The log line must show what your movie is about. You have about a minimum of five or six words and a maximum of three, five to six word sentences to show it in the log line. The shorter, the better. If you are serious about writing, selling and getting your screenplays produced, then, you must think in terms of writing lean and mean. Lean and mean is the same thing, as the shorter, the better. This attitude will help you write to industry standards and help you hone your craft as a screenwriter.
A key here, is to use active verbs. Use them in your log lines, use them in your synopses, use them in your treatments and use them in your screenplays. The use of active verbs will help you streamline your writing. It will force you to write that show your descriptions and condense your dialogue. Think in terms of writing it with a beginning, a middle and an ending. Think of it the same way as movie trailers you see on television or in the theater. Think of writing the log line paralleling the same method that you read about them in television and movie guides.
Start your log line out with the main character. You should follow that with the description of the plot and end it with a hook that seduces people in wanting to read your screenplay.
An example that has been very successful for me with a screenplay I wrote, CATCHING THE FALL, is as follows: A common Joe races the clock to restore his son back to normal after the boy goes brain dead. Here, you can see who the main character is: A common Joe. The plot is: races (the key active verb) the clock to restore his son back to normal. And the ending hook is: after the boy goes brain dead. So, fix yourself up some potatoes and gravy and get to work on your log line.
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