When her brother’s diary mysteriously appears at her doorstep, an art forgery investigator uses it to decipher location of stolen diamonds. She also discovers the truth about her father who masterminded an international heist and embarks on a hunt for the treasure during which she finds her family lost decades ago.
Seems too long for a logline. It is more of a pitch. Try something like: An art forgery expert’s investigation to locate stolen diamonds leads to the discovery that the mastermind behind the international heist is her estranged father.
The family lost decades ago doesn’t grab me. Hope this is useful.
No antagonist? Why not? Why can’t there be one? Why did you choose not to have one?
Other than that’s the way you wrote the book. Adapting a book to a feature film almost always requires taking things out, adding things in, reshaping the story. They are 2 different mediums and do not always congruently map to each other. What works for a book may not work in a movie. And vice versa.
Not having an antagonist is a potentially serious problem when it comes to marketing the story as a movie. Just saying.
And does the diary reveal that the treasure was stolen from her father? If so, then the logline should indicate that there is a clear linkage between both.
You’ve worked on so many versions of this — you’re obviously passionate about the story. And passion is always a good thing. I can’t say I’ve followed every version, but here’s the way the story seems to break down based on your latest version:
Protagonist: A female art forgery investigator.
Character flaw: ??
Inciting incident: The appearance of the diary and what the woman finds in it about the stolen treasure
The objective goal: Find the stolen treasure.
So after 51 words, I only have information on 3 of the 6 need-to-know elements.
Sad to say, but what she discovers about about her father, while important to the story, is incidental to the logline. It’s a 2nd or 3rd Act story twist in the form of a Big Reveal. It’s what happens after she sets out on her objective goal (find the treasure). And while loglines implicitly promise action and discovery to follow as a consequence of the objective goal, they don’t disclose any of that.
A primary reason is that there is simply not enough space. As every version of your logline in which you attempt include the information about her father and her missing family demonstrates. At 51 words, this version far exceeds the ideal maximum length for a logline ,30 words. And it exceeds what I take to be the tolerable maximum logline length of 40 words –a number I arrived in analyzing over 600 loglines for stories that actually got made into movies.
If you focused on just providing information that answers the 6 elements listed above — and nothing else — what would the logline be?
I just noticed this conversation, and would like to add that you can ‘vote up’ reviews.
This way, you can support what you believe is a valuable contribution from anyone.
(Once a user collects 2,500 points, they can also ‘vote down’ a review. )
And Rafael, you can give someone the highest kudos by selecting their review as the “Best Review/Best Answer.”
I would ignore dpg, he fairly repetitively asks the same questions, and expects the whole plot of a movie to condense down to under 50 words.
The point of a logline is to hook the reader, you hook a reader by getting them to ask questions, which means being more vague rather than more specific. If I can get the whole movie from 50 words or less, why would I go see the movie?
Not every movie has to have an antagonist, not every movie has external stakes.
If you look at this article – http://www.scriptmag.com/features/write-logline – then you’ll see the highest rated scripts on the Blacklist have very vague loglines that break most of the rules that dpg talks about.
The one thing, I would say about your logline specifically is to cut it down to a clear, easy to follow sentence.