 4 times: 1 (Tim Westland)
Writers who have moved on 3 times: 5 (Brian Wind, Caroline Coxon, Geoff Willis, Martin Lancaster, & Pete Barry)
Average character length of loglines moving on: 242
Average character length of loglines not moving on: 290
Loglines that received no poor and fair votes: 0
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 11:15 AM
Chris - I think that last stat is the most telling. No matter what you write, someone will find fault. So never be discouraged by the opinions of others.
Personally, I remain amazed at your ability to see and comment on the positives, no matter how buried they might be, in virtually every entry.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 11:17 AM
my stats if anyone's curious:
4 excellents - 1 through
12 v. goods - 7 through
41 goods - 14 through
40 fairs - 7 through
9 poors - 0 through
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 11:24 AM
Well oh well, Tim Westland. Aren't you just somethin'. Congrats! That is very impressive! :D
Chris forgot one stat:
Writers who have entered 3 previous logline contests and bombed each time and will never, ever enter again because it causes them serious distress and heartache: 1
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 11:42 AM
"Writers who have entered 3 previous logline contests and bombed each time and will never, ever enter again because it causes them serious distress and heartache: 1"
This stat makes me sad. :(
Bryony Quigly (Level 3) ~ 3/1/2012 11:48 AM
I can't believe I submitted a logline that was so riddled with grammatical errors. I hang my head in SHAME!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/1/2012 11:51 AM
Marnie, I have not moved on in any of my logline contests. I'm not sure if I entered two or three? But I do have a co-written feature from one of those entries that has made the rounds.
I enter a logline that entertains me - something I love. If it doesn't do well, so be it. It's cool with me. There are certain writers who share the same interests and tastes. And if I do well with them, it's good enough for me.
Enter for yourself and don't sweat it.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 12:41 PM
I might be risking banishment, but here goes...
Chris - I don't have a problem with constructive criticism. That's what I'm here for. I don't have a problem with not making it to round two, either. My logline was not up to par this year. I knew that going in, but I went anyway.
What I do have a problem with is pompous acidness.
I read all of the reviews given by the reviewer who said my logline made him want to cut his wrists. Only one was as vitriolic as the one I received. That writer was told the reviewer wished you would make a rating lower than POOR so the logline could get the review it deserved.
Other writers were told their work wasn't worth commenting on.
And I'm not supposed to comment on his comments?
Other reviewers pointed out some of the same problems with my logline that he did, but their reviews were given with civility and consideration.
I am very sorry I suggested anyone go ahead and cut their wrists, though. That was totally uncalled for.
@Tim - Congratulations! I suppose you'll become unbearable as soon as the grin on your face calms down to a smile.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 12:54 PM
No banishment necessary. :)
You are certainly allowed to address a reviewers comments, although I think the best spot for that is usually in the discussion thread where the the review was done.
As I mentioned in another thread, I think the vast majority of our reviewers offer thoughtful reviews. Some reviewers think it is helpful/interesting to be acerbically funny and or brutally honest. I disagree, but in the end I think the variety of review styles is probably more helpful than it is harmful. After all, no singular review (bad or good) should be given too much credence by a writer. It is in the general consensus that the real power lies.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:08 PM
"Some reviewers think it is helpful/interesting to be acerbically funny and or brutally honest. I disagree..."
Blow it off, Margaret. Haters will hate and they are a thin minority here.
Chin up. Keep writing. Be fearless.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 1:11 PM
What irks me now is that I'll be reviewing his work this month and, as much as I'd love to hate it, it will probably end up being something I like. Or worse... Something I love.
Here's hoping he's a hack... (my own version of acerbically funny).
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:29 PM
No, if this is okay to do here, I'm happy to field this one, Chris.
Since the comment quite clearly relates to me and a few of my more harsher responses. The fact it refers to more than one comment means it can't really be addressed in the individual discussion thread where the review was posted.
First of all, the very fact, Margaret, that you trawled all my reviews and only found two that seemed in any way vitriolic means I can't be all bad.
