Think Pulp Fiction meets Little Mermaid
April 25, 2010 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Do studios provide official loglines for their movies?

Are loglines only used when a writer is trying to sell a script?

When a movie comes out, do studios provide their logline for the movie to the media, or is every weekly/magazine/theater out there making it up themselves?

I'm trying to find a source of "official" loglines to see how they're written. IMDB seems to be sourced from contributors, and not that trustworthy.
posted by jsmith77 to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anybody in the marketing chain can provide a logline. It's unlikely to come from the screenwriter. It might come from the director. It's most likely to come from the producers responsible for sales and distribution. This may be the studio, it may be an independent production company.

But it's a sales decision, much like directors have no control over the trailers. Sales edits those (and that's why they give the whole movie away. They don't care about the integrity of the film, they just want people to come see it.)

Magazines/newspapers/theatres are not making them up. They get them in press releases and media packets, along with resources like production photos, images of the actors in character, the poster, etc., plus other newsy items that might be used to promote the film. (We shot this entirely on recycled bamboo! We had 40,000 live crickets on set!)
posted by headspace at 8:12 AM on April 25, 2010

I agree with headspace- there's a big difference between a development logline and the synopsis put out by the marketing department. Since the root question is how to approach writing loglines, the screenwriting book Save the Cat has a section on creating loglines using a formula of terms he defines in the book. Here's an example of his method:


On the verge of a Stasis=Death moment, a flawed protagonist has a Catalyst and Breaks Into Two with the B Story; but when the Midpoint happens, he/she must learn the Theme Stated, before the All Is Lost, to defeat (or stop) the flawed antagonist (from getting away with his/her plan).


On the verge of another “suit and tie” assignment, a tomboy FBI agent is assigned to go undercover in the American Miss Pageant and has a complete makeover to blend in with the other contestants; but when the pageant receives a new threat, she must learn she can be a woman and tough, before she gets thrown off the case, to defeat the warped pageant organizer bent on revenge. (Miss Congeniality)
posted by sharkfu at 9:03 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

One source of loglines are reader's report. Here's an example of how one script reader approaches writing them. Don't confuse them with taglines, which is marketing.
posted by caek at 10:46 AM on April 25, 2010

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