When offered to write for Rolling Stone Magazine, an innocent high-school boy must join a rock band on a wild tour to reach his dream of becoming a music-journalist.
Based on true events, in 1972, a precocious 15-year old boy gets a writing gig from Rolling Stone magazine and sets out on a wild cross-country bus Odyssey with a struggling rock band. (33 words)
Without “Based on true events” the logline comes in at 29 words, under my 30 word ideal max. But the screenwriter, Cameron Crowe, was writing from experience.; it’s semi-autobiographical (the names have been changed to protect the guilty.) He actually did get a writing gig as a teenager with Rolling Stone in the early 70’s. Truth is always stranger than fiction — and when it is true and stranger than fiction, it’s constitutes a hook, a selling point to pique interest in the script . (And the purpose of a logline is to sel the premise, make people want to read the script.) In my calculus, the 4 extra words strengthen the logline, not dilute it.
“Odyssey” implies a series of adventures, of course, but it also implies a meaningful, life transforming series of adventures. Which is what the bus tour was for the real life author and his fictional self. It’s a coming of age story — and one of my personal favorites. As well as a favorite movie set in the golden era of rock music.