And calling me out on the 'lower than POOR' line was both sneaky and unfair since you failed to include in what context it was said. But in order to clear my name as it were with that one-
'This story is asking us to accept a Protag who embezzles millions then uses the death of thousands to cover up his crime......wow! ..... just wow!
I have to assume no-one is stupid enough to write a movie where this is our hero. If it is this would get a poor.... and I would probably email Chris to allow a special 'even-lower-than-poor' score for just this occasion.'
It was my reaction to a logline that, because of the POV it was written in, seemed to suggest our protagonist used 9/11 to embezzle money and hide his crime behind those tragic deaths. If that was meant to be our hero, then I stick entirely by what I said from a moralistic standpoint. It's sick. But I also say, that I'm not convinced this is what the writer intended. And so this was a 'lower than POOR' from a hypothetical standpoint. That's the context. I'd rather next time you included that when calling me out.
As to your logline, my quote was--
'POOR. Sorry. Bad title. Suicidal teenager and vampires. Almost already makes me want to slit my wrist. There's no substance here. No twist on the vampire mythology.'
Now the context there, if you read it again, it's not that the logline makes me what to slit my wrists, but that those two characters/devices in ANY logline would. Plus, it's sort of a playful aside not to be taken too seriously. Suicidal characters in scripts make me want to slit my wrists... see? As Chris says, acerbic.... not vitriolic.
If you want any further clarifications, I can meet you on the discussion thread for your logline. Otherwise, I stick by my review. If you don't find a better way to write this logline in a way that shows this script to be different to the myriad of Vampire scripts out there, then it will struggle to get read. It needs something a little unique in there somewhere. A hook. A twist. A new take on the vampire mythology.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:33 PM
Oh, Don't worry Margaret, my entry for Champions is tripe by comparison! I'm not just saying that. The standard is hugely impressive. I simply wrote without outline.
It's probably the worst short I've written. So hopefully when you come to it, you'll agree and tear me a new one.... without even knowing it's me....revenge is sweet ;)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 1:35 PM
I appreciate you both sharing your viewpoints and this has remained civil (it could easily get ugly). Let's keep it that way.
Just a reminder, in general, if someone has issues with specific reviews, I suggest they either discuss it in their own entry thread or email a MOD about it.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:39 PM
Cool. No problems, Chris. I don't think it'll get ugly. Both viewpoints shared. Now we move on. As I said, I'm willing to clarify further elsewhere in the appropriate thread. Otherwise I'll leave Margaret to tear chunks from my Champion entry... even though she won't know she's done it until the end of the month.... best served cold and all that ;)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 1:40 PM
It's all cool. I love drama in scripts, I'm just trying to avoid it in the forums - where I like things nice and dull. :)
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 1:51 PM
I'm a little bummed out that I didn't go through but I am thrilled to have all of these reviews of my logline. I really can blame no one but myself. I studied what a logline should look like before entering and chose to follow the viewpoint that it should be short and not give away more than the setup. I even failed at that.
I'll just move forward telling myself that if I had added an extra sentence to explain where the story was going, things might have been different... =D
Thanks everyone. I'm 50 pages into the script since writing the logline. Hopefully someday I'll get to share it with the people who showed interest in it.
Congratulations to those moving forward! I can't wait to read your scripts!
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 2:10 PM
I would never instruct someone not to write a script, and I'm certainly not going to do that here, but I absolutely have to stress the importance of finding something unique in your script, Felipe. I can't stress that enough.
What I said was true. It's astounding how many times producers and readers run the 'What would happen if we traveled back in time and killed Hitler?' Script. TIME TRAVEL and NAZIS scripts are everywhere. So you need to find a way to get yours to the top of the pile.
As you say, your logline needs that second sentence that sets apart your project from all the others. That part that tells us the ramifications of Hitler's death.
I mean, whilst horrible immoral as a subject matter, imagine if, having killed Hitler, our Jewish hero awakens in a dystopian, future imperfect society. Not a nice way to think, but wars inevitably bring down the mounting populace. Without them, it would be standing room only on this rock. That's a different, if slightly dodgy, take.
