Screenwriting: Update on the Logline

I realize that I have been neglecting my blog posts on screenwriting. The thing is, I was busy writing my screenplay. Now that I’ve finished it (for now) I’d like to share what I learned about screenwriting for TV or film.

A few posts ago I wrote about the logline which you can have a look at here:

https://wordpress.com/post/carolbalawyder.com/10156

One of the ideas I discovered in my process to screenwriting is that your script should be presented in a certain standard, much like a play might be presented. There are quite a few screenwriting softwares out here, depending on your needs. I chose to write on ARC STUDIO and really like it. I am still on it.

So here’s a link to their website and especially what they have to say about the log line:  

(… the basic formula of a logline is protagonist + catalyst + protagonist’s goal + antagonist/conflict. 

https://www.arcstudiopro.com/blog/logline-the-most-important-thirty-words-youll-write

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Screenwriting: Genre, Setting, Concept

In this post I share with you three other elements that are included in the proposal of a screenplay.

Genre:

In Save The Cat (see my previous post) Blake Snyder mentions ten types of genres. He cautions about staying away from “standard genre types such as Romantic Comedy, Epic or Biography- because those names don’t really tell me anything about what the story is.”

As a standard genre my story is romantic drama, but in following Snyder’s advice my genre falls under the Rites of Passage type. “These are tales of pain and torment , but usually from an outside force; Life.” Movies that Snyder classifies under this type include stories about puberty, mid-life crisis, old age, romantic break-up, and grieving stories.

Settings:

Although my series takes place in part in India, Italy and Boston I have omitted these scenes from the screenplay. I do mention the character going to India but I only speak of her impressions upon her return. Similarly, I do not have the character go to Boston or Italy. The reason for doing this is that film producers are money minded. Having the crew travel to film a scene ups the costs which might make a producer reject the screenplay.

So my settings are: A women’s center in a middle-class area of a city. Bars and pubs, restaurants. The characters’ apartments. Conference hall. Art Gallery. Inside taxi cab. Backyard garden. Museum. Gym. Office. Golf Course. Library. Construction site of a donut shop. Inside a car.

These are easily filmed on set or at least in the city where the film is being made.

Concept:

This is the synopsis of the story. One thing I was told to keep in mind, is that the agents/producers/directors are busy people and don’t have time to read through pages of what your film or series is about. What they will be more interested in is the script itself which I will talk about in another post.

The concept is the heart of the proposal and includes:

An introduction to the idea of your story along with main emotions and theme. Here you can include one sentence story examples.

A paragraph which outlines the story in each episode – its beginning and ending.

Visual Elements that are in the story. Is it entertainment, an interview, narration, animation. Is there a host?

Finally, clarity and brevity is key.

Please note that I will not be as active on Social Media for the next while as my family is preparing a funeral for my brother-in-law and in the weeks that follow I will be involved in helping care of my sister, who is eighty, and will need support as she begins her grieving process.

Based on my Getting To Mr. Right Series

Please visit my author page on Amazon

Screenwriting: Save The Cat

While taking the course on Writing a Proposal for TV, one of the books recommended was Blake Snyder’s SAVE THE CAT –  The Last Book On Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need.

My intention here is certainly not to write a review of the book. The guy’s got almost 5,000 ratings, 80% of them 5 stars.

But before I tell you why I am writing about Save the Cat, let me let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, and explain the title in Blake’s words:

Save the Cat is the screenwriting rule that says… it’s the scene where we meet the hero and the hero does something -like saving a cat – that defines who he is and make us, the audience, like him.

Further in the book, Blake explains his test marketing method:

I pitch to anyone who will stand still. I do it in line at Starbucks. I do it with friends and strangers. I always spill my guts when it comes to discussing what I’m working on, because:

I have no fear that anyone will steal my idea (and anyone who has that fear is an amateur and…

You find out more about your script by talking to people.

I talk to “civilians’”

Which brings me to THANK ALL OF YOU who provided me with comments, suggestions and encouragements regarding my logline (see previous post).

One comment was that the absent father may not be the best term to use. For an indebt comment on my logline you may want to read the comments posted by PRIOR.

Perhaps abandoned fathers might be a better term.

If you’re interested in writing a screenplay you might consider having a look at this book.

One last word. I am aware that taking on this project and especially talking about it places me in a vulnerable position. What if I fail (and the chances, considering my zero contacts with the business) are quite high.

I will continue to work on my logline and will also write about the other aspects of screenwriting which are the concept, the characters, genre, the setting, and the all intimidating screenwriting software which I am in the process of learning.

If anything, all this gives me material to post on my blog. 😉

THE LOGLINE

A few weeks ago I completed a twelve hour course on Creating A TV Series Proposal given by Jennifer McAuley sponsored by The Quebec Writers’ Federation.

One of the features of writing a proposal for TV is to have a GREAT logline. It’s one to three sentences that grabs the agent, producer, director, audience attention to your story. It is precise and gets to the point of your story.

Here’s my logline for my TV script (which might change as I go along writing the script) but for now here it is:

According to Keri Novak’s PhD study group, women who have had absent fathers grow up assuming that they are doomed to unsuccessful relationships with men. That is, until Keri meets her own Prince Charming putting her research and the award she is about to receive in jeopardy.

Does this grab your attention?

Based on my Getting to Mr. Right Series

Please visit my author page on Amazon.