Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Importance of Log Lines for Scripts

A question was recently asked by a writer if one should start with the log line when writing a screenplay.

As a script consultant and producer, I don't think there's a steadfast rule, as each writer may find a different source of initial inspiration and it's important to honor your own unique process. In my experiences in working with screenwriters for over 15 years, I have found that once an idea begins to form, log lines can be helpful with respect to bringing focus and direction to your story -- so that it becomes a reference point from which action, character and plot may flow. Log lines therefore, are not only sales tools for pitching; they also can create the spine to your screenplay during the creative process. If you can define your core concept by encapsulating it into a sentence or two, this reference point can be an effective springboard.

At the same time, it's not good to be slavishly wed to one particular way of doing things so you can allow for your muse and the unexpected to come into play. Many times the surprises, the elements you didn't plan, become the moments that make your script stand out. You might even find once you've started your screenplay that you will need to go back and revise your log line. But the purpose of having one to begin with served its purpose in getting you to this point.

I hope the above is helpful. Please check out my website as I specialize in assisting writers elevate the quality of their writing and execute their vision.

Wendy Kram, Producer/Owner

Ranked by Creative Screenwriting Magazine as Industry's Top 3 Picks for "Best Script Consultants"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Screenwriters' Stepping Stones

I have recently met a lovely screenwriter through the Linkedin Group, Independent Filmmakers & Screenwriters, Stephen M. Hunt. It's a great group by the way. Stephen hails from England, has an accomplished career (impressive I might add), and offered eloquentadvice to a fellow UK screenwriter who was planning on making a trip to Hollywood in the hopes of selling a project. I would like to share what he wrote:

"Rarely does a single trip deliver the answer to all your prayers. Usually getting there comes from advancing by stepping-stones, one at a time...Your trip is more like your next important stepping-stone that could lead to others and then others and then others..."

I believe the above is a great philosophy because "making it" as a screenwriter is a process and does not happen overnight. Whether you are improving the quality of your writing, brushing up on your pitching skills or developing