I perhaps wouldn't advice it, but it's an example of where your second sentence might have elevated this and conveyed your intent for the story more.
I wish you luck with the project, but again, I stress that this needs an original take.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 2:11 PM
Typos all over the place.... Edit Button? ;)
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 2:20 PM
A lot of people had a problem understanding (rightfully so) what I mean't by accidentally traveling back in time.
The idea is that his father was the physicist who disappeared and while visiting his lab to get all of his affairs in order, he stumbles upon the machine. He doesn't know how to use it, so that's the accident portion. The true story is about him and his family. When he realizes the man standing before him is hitler before WWI, he is compelled to kill him in the heat of the moment. That is the beginning of his problems internally and externally because he just killed a man who has done nothing wrong. At least in the eyes of society at the time.
Not to mention, the time machine in this movie transports you back in time, but if you travel to a time where the machine didn't exist, you're stuck there.
So he is stuck in the past and is forced to live out his live in the new world he created for himself, while still trying to find out where his father went.
Sorry, I probably did a terrible job of explaining that and I definitely did a terrible job of explaining that in my logline.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 3:03 PM
Even though I didn't advance, I'll take solace in knowing that my logline's rating was above the contest's average. Only .04 points above, but a win's a win -- especially with writing.
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 4:05 PM
I think my biggest regret here is the fact that I left 20 reviews for the last 3 hours of the day. When I sat down to do them I realized that this site is on East Coast time... My apologies to those whose loglines I was not able to review in time.
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 4:07 PM
@ Zach? Where do you see that?
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 4:18 PM
I think he might have done the math himself? There might be an easier way but if you multiply the percentage of excellents by 5, the number of very goods by 4, and etc., then divide the total number by 100, you get your average.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2012 5:54 PM
@Alex - I don't do revenge. I don't carry grudges, either. We're good.
I did read through all of your other reviews. I wanted to see if it was you or me, and, frankly, it was both of us.
My logline was not clear. The criticisms you gave were totally legitimate and echoed over and over in other reviews. Your tone of voice wasn't something I'm used to here, though. I responded more to how you said things than to what you said.
I might actually like you when I get to know you better, and I'm definitely open to that. Maybe some day you'll even see me for the genius I am.
We're good, Alex. Don't slit your wrists...
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 5:55 PM
Maybe someday Chris will add a "like" button to comments. =D
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 6:08 PM
No problems, Margaret. The 'Slit wrists' was a genuine attempt at acerbic wit rather than vitriol, but I can totally see how it could be read that way.
It's not the first time I've alienated with my clumsy attempt at wit. Certainly not the first time with a lady... but that's another sad story :)... Multiple sad stories...
...A ill-advised tactic at a speed date since you ask :).
But anyway, all good. What's done is done. And wrists intact.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2012 6:29 PM
It's on the piece of paper I did the math on. Yeah, I'm one of those guys who calculates his score. Takes some time, but it's nice to see how I do over the course of the contests.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 3/1/2012 7:14 PM
@Dave Birch - Thanks, man. But to keep things in perspective... I've made it through all 4 times, but I've never made it past Round 2. I came close once, but there ya go!
@Marnie... I agree with Chris... that stat makes me sad. I am throwing down the gauntlet right now for next year. I'm going to start a new thread entitled, "Let's all harass Marnie until she enters a logline".
@Mags - "... become unbearable..." I thought I already was. I'm gonna have to try harder.
I wish I could reply to the comments you all posted on my logline. That's the only downside to this sort of contest. So I will just say it here... Thanks... for the good and the bad, the positive and the negative.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2012 10:58 PM
"I wish I could reply to the comments you all posted on my logline. That's the only downside to this sort of contest. So I will just say it here... Thanks... for the good and the bad, the positive and the negative."
I second that. The feedback on my logline is incredibly helpful. I will be using all the great advice as I begin to tackle the first ten pages.
