Sunday, 30 November 2008

Year 12 Media Studies - Lesson Outcomes This Week 1/12/08


This week, the focus of our lessons is going to be on developing the 'Big Picture' for your film - the narrative framework for the entire film in the form of a detailed mind-map.

What happens to who? In what sequential order? Where? Why? Linear? Non-linear?

You are then going to move from MACRO (Big Picture) to MICRO (your opening title sequence) in developing an effective 'Logline' and film title/name that will sum-up your film to all parties interested. The following link takes you through how to create a 'logline' - a process integral to developing a 'pitch'.

The 'Logline' will serve as a compass for the story as it develops, and is the single most important tool in marketing the script or concept to film production companies. Odds are, if you can't boil your script down to a solid 1 or 2 sentences of the basic idea, producers will never be attracted to it for development. Developing your logline is also an opportunity to express a very original hook that your story has to separate it from others within the same genre or theme. A great logline should provoke interest and inspire the producer to see the potential of the film.

Here are three questions to ask yourself as you write your logline:

1. Who is the main character and what does he or she want?

2. Who (villain) or what is standing in the way of the main character?

3. What makes this story unique?

Use action words when writing your logline. Film captures the actions of characters.Add descriptive words to create an image that will stay in the mind of your reader.
The following examples show how dull loglines can be made exciting by adding descriptive words.

Dull logline: A woman plots to murder her sister.
Intriguing logline: A woman obsessed by jealousy plots to murder her sister, who married the man she loves.

Dull logline: Two lovers plan to flee from their feuding families who forbid them to marry.
Intriguing logline: Two young lovers living in a ghetto defy their feuding families' ban on marrying and plan an escape that propels them toward tragedy.

Young lovers defying their feuding families is not unique. But, putting the lovers in a ghetto setting and adding the element of tragedy to their escape plan gives the story an interesting twist. It's Romeo and Juliet in a ghetto, a setting that helps add conflict to the story.

Dull logline: A woman confronts her past when her illegitimate daughter shows up after twenty years.
Intriguing logline: A minister's wife confronts her long-buried past when her illegitimate daughter shows up after twenty years.

An illegitimate daughter showing up after twenty years is not an unusual plot. But, the fact that the main character is a minister's wife implies conflict, morality vs. immorality, and deception. Defining the woman's past as "long-buried" peaks interest.

These logline examples all have a hook, something that can stimulate serious interest. They make a statement about the central problem that will be resolved by the character(s), and they define a concept that gives the story its power to entertain.

Use the suggestions in this article to help you write your own loglines. Keep in mind that a well-constructed logline answers three key questions and post your ideas on a 'Post-it' :

1. Who is the main character and what does he/she want?

2. Who (villain) or what is standing in the way of the main character?

3. What makes this story unique?

Once this is complete you will be ready to create your 'storyboard' that will embody your creative ambitions for the title sequence. Combined, these two elements will form your PITCH in a couple of weeks.


Enjoy your 1st week of Christmas. Only two weeks to go until the holidays and until filming! Ninax

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