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milutink
01-11-2006, 01:15 AM
This is the logline for my script 'Destination Sacramento'. I need somebody to edit it and improve it. If necessary, I could provide a brief synopsis as well. Thanks!
"After he unluckily takes over the identity of Peter, a hired gunman on a special mission, John will find himself in a highly dangerous game of the ruthless gangsters, the unscrupulous politicians and the corrupt police, the game he could never have survived without the help of two women who love him Ė his deserted wife Dorothy and Peterís most beautiful widow Barbara."

TwoKeys
01-11-2006, 04:34 AM
I'm not sure about the word "unluckily". It may very well be a real word, but it just has that "I'm stuck for a word" feel to it, plus it's tough to spit out!

What about cursedly or haplessly?

"After he haplessly assumes the identity of Peter, a hired gunman on a special mission, John finds himself in the highly dangerous game of ruthless gangsters, unscrupulous politicians and corrupt police, a game he could never have survived without the help of two women who love him Ė his deserted wife Dorothy and Peterís most beautiful widow Barbara."

I'd personally put one more line in there at the end as well, sort of like a "who will he choose" kinda thing...just my style though.

Good luck!

milutink
01-11-2006, 01:19 PM
Thanks a lot! Iím writer from Europe and my English is not prefect. Your corrections are just what I was looking for. Iíll certainly consider your suggestion about an extra line. Thanks again!

Mac H.
01-11-2006, 01:42 PM
Some quick points:

1. The gospel on writing loglines is probably this: http://www.twoadverbs.com/loglinearticle.htm

2. If you want some help with a logline for a screenplay, check out the Done Deal board: http://scriptsales.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?f=4

More specifically:

1. You flip between future and past tense confusingly.
"John WILL find himself .. the game he could never have survived"

2. It doesn't need to be a single sentence! You can simplify it by breaking it into several sentences.

3. Don't add extra details that don't contribute to the drama or story.
Do we need to know his deserted wife's name is Dorothy? Will it be less dramatic with that removed?

Try something like this:

A smalltime crook who unluckily steals the identity of a dead hitman must battle ruthless gangsters, unscrupulous politicians and corrupt police - aided only by his ex-wife and the hitman's beautiful widow.

OK - I probably got the details wrong, but it reads a lot easier.

Definitely read the 'twoadverbs' article!

Mac

milutink
01-12-2006, 12:33 AM
Mac, thanks a lot!

Iím very impressed with the way you rearranged it! Iíll certainly read the sources you suggested.

Milutin

Elisabetta
01-14-2006, 02:54 AM
What's missing for me is John's actual goal. "A small-time crook steals a new identity, only to find out that he's now a hitman... and he must..." Must what? The dangerous games and beautiful women are part of the process... but what's the goal? To get his old identity back? To make the hit, collect the money, and steal yet another identity? A logline needs to tells us about the protagonist, his/her goal, and the big obstacle.

Sir Momo
01-15-2006, 08:19 PM
Small point, but I think the word you are looking for is 'unwittingly' rather than 'unluckily' :)

milutink
01-17-2006, 06:05 PM
Thank you all for your remarks.

OK, the next one is my latest version based on your suggestions. In my opinion, it's very complete and effective, but too long as well. What do you think?


A thirty-five year old copywriter who has decided to start a new life unwittingly assumes the identity of a dead hitman and all of a sudden must battle ruthless gangsters, unscrupulous politicians and corrupt police. Fortunately, he will be helped by two women Ė his deserted wife, who is still hopelessly in love with him, and hitmanís beautiful widow, who falls for him herself.


Thanks, Milutin

Mac H.
01-20-2006, 05:10 AM
For what my opinion is worth, I think you've got too much detail:

* Thirty-five year old copywriter.
* and all of a sudden ... (We can already tell it is a fish out of water story.)
* who is still hopelessly in love with him
* who falls for him herself
Once we know that there is a beautiful widow involved, we can visualise the rest. Just mentioning 'wife' and 'beautiful widow' brings up enough conflict..

Hmm - how about:

When a man in a dead end job decides to start a new life, he unwittingly assumes the identiry of a dead hitman. Now he must survive ruthless gangsters, unscrupulous politicians and corrupt police - helped only by his deserted wife and the hitman's beautiful widow.

Just a thought. Good luck.

Mac

Elisabetta
01-22-2006, 01:28 AM
I also believe it's still too long and cluttered with details. When I think about loglines, I think about the way a movie might be described in TV Guide.

"A runaway husband inadvertantly steals the identity of a dead hitman, and finds himself running for his life from the cops, the mob, and a cutthroat (mayor/governor/whatever)."

The beautiful women are kind of a given in this sort of book. It depends on what's most important to your story... is it an action-driven thriller? Stick with the action. Is it a character driven love triangle? If the characters are most important, a logline might read:

"A runaway husband steals the identity of a dead hitman, and ends up caught between the hitman's beautiful widow and unexpectedly rekindled desire for his own deserted wife."

I guess what I'm trying to express is that you can't tell the whole story in a logline. It's generally a one-sentence come-on. As you start adding details, you're stepping into the territory of the one-paragraph synopsis.

Just my thoughts, for what they may be worth. Good luck!

Elisabetta

Summerwriter
01-28-2006, 07:18 PM
Hi!
If Elisabetta reads this: I think you are right. The logline is too long. There are too much details in those sentences. I can not help with cutting them, but cutting is what is needed - at least in my opinion.

ViatMortege
01-31-2006, 01:58 AM
I'm not sure exactly what the thingy is, but I'd agree there's a wee bit too much detail.
Try;
When a 35-year old copiest unwittingly steals the identity of a dead hit man, he finds himself caught in a struggle between ruthless gangsters, and corupt officials. Aided only by the dead hit man's beautiful widow, and his own wife, [so and so] must do [whatever it was that he's got to do for the resolution of the story.
Just a thought, you can ignore!
Bi la kifa!

Summerwriter
01-31-2006, 04:18 PM
I'm not sure exactly what the thingy is, but I'd agree there's a wee bit too much detail.
Try;
When a 35-year old copiest unwittingly steals the identity of a dead hit man, he finds himself caught in a struggle between ruthless gangsters, and corupt officials. Aided only by the dead hit man's beautiful widow, and his own wife, [so and so] must do [whatever it was that he's got to do for the resolution of the story.
Just a thought, you can ignore!
Bi la kifa!

Hi!
ViatMortege, I must admit that your version makes much more sense - at least to me. I do not mean to be nasty to anyone, but I have seen unclear written things...and those unclearly written things just won't work. I do not see it in my own texts, but maybe someone else can see it in my writing.