Bob Johnson (Level 4) ~ 3/2/2012 9:52 AM
Following the 'starting a sentence with a But' debate, I noticed that out of the six times it was used four went through...
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/2/2012 12:32 PM
I'm guessing those four advancers must have gotten a couple of POORs then. Even though there's no reason for that, grammatically speaking.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 3/2/2012 3:49 PM
I don't know if I'm going to write a feature length screenplay with the logline I have. I never written a full screenplay before.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 3/2/2012 4:34 PM
@Reginald - I think your story idea is solid, and if you feel strongly about it, it could be a great learning experience if you decide to write it. Plus I LOVE the title.
Denise Jewell (Level 4) ~ 3/2/2012 4:38 PM
"I wish I could reply to the comments you all posted on my logline. That's the only downside to this sort of contest. So I will just say it here... Thanks... for the good and the bad, the positive and the negative."
I'll THIRD that! I am very happy to have made the top 30, and the reviews are extremely helpful! All the feedback makes sense and will be so helpful in honing the whole script.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/2/2012 6:11 PM
As I said in another post, I'd never entirely instruct someone not to write something if they have their heart set on it... but as you don't seem to. A note of caution.
The problem with your idea, and it's not a bad one, is it's like body-switch lite. In other words, all the 13 going on 30's and Freaky Fridays have a drastic change in that they are a complete body switch. Yours is essentially the body-switch of a voice box.
You're already fighting a losing battle. See if you have a male character transforming into a woman, you have that already. You have the change in voice, but equally you have the sudden springing up of breasts (hmmm...... give me a second on that one.... right. Where was I?) or the sudden inability to parallel park...... (what? It's comedy!).
I'm not explaining this well. Keep getting sidetracked. What I mean is, your idea will be competing with all the body-switch ideas that are packed with conflict and comedic opportunities. This feels like a very much one note gag. It would be like having a script about a man who suddenly learns to fly. Or going to see the origin of Superman. Or having an idea about a man who can walk up walls... or going to see The Amazing Wall-Hanging Man.
See, this idea shows you think outside the box and that's a good thing. Now think even more outside the box... if there is such a place.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/2/2012 6:21 PM
All that said, I prefer you latest version of the logline. Maybe you can make it work!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 3/2/2012 6:24 PM
Hey Alex, thanks for the adivice. I thought it was clever myself to try out new ideas. I have a budnle full of loglines like the one entered. I am cconfident that they can be taken to the next level.
I see what you mean when abut thinkng outside the bun. I think it's good for a change that someone should think hard on their idea.
Sometimes when I write an idea, I would write the idea and then watch a movie that is completly different from my idea.
Thanks for the advice.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/3/2012 12:25 AM
I was hoping I might get some suggestions on a rewrite of my logline from last year. Here is the link:
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 3/3/2012 12:55 AM
LEGEND DICTATES: THE 7th CHILD OF A 7th CHILD SHALL POSSES SUPER NATURAL POWERS BY THEIR 18th BIRTHDAY. . .
All her life the 7th daughter of a Queen, a 7th daughter herself, has diligently prepared for her destiny, but when powers don't arrive as expected, she secretly struggles with her identity and must rely on her vast knowledge of witchcraft when challenged by an evil sorcerer determined she marry his 7th son.
Personally, I think this feels overwhelming before even reading beyond the first sentence. A lot of the detail about the 7th this and that could be omitted for brevity's sake.
"A teenage princess uses witchcraft in an attempt to rescue herself from an arranged marriage to the son of an evil sorceress."
I'd go something more like that. Short and straight to the point. (That being said, I rewrite it a bunch of times to get the best wording. This is just a quick example I threw together in a few seconds.) All of the technical rules of the fantasy realm the story takes place really don't need to be included in the logline in my opinion.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/3/2012 1:05 AM
Ooops....sorry Brian. I posted the link above which should go directly to the footer of the page where I posted my rewrite. The girl can't use witchcraft because her wand was cursed.
