in conjunction with
a production web-site for tomorrows' Sci4fi science-hypercubed adventure
3DDV stereo'eyes'ed 3.5-D, HDDV, and HDD-IMAX movie-versions
Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry, Strategic Director
Notes on writing log lines for screenplays
[See also: the mechanics of screenwriting;
and discussions of the new generation all-digital
Screenwriting on the Internet-web has been around a decade|
(We've done it since 1996). It makes the literary art more
available; enhances it with direct reading, audio reading,
progressive-live storyboarding, music; facilitates online
collaboration, one-day turnarounds, production previewing;
enables doll-avatar performance (java/script, Flash)... It
becomes a babysitter.... It has the scientific mindset of
jumping straight to the implementation, skipping the book-wordy-format version: It works at the programming level and
with HDDV-camera technology breakthroughs; corroborates and
proliferates rapid lowcost high quality channel throughput.
The art of screenwriting, feature movies, cinerama, home theater, television,
sitcoms, dramas, movies of the week, blockbusters, superblockbusters, festival shorts,
-now new interactive-DVD games and computer-based live-action-staged virtual-reality
multi-player team-games (cf Holodeck);- its art, technology, science, form,... rapidly
clarifying and developing as faster digital computers and Internet and higher definition
cameras and projectors bring collaboration to instantaneously bear on all phases, from
public interest to idea to concept to research to treatment to plot to story to script
to review to pitch, agents, options, sales, to producer to market analysis to budget to
investors to coproduction to storyboard to production line script to schedule to
directors, casts, crews, to logistics, locations, settings, sets, properties, to
cameras, units, blocking, shooting, to dailies (now "seconds") to editing
(and "mixing"), CGI computer-generated imagery, sound, music, rights,
synchronization, to mastering to copies to promotions, trailers, to distribution to
theaters, syndicates, broadcasters, to previews to first runs to commercial debuts to
investor returns, public opinion, world-wide release, director versions, DVD rentals,
sales ... is full cycle, and a webful of information:
THE LOG LINE:
Eg. HAMLET, Shakespeare's Up-Monarchy-Up-Yourn-too Royal Flush Erudition Mix:--
Home from elite boarding school, for the King's funeral, a young Prince gets an
education in fighting fairytale with fairytale forensics while he stirs internecion.
Violence, wet-nightshirt-nudity. PG
"Movies get remade--Log lines are forever" (cut and polished).
CHECKLIST: (high plot)
- Reveal the protagonist's SITUATION;
- Reveal the important COMPLICATIONS;
- Describe the ACTION taken to COPE;
- Describe the CRISIS decision moment;
- Hint at the CLIMAX, the danger, the showdown;
- Hint at the potential TRANSFORMATION;
- Identify SIZZLE: seduction, greed, humor, danger, thrill;
- Identify GENRE(s) (unless it’s self-evident);
- Identify rating: G, PG, PG-13, R-17, NC-17;
- Identify reason: language, nudity, sex, violence;
- Keep it to three sentences (length), 25 big words;
- Use present tense; active verbs; synonyms; avert repetition.
- Also identify contest awards won, credits received;
- Also identify special distribution, foreign language, international restrictions.
RECHECKLIST: (high concept)
- It is unique.
- It appeals to the larger audience.
- You see the whole movie.
- Really only one sentence.
"Ignorantia motus pictus neminem excusat."
- The high-C's: Clear, Correct, Complete, Concise, Compact.
- Convey, don't explain:--reveal.
- Describe implicitly or explicitly, but not both.
- "Story" is usually implicit: Usually don't say "story" explicitly.
- Use pronouns and possessives with due diligence: Use them.
- Not age but prestige, impresses:--"a boy and his dog".
- Be specific:--tangents are specific: they're not yours.
- Move on: Keep your reader in-line, off tangents, on time.
- Each word necessary and sufficient:--congeal the plot.
- Get-in good adjectives (they might be sizzle).
- Hang in there, not about there;--not "this story is about".
- Cut and polish. Polish has very fine grain: it takes time and work.
- Grammar, spelling.--Not infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters.
- For every ten words, there are googles misspelt (7 letters avrg.).
- Don’t toot. Your peers are no longer amateurs on a lark.
- Avoid names unless they are bankably established, sure as genres.
- Same for movie title comparisons: Did they create a genre?!
- The log line is the high plot or the high concept: the main idea.
- Simplify and solve: take out common factors; answer on one side only.
- Analyze your linguistic structure: Decide, what, also-applies to, what.
- Keep your logline (and synopsis) crisp and in-focus.
- Imagine the producer is a fifth grader who has decided he can learn
all he needs to know if it is entertaining and comes with on-the-job
training: He's there to learn, not to be told how exciting it is.
- Exceptions consistent with rules if not roster (eg. Santa's toymakers:
cf toolmaker, but, toy maker).
(Ignorance of the motion picture excuses none).
Wise and otherwise it is, plain English, to the point ... no worse than tweaking any
arbitrarily large four-color-map-problem solution.
Enjoy your foray into the world of online screenwriting: The world-wide-web
is watching; the Internet is moving toward super-net bandwidth capacity
to move movies; and the browsers are developing mega-media.
[See also: the mechanics of screenwriting]
See also, discussions of the new generation all-digital
Production, equipment, cameras, components, technique, technologies.
We also discuss the relations of and to enhanced, extended DVD.
- HDDV High Definition Digital Video (35mm eqv.)
- HDTV (digital) High Definition Television (1920x1080px)
- 3DDV (stereo'eyes'ed) 3-D Digital Video (triple-definition)
- ultrasharp ultrascreen (3x3 interpolated treble-thread gemming)
- HDD-IMAX Hi-Def Digital IMAX® (70mm sideload 15 perf. eqv.)
- CMOS vs. CCD camera; RGBG vs. R-G-B vs. triple-layered RGB
- digital compression (SPIHT, Rebased, DCT, on-pixel, motion)
(IMAX® used generically here: full-eye-width 180°x135° large screen format; 16000×12000 = 192Mpx)
The theory of measurement propounded in this work is not to be cited
(as) considering contraband or corpses; Nor are the intellectual appurtenances
hereďn to be used for or in the commission of crimes against persons, peoples,
properties, or powers (States).
COPYRIGHT: BASIC LIBRARY RULES: NONTRANSFERABLE: READ QUIETLY
CHARGES FOR OTHER USES:
© 2002-2005 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry
- $1 per copy: impression, reproduction, translation, implementation,
or systematic, paraphrase, depiction, evaluation, comparison;
- plus additional media costs, less efficiency discounts;
- unauthorized use, treble standard;
- final charges greater or lesser per U.S.A. Copyright Law,
regarding fair-use/citation and second-source/mirror-site.