This is not a logline but a question. Will it be admissible for a logline for a SERIES be longer than a standard of 30 words (or so)?

Penpusher Posted on April 21, 2016 in Fantasy.
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Short answer to your question:
Yes.

Long answer to your question (recommended):
Loglines are industry wide used tools for structuring plots and pitching concepts, and according to whom ever you’re talking with the word count will vary. There is no set standard for a logline’s word counts – some people say 30 words, others say 25 and others 20, but the closer a logline is to 30 the better. A logline isn’t intended as a means to tell your story or dwell on beats, rather transmit in an efficient manner the major plot points and story critical descriptions: Main character, main character flaw, inciting incident, obstacle and goal.

In general terms you only need to write a logline for the pilot, the potential for narrative, drama and comedy throughout the season will become clear if it’s a good logline and a strong concept.

Singularity Answered on April 21, 2016.

“Yes”? I would say “no”.

As the logline for a series generally describes the pilot, I see no reason for a longer logline. And even if the writer wants to describe the whole series (if possible), if he wants to describe it in the logline form he should condense it in ABOUT 30 words. I don’t think it’s dramatic to write a longer logline as far as it reads well and doesn’t waste words. When you want to describe a project more in detail, you can write a synopsis or a treatment; still, you need a logline to log in.

on April 21, 2016.

Agree with FFF.

What headlines are to newspapers, loglines are to scripts: their primary purpose is to grab attention, to hook reader interest in reading the full text.  Both must be written under severe space constraints — challenging, frustrating, but those are the rules,  the nature of the respective business beasts they feed.

on April 23, 2016.

I’m certainly no expert, but I would think the logline for a series would be shorter than that for an individual episode, e.g. “Wagon Train to the Stars” (Star Trek), “Comedic ensemble version of Robinson Crusoe” (Gilligan’s Island), “X-Files meets dramatic Gilligan’s Island” (Lost), “Lower middle class version of Cosby show” (Roseanne)

on April 23, 2016.
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All sins are forgiven if the words are wonderful.  People would read 100 words if they were the best 100 words in history.  I heard on a “Nerdist Writers Panel” podcast someone talk about the difeference between series and feature pitching, which is the function of a logline.

Pitch the world not the people.  If you pitch the world they will see that it can last forever as characters change or leave.

Summitry Answered on April 23, 2016.

30 words is a rule of thumb, it can a litte longer (or shorter)- for a movie as for a serie – but a logline must be a fast read, clear, and able to give a clear picture of the movie/pilot.

A really good writer who can write 100 beautiful words, is able to do it in 30 – is he too lazy to do it? does he have enough time to do it? does he WANT to do it? finally, is he really a good writer?

Writing the 100 words version could be a step in a process, but to condense the whole movie (or pilot) in a sentence helps to fixate the spine of the story.

When you think of the elements to be mentioned in a logline (setting, inciting incident, main character, goal/stakes, source of conflict) it’s just a matter of DECIDING what is your story about – I can’t imagine why 100 words would be NECESSARY.

100 words would be a short synopsys, and if it’s well written it will be easy to cut it to 20-40 words.

Anyway there are for sure many excellents screenwriters who writes beautiful scripts and who doesn’t write beautiful loglines.

on April 24, 2016.
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>>the difference between series and feature pitching, which is the function of a logline.
>>Pitch the world not the people.  If you pitch the world they will see that it can last forever

Good points.    But though the focus may be different in a logline for a series, brevity is still essential.  We live in an era of  media induced ADHD,   of multitasking minds with  short attention spans.  This is especially true for the target audience for a logline — the industry movers and shakers.  I am dubious that most of them would have the time and patience to read a 100 word logline no matter how good it is.

More than ever, less is, uh, more.

Singularity Answered on April 23, 2016.
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Whether used to describe a series or film technically “yes” is the answer to OP’s question, as there is no set number of words required for a logline.

However as clearly stated above the less words used the better, and the ideal length has been found to be 30 words.

Singularity Answered on April 24, 2016.
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FWIW:  Results of  a survey of 675 randomly selected loglines for stories that cleared all the hurdles and actually got made into movies.  

From which I conclude that the 25-words-or-less guideline is more than an intuitive rule of thumb; it rests on a sound statistical basis.  

The survey also revealed that loglines between 25-30 words were infrequent.  Loglines exceeding 35 words are rare and  none–nada, zero, zilch — exceeded 40 words.

RE: This is not a logline but a question.  Will it be admissible for a logline for a SERIES be longer than a standard of 30 words (or so)?

Singularity Answered on April 25, 2016.
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Great graphical presentation of logline lengths stats, well done DPG.

This demonstrates beyond a doubt that an ideal length for a logline is 25 words, however technically the answer to the OP’s question is still yes.

There is no rule, outside of independent statistical analysis, that defines a necessity of 30 words.  If a writer is structuring a plot and is using a logline in the process, they can make it as long as they want regardless the medium. The likelihood of the logline being better increases the closer it is to 25 words in length, and even more so for pitching purposes – the likelihood of the concept attracting a budget goes up the closer it is to 25 words.

I think OP wasn’t asking about the statistical probability of writing a good lolgline and making it longer than 30 words. I believe the question was more about industry wide standards, as there are none it comes down to the individual writer, the company reading the logline and their in house requirements of logline lengths.
Of course for best results it’s better to aim for 25 words and 30 at the most.

Singularity Answered on April 25, 2016.
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