#3 Screenwriter: Synopsis & The Logline

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I’ve had some experience of a synopsis, but the logline was a new concept and needed some research to understand what was being looked for. Below is a definition of what it is.
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A log-line or logline is a brief summary of a film, or motion picture often providing both a synopsis of the program’s plot, and an emotional “hook” to stimulate interest. It is short, precise and usually includes a “hook” that would inspire the reader.

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A logline is often referred to as the TV Guide listing of your screenplay.  In essence, it is a one sentence, or so, description of the basic idea of your script.  A good logline contains a sense of who the main character is, what world the screenplay inhabits, and the inherent conflict in the story.

Okay, here is my effort at a logline, believe me, this is a lot harder to do than you would think!

The Logline
When a conscript soldier goes awol for job in a band, he falls in love, and is pursued by his commanding officer, who is promised in marriage to the same woman.

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The synopsis gives you a bit more room for manoeuvre but not much, and was able to do this with relative ease.

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A synopsis is a brief description of all the events in your screenplay…the broad strokes. I love the 3rd alternative for pitching (or in the elevator) which gives you a clue of what it’s like inside the business.

When pitching by phone, e-mail, in a round-robin pitchfest (or in an elevator), you will be asked for your logline and synopsis.  A sprightly and concise logline and synopsis are essential to hooking your prospective buyer.

Okay here is my synopsis for The Palais

The Palais: Synopsis
Eddie Carter, a conscript soldier in 1950’s Edinburgh,  has a single ambition, to have his own band. His agent finds him a dream job with the Eric Winstone Orchestra at the Edinburgh Palais, when on a two day leave. He meets Nannette Barclay a professional singer and they fall in love, but his ambition brings him into conflict with his commanding officer, who is promised in marriage to Nannette. Our young conscript now takes a journey, of self discovery, loyalty and love.

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