Sales Tools: Logline, Synopsis and Tagline.

As is widely known in television or film any logline summarizes a story in one or two sentences. It must interest the reader and explain the story’s central conflict. The conflict should be powerful with an unforeseen twist to attract instant interest. It should be edited many times show range, audience appeal and unique take or viewpoint.


To those extents the writer must understand the essentials of his or her story. Such clear insight needs a wholesome story visualization in one or two sentences. The best logline will indeed have:

· Strongly defined and clearly described protagonist

· Protagonist with a clear goal, objective or target

· Irony in the sense of mismatched protagonist with the obstacles or challenges.

· Increased risks and reward for overcoming the challenges.

· Don't be afraid to break convention.


These will need several edits and testing. Writers will do well by observing the above logline elements. However distinction must be made between logline and synopsis and tagline to work with the template. Synopsis is beat by beat reduced statement or general view of story’s main events.


It presents characters, story-line, actions, reactions and major incidents through beginning, middle passage and end of the screen story. This is achieved within order of story events.

It is indeed also a persuasive, complete and cinematic sales tool to convince reader to read or view the screenplay. While taking the reader through major events of the screenplay story, the synopsis is different from Treatment.


Treatment relies on screenwriter’s choice to include or exclude dialogue is a scene-by-scene breakdown of nearly everything in the real screenplay or short film. It is a transitional document between the synopsis and screenplay, but not as good the former for film projects marketing.


A strong synopsis will be shaped by:

1. Length- long and short enough for a five minutes read that includes the screenplay story’s relevant elements. So in one to three single-spaced typewritten pages the writer will either offer a colorless idea in one page or interesting piece in two pages.

2. Style- Synopsis is a third person (he, she, they, their, her, he, it etc.) in present tense. It contains narrated events, not explanations from beginning and through the end. Time, place, character and action in connected and sequential scenes without scene heads or movielike transitions.

3. Dialogue- Inclusion should energize and give the synopsis its distinctive charm, drive and pay-off in short sweet style.

4. Action- Detailed, but condense actions capture the orderly manner when focused on unique and moving, rhythmic pacing and finishing.

5. Subtext — the meaning behind obvious statements and actions in screenplays, but also applicable in synopses. It is an effective way of achieving the emotional dynamics of the screenplay descriptions.

6. Act Breaks- While they are not actually indicated in screenplays Act Breaks, commonly three acts with starts and finishes time actions. Excluded from synopsis therefore they estimate its fair structuring in its consequent screenplay. To that extent the classic Act I 25 + Act II -50+ Act III -25 respective. Counting pages thus be two-three pages makes Act 1 one-half a full page will have Act II and last half-page covers exciting Act III.

A strong concluding line should throw-up memorable images indicative of the conflict; while bad grammar, typos and wrong spellings can cause disinterest. Study: https://s.studiobinder.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/How-to-Write-a-Compelling-Logline-StudioBinder.compressed.pdf


Complementary to Logline and Synopsis, a movie tagline is short text, sometimes witty statement that clarifies the story idea. It is designed to have memorable dramatic effect and may be unrelated to the story’s plot. Albeit they are stylish movie poster advertisement copies aimed at instant explanation of a movie’s idea and persuade prospective viewers to buy tickets to watch.


The following examples are some of best in recent history:

Alien (1979) - In space, no one can hear you scream.

Almost Famous (2000) -Experience it. Enjoy it. Just don't fall for it; Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions;

Donnie Darko (2001)Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions.

Would you erase me? (2004) - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) - Difficult times lie ahead, Harry.

The Magnificent 7 (2005) - They were 7... and they fought like 700.

https://www.slideshare.net/iainbruce/tv-script-loglines-synopsis-and-treatment

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