What is a Logline?

One sentence (ONE!) that gives Protagonist, Desire, and Obstacles.

Loglines that work:

A newly married couple must spend Christmas Day at each of their four divorced parent’s homes — 4 Christmases

A cop comes to L.A. to visit his estranged wife and her office building is taken over by terrorists — Die Hard

A businessman falls in love with a hooker he hires to be his date for the weekend — Pretty Woman

She’s the perfect woman….until she has a drink.— Blind Date

Barbie goes to Harvard — Legally Blonde

A hairdresser asks a wealthy businessman for a loan, hoping he won’t find out that he’s sleeping with his wife, his mistress, and his teenage daughter. — Shampoo

Two hitmen friends are sent on vacation to Bruges, where one finds out that his new job is to kill the other. — In Bruges

A rich man loses all his money but has to pretend he’s still got it. — Down & Out in Beverly Hills

The high-powered creative head of an ad agency struggles to maintain his role in a changing world, while keeping the true nature of his past hidden from his colleagues. — Mad Men

The capo of a New Jersey syndicate goes to a psychiatrist to deal with the changing nature of his business, a wife who no longer trusts him, kids who are growing up, and his murderous extended family. — The Sopranos

Toula’s family wants her to “Marry a Greek boy, have Greek babies, and feed everyone,” but when she falls for a WASP, Toula struggles to get her family to accept her fiancée, while she comes to terms with her own heritage. — My Big Fat Greek Wedding

A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard an ill-fated voyage at sea. — Titanic

The youngest son of a Mafia don is reluctantly pulled into the family business when he must avenge an attempt on his father’s life. — The Godfather

A shy farm boy becomes a swash-bucking hero and teams up with a giant and a swordsman out for revenge in order to save the woman he loves from marriage to an evil Prince. — The Princess Bride

A completely dysfunctional family must band together and take a road trip in their broken down car so that the youngest daughter can fulfill her beauty pageant dreams. — Little Miss Sunshine

A murdered man’s ghost must find a way to warn the woman he loves that she is in danger… before she becomes a murder victim as well. — Ghost

A high school kid takes a pretty cool looking time machine back to his parent’s high school days… accidentally breaking up their relationship and maybe ending his existence! — Back To The Future

A 12 year old boy gets his wish of becoming and adult… but now must learn to survive in the adult world until he finds a way to reverse his wish. — Big

A struggling actor has to get over his ex-girlfriend and broken heart before he can find love in the Hollywood singles scene. — Swingers

Loglines that don’t work:

A fragile woman is traumatized and finally destroyed by her brutish brother-in-law. — A Streetcar Named Desire

The extraordinary story of a thoroughbred racehorse, from his humble beginnings as an under-fed workhorse to his unlikely rise and triumphant victory over the Triple Crown winner, War Admiral. — Seabiscuit

A 17th Century adventure on the Caribbean where the roguish yet charming Captain Jack Sparrow joins forces with a young blacksmith in a gallant attempt to rescue the Governor of England’s daughter and reclaim his ship. — POTC4

After segueing from a life of espionage to raising a family, Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are called back into action. But when they are kidnapped by their evil nemesis, there are only two people in the world who can rescue them… their kids! — Spy Kids 4

These tips came from the workshop

Writing the Adaptation

Why would you want to write an adaptation? Many top films—including several Academy Award nominees—were sourced from fiction and nonfiction books, articles, or musicals. Also, there is a built-in fan base, which make the project more attractive to producers and executives. However, you have your work cut out for you. For example, a novel, on average, is 400 pages long. A film, on average, is 100 pages long. That means you are at the very least cutting 300 pages to cut before you’ve written even one original word. While this may seem daunting, this workshop will provide practical, step by step instructions on how to use source materials to create an original screenplay.

Learn more about Writing the Adaptation today!