Bob Johnson (Level 4) ~ 3/3/2012 2:56 AM
"A teenage princess uses witchcraft in an attempt to rescue herself from an arranged marriage to the son of an evil sorceress. But her wand broke"
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/3/2012 11:17 PM
The protagonist is the princess, but what is her character flaw?
The antagonist is the sorcerer, but what part does the son play?
The inciting incident is the failure of her predicted powers to materialize on her eighteenth birthday. Right?
What are the obstacles? The battles?
What are the stakes? They should be life or death. Always. It can be metaphoric life and death, but it needs to be all or nothing.
I like Brian's logline above. Tight and lean and crystal clear.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 3/3/2012 11:58 PM
change the title to "The 7th Daughter"...
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 3/4/2012 1:33 AM
Setup: The teenage princess who uses witchcraft
Goal: To save herself
Antagonitic force: learn how to use magic
Antagonist The evil Sorceress
The only thing that is missing in the logline is the person who keeps the protagonist from saving herself and the antagonist from being evil to kill her.
The antagonistic force is internal, meaning we don't know what she needs to do to learn magic. Maybe you can tell us what she needs to do to learn magic. She might need to find her experienced friend to teach her how to use the crystal ball or something.
When a teenage princess finds a crystal ball in her basement, she must learn how to use it in an attempt to save herself from an arranged marriage to the son of an evil sorceress.
This might not be a good logline, but I think you get the picture. I still didn't include the ally who causes problems to both the antagonist and the antagonist.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 3/4/2012 1:35 AM
Wait, she isn't learning how to use magic, her wand broke. Sorry.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/4/2012 8:54 AM
I feel bad...I didn't want to clog up this thread so I had left the link to my logline page if anyone wanted to leave suggestions.
You guys are all giving me great advice. The story is a little tricky because you're right Margaret, she's supposed to get her powers on her 18th birthday but because her wand was cursed she doesn't. She's too embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone so she poses as one anyway. I mentioned on my thread that I think what I really need to do is stop distracting myself on the logline...finish writing the damned thing then have some people read and give me their ideas after. So I'll hopefully be bugging you guys in a few weeks again. :)))))))
Still welcome suggestions though...but on my logline thread as to not take over this one. THANKS YOU GUYS!!!!! :D
Dave Kunz (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 1:19 PM
A quick anecdote. My logline finished roughly 110th in last month's Round 1 of 3. And rightfully so. I had written roughly 20 to 30 different loglines for my SP and decided to go with the riskiest on the off chance I'd come up with something truly intriguing and attention grabbing. It was a bad miscalculation on my part.
So I reversed course and revised one of the loglines that more closely fit the general trend of recommendations I was seeing here at MP. I sent out that logline yesterday to two different industry leads and had a full script request from a production company in my email in box this morning. My first out of roughly a dozen queries.
Here's the "bad" logline:
A dirty cop and his hooker girlfriend recruit a pair of slackers to be gangsters-in-training.
And the logline that "worked" (for now anyway):
Two hunting buddies on the verge of growing apart fall prey to a murderous -- though strangely charismatic -- police detective bent on recruiting them in his efforts to take over a mobster's territory. As the two friends fail at a series gangsters-in-training scenarios they find themselves pitted against one another in a test of friendship that also threatens their lives.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/4/2012 1:26 PM
Go Dave! I'm seriously delighted for you. Well-deserved.
What a perfect illustration of a logline that wasn't quite there and one that nailed it!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/4/2012 1:26 PM
A dirty cop and his hooker girlfriend recruit a pair of slackers to be gangsters-in-training.
Dave, didn't get to this one in the contest, but without reading comments, I see this as a great "tagline" - something for TV guide.
As far as the "worked" version, I like it. I don't think you need "though strangely charismatic" in there - you can show that detail in your movie.
Two hunting buddies on the verge of growing apart fall prey to a murderous detective bent on recruiting them in taking over a mobster's territory. As the two friends fail at a series gangsters-in-training scenarios, they find themselves pitted against one another in a test of friendship that also threatens their lives.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/4/2012 1:28 PM
(not to mention the value of taking constructive criticism graciously!)
