3RD DRAFT…..The idyllic life of an adolescent surfer drastically changes when his family moves to pre-revolution Tehran, an American melting pot submerged in an alien culture where certain realities are but an illusion.
I looked at the first version and it actually paints more of the picture. Here’s an example of a clearer logline (not trying to make it great) that adds something that might already be in the story.
In pre-revolution Tehran, a SoCal adolescent lives the easy life in an ex-pat community and befriends a (description) Iranian developing anti-American feelings.
If there is no such friend or girlfriend, then add the thing that dramatizes and personalizes the conflict.
There is so little difference between this version and the 2nd draft that I’m just going to repost the same comments (apologies for being blunt – I think there could be something in this idea but there is no story in either draft – YET).
This isn’t really a logline. It’s simply a setup. Check out the “Our formula” tab for help with formatting.
In future, if you could also just post one version of a logline and allow feedback and then keep revisions within that initial post that would be great. It allows users to follow the evolution of an logline.
Why does it matter that he’s a surfer? What is this character’s goal? It needs to be tied to the inciting incident (in this case, moving to Tehran). What is actually happening to this character? Where is the conflict?
Agree, and this is the first version I thought about.
The setting is dramatic, now clarify the drama for the protag. It could be clearer if the move angers the guy. But then what? If this is character-driven and not a plot-based objective, still paint the picture of what he does most of the time.
>> where certain realities are but an illusion
Either the story is hidden in these words or they can be cut and the rest of the logline should convey the point.
As I re-read this, I’m prompted to add a little and shift the wording around. While it gives me a better sense of direction as to where my story needs to go, I’m certain I have a longer way to go with just the logline alone. This exercise is incredibly helpful and prompts more rewrites on the story that I’ve come up with so far. Thank you for continuing to help me along.
The real meat of the story revolves around the effects of fast paced westernization on a society that was ill prepared to absorb. I’m most mindful of accurate portrayals as opposed to making a political statements. Early 70s Iran was an obscure but significant window in history.
Anyway, here goes another stab. Hopefully I’m getting closer.
The idyllic life of a SoCal adolescent is upended when his family relocates to pre-revolution Tehran, he faces coming of age struggles within a foreign culture and an American melting pot whose certain realities are but an illusion.
>> The real meat of the story revolves around the effects of fast paced westernization on a society that was ill prepared to absorb.
Okay. But what’s the conflict for the protag? The latest logline still paints a small mental picture. The real meat mentioned is not sensed in the latest logline and it sounds like an Iranian would be a more dramatic protag.
>> pre-revolution Tehran
This threw me off and made me think there’s an anti-American component. Instead, state the year or clarify with other words.
Instead of telling us things like “drastically changes” and “realities…illusion,” make us feel and picture them.
>>>The real meat of the story revolves around the effects of fast paced westernization on a society that was ill prepared to absorb.
So what dramatic conflict arises in a society ill-prepared to absorb westernization? Does this conflict culminate in the character being swept up in the Iranian Revolution? If so, what must the boy do? What becomes his objective goal?
If it doesn’t culminate in the Revolution, why not?
On the plus side, you are drawing from the well of your own experience. So the film you have in mind will feel authentic to a movie audience in terms of the details of life in pre-revolutionary Iran.
But when I look at your logline, I see a situation for a plot — but I don’t see a plot. I get no sense of what objective goal arises for the main character as a result of the cultural and social tensions. A logline is a succinct statement of a plot And a mandatory element in a plot, and hence in a logline (as explained in the formula), is an objective goal the protagonist, something he wants to achieve or have badly.
For a moment, forget about presenting a polished logline that hits all the marks in terms of the mandatory elements. All I want to know right now is the teenager’s objective goal. What is it? What does he want? What must he do by the end of the film?
>>> he is further impacted by the unlikely acquisition of a falcon.
Ah, he acquires a falcon. This could be your story hook. Don’t hide it, flaunt it, build your logline around it. Training and working with a falcon could be the basis for an interesting story in any country or culture in any era.
Now then: the current version of the logline portrays him as passive victim of circumstances. How does acquiring the falcon serve as a catalyst to transform him from a passive to a proactive character? He acquires a falcon and then what?