In other words, a log line. Or logline. Either can be used, if the many websites and definitions I looked at are to be trusted.
And no, actually a logline is not a long, narrow mark on a section of tree.
One definition is: a measuring instrument that consists of a float that trails from a ship by a knotted line in order to measure the ship’s speed through the water.
Another is: the story in one active sentence, focusing on the concept, main character and main conflict. Ideally in 25 words or less.
The latter is, of course, the kind of logline I’m talking about. Even after hours of searching the internet I was unable to find the origin of the term. If anyone knows, please do enlighten me!
ChristianFilmmakers.org is currently having a logline workshop and contest, which I am participating in. Three talented judges assist the contestants in polishing their loglines, and then when the workshop is over, the loglines will be judged and a winner selected.
Last year, that winner was me. This year, I’m working on three loglines to enter, carefully crafting them in the hopes of preserving my status as She Who Wins the Logline Contests.
And what are the three loglines? Here they are, for your reading pleasure. The first is for a screenplay, the other two for novels.
Title: Umbrella Beach
Logline: A lonely orphan escapes his corrupt underwater city and finds a haven on a quiet island, where he discovers the key to exposing the corruption and must find a way to get the evidence to the citizens before the government destroys it.
Logline: In a world where virtual reality is the preferred mode of living, a colorblind photographer finds that he is the only person who can take down a cyber mafia that has perfected a method of killing over the internet.
Logline: When her father suffers sudden insanity, a doctor’s daughter grapples with her newfound past, as a mutineer and a pair of imposters try anything and everything to gain a valuable secret embedded in her body.
Stay tuned for a special announcement about Radialloy!