Gerald Hanks Filmography

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Screenwriting with the VOTE Method: Creating Loglines

Quick Update: The reason that this blog has been dormant for the last few months is that I recently completed another commissioned feature screenplay.

I've been working closely with the client for several months and I delivered my final draft earlier this month.

The story is based on the producer's family, so she really wants to get it made.

I've also been working on a book based on the lessons I've learned using the VOTE Method.

This entry is part of a chapter that should appear in the book when it's ready, so consider this a sneak preview.

If you've read my posts on the VOTE Method, you'll see how you can use this simple tool to create strong characters and powerful stories.

If you haven't, then you should know that VOTE stands for:
  • Victory - what the character wants
  • Obstacles - what stands between the character and the Victory
  • Tactics - what the character does to overcome the Obstacles and achieve the Victory
  • Emotion - what emotional need the character believes the Victory will fulfill

Another useful aspect of the VOTE Method is that it lets you create an indispensable part of marketing your script: the logline.

The logline summarizes who your main character is, what that character wants, what they must overcome, how they'll do it, and why they need to do it.

The formula can look something like this:

[Protagonist] [uses Tactics] against [Obstacles] to [achieve Victory] so that they can [fulfill Emotional Need].

Using this formula for Rocky gives a logline that looks like this.

[An underachieving boxer] [uses unconventional training methods] against [the World Heavyweight Champion] to [last for fifteen rounds] so that he can [win the love of a young woman].

For Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the logline might look like this:

[A teenager with spider-powers] [teams up with heroes from alternate universes] against [a squad of super-villains] to [save New York City] so that he can [learn what it takes to be a hero].

You can also rearrange the order to fit your story, just as long as you include every element.

By Source, Fair use,

For the comedy Booksmart, the logline might look like this:

[Two best friends] [use their "booksmarts"] to [find the biggest graduation party] [before the night is over] so that they can [have one last good time together].

When you work with this formula, you can create compelling loglines that can get readers, agents, and actors to say those three magic words:

"Tell me more."

If you want to find out more about how to create impactful loglines, strong characters, and powerful scripts, let Story Into Screenplay help.

Story Into Screenplay offers script writing services, coverage reports, and one-on-one consulting.

Start your new year off with a great script!

Send your questions to storyintoscreenplayblog[at]gmail[dot]com, or Like Story Into Screenplay on Facebook and send a DM.

Happy New Year and Keep Writing!

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