Go MoviePoet too!
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 2:03 PM
First of, big congrats on the read request. And the logline's better.
But there's still a slight disconnect.
There's still no clear logical throughline to how recruiting these men will help take over a mobster's territory. There's insinuation. But nothing clear.
Now the details that are there are intriguing. Hence the deserved read request. But I think if you clean it up a touch, you'll be looking at quite a few more.
We need a clear connect between the recruitment and how it will facilitate the antagonist cop's scheme.
First of all, you can lose "though strangely charismatic" and also "on the verge of growing apart" The latter is intimated at the end of the logline.
Next, you need that connection so really that opening sentence needs something like-
Two hunting buddies fall prey to a murderous detective bent on recruiting as part of his plan to (insert connection) and take over a mobster's territory.
Two hunting buddies fall prey to a murderous detective bent on recruiting and training them as would-be gangsters to work undercover in taking down a mobster's gang from the inside. As the two friends fail at a series gangsters-in-training scenarios they find themselves pitted against one another in a test of friendship that also threatens their lives.
See what I mean by connect and disconnect? In your logline, we almost have to join the dots to see the intent. In this logline, we've clearly defined the motive of the cop. That disconnect as to why he needs them is gone.
All that said, it was still an interesting logline. But I think this way, you completely eliminate any confusion or ambiguity.
But either way, again, congrats on the read request.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 3/4/2012 2:27 PM
Dave.. congrats on the read request!
Sorry if I missed this in the thread... but do you already have the full script written? If so, what draft are you on?
Dave Kunz (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 2:28 PM
Thanks Caroline, William and Alex, this all helps. This particular SP has always been hugely challenging to me in terms of coming up with a strong, marketable logline. So, I've incorporated your suggestions and here's what I got:
Two hunting buddies fall prey to a murderous police detective bent on recruiting them as would-be gangsters to work at helping him take over a mobster's gang from the inside. As the two friends fail at a series of gangsters-in-training scenarios they find themselves pitted against one another in a test of friendship that also threatens their lives.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 2:31 PM
Spot on! That logline would still be in the contest ;)
No need to change a thing.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 3/4/2012 2:32 PM
This is FAR better, Dave. It sings! Although I don't think "hunting" is required at this point. But that's just me.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/4/2012 2:32 PM
I think the first sentence is very convoluted. I promise to think of a solution rather than just knocking it:) Soon.
Dave Kunz (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 2:34 PM
Tim, yes, the full draft is written. It clocks in at 97 pages. I think I've done five or six revisions. I wrote it to be strictly low, low budget: 8 characters and just 2 locations. Thanks for asking.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 2:36 PM
I think I know what Madame Coxon means in that 'would be gangsters to work at helping him take over' feels a little convoluted.
But it's much better than it was. And you're only looking at a slight variation on the wording or word order. Which Caroline will be back with :)
Otherwise, this will get you reads as it is. Nicely done.
Alex Hollister (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 2:43 PM
"Although I don't think "hunting" is required at this point. But that's just me."
I think the idea is to insert that sense of irony that Blake Snyder always talks about in a logline.
So hunters.... fall prey. (hunters become hunted)
I think it works in that respect. I see this very much a story of food chains. In that the two buddies were hunters, then they become the hunted, then the bait in trapping the top of the food chain- The mobster.
Dave Kunz (Level 4) ~ 3/4/2012 2:46 PM
I agree on the convoluted language in the first sentence. Probably change it to: "...fall prey to a murderous police detective bent on recruiting them as would-be-gangsters to help him take over a mobster's operation from the inside." I like the "from the inside" bit (from Alex), better context. What can I say? MP, and the folks who hang here, rocks.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/4/2012 2:55 PM
I like that, Dave. phew! Saves my poor struggling brain.
Rod Thompson (Level 3) ~ 3/9/2012 9:21 AM
OMG! I advanced! Who the hell was doing the voting??? LMAO!
Thanks to all of my voters. You guys rock!
I'm living by the rule that even the guy who graduated second to last from Harvard still graduated from Harvard! :D
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/9/2012 12:41 PM
@ Rod - :D
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 3/9/2012 12:46 PM
@ Rod: Haven't you been through this emotional experience before?
I have video proof: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfTgxrxL9ug
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 3/9/2012 8:09 PM
Has anyone already thought about their 2013 loglines yet?
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 3/9/2012 8:31 PM
I have one that is pretty good waiting in the wings.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 3/9/2012 8:51 PM
I just pick one from my 1000 loglines waiting to be written file.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/9/2012 9:03 PM
I'm with Michael. I can't even count how many loglines/ideas I have for films. All I need is more time and I'd be able to write them all. Eventually...
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/9/2012 11:48 PM
Stop posting and start writing.
Michael Berg (Level 3) ~ 3/19/2012 5:50 PM
Congrats Lewayne and all the others! I've been absent from the site for about 6 months, and I'm really interested in many of the loglines that made it to the 2nd round. Look forward to reading those entries.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/20/2012 6:21 AM
Stop posting and start writing.
One word at a time... that's how a screenplay gets written.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/20/2012 11:48 AM
I've already written two features this year. So I'm gonna post.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 3/24/2012 4:13 AM
I have a question. When The First Ten-Page Contest ends, and when the top ten scripts make it to round three, will the other 20 loglines from the Logline Contest be revealed, while the other 10 loglines will remain anonymous, since those last ten loglines won’t make it to round three?
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/24/2012 10:52 AM
Only the loglines/10 pages that advance to Round 3 will remain anonymous. So, yes, you are correct, sir.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/24/2012 10:52 AM
Yes, after the second round winners are announced the writers of the 20 loglines not going on will be revealed.
On a side note, it took forever to program that. :)
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 11:09 AM
@ Chris "On a side note, it took forever to program that. :)"
And, we appreciate it. Thanks! :)
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 3:01 PM
Chris - I'm curious if you've ever looked at the correlation between the top 3 finishers in the logline contests and the top 3 in the full script contests? I'm sure it would be fairly easy for us to to calculate by going back and looking at each contest, but if you've already got the info, it would be interesting to see.
Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/24/2012 4:51 PM
Just a quick look and from 2009, 2010, and 2011, only Pete Barry in 2011 was in the top 3 for both the logline and feature script rounds -- he also won the 10 pages round.
It was interesting to see the number of Honorable Mentions drop in the four years of the feature contest:
15 HM in 2009
11 HM in 2010
7 HM in 2011
6 HM in 2012
Not sure what to take from that, but it's there.
David Birch (Level 5) ~ 5/28/2012 1:57 AM
interesting take on the never ending debate over what makes an effective logline...
"The logline provides a one-sentence summary of the script’s premise and plot. It should succinctly describe the situation of the protagonist and include any major story elements.
Concise, concise, concise. One sentence that generally describes the script. General is the key word. Don’t worry about every detail of the story in the log line."
for more on this article, go to...
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 5/29/2012 1:56 PM
Thanks DB --
Always trying to get a handle on what's effective.
One sentence is tough. Guess it's called good writing...
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 5/30/2012 1:26 PM
I have a question, when Round 2 ends, will only the names be revieled just like the Logline contest?
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 5/30/2012 1:31 PM
At the end of Round 2 you will now which which ten writers and which ten scripts are moving on, but you won't be able to tell who wrote what additionally.
For the 20 writers not moving on, you will be able to tell what they wrote.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 5/30/2012 11:48 PM
Done reviewing! That's a first in a long while. What a relief!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 5/31/2012 12:11 AM
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 5/31/2012 12:13 AM
You go, guy!
Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 5/31/2012 12:15 AM
For a minute, I thought it was the last day.
Anyway, thanks, Margaret.
I wish everyone good luck on their ten pages.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 5/31/2012 8:38 AM
Not a big deal, but I think you two meant to post your "done" messages in the the "Ten Pages" thread.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 5/31/2012 1:31 PM
@ Reggie - It is the last day.
@ Chris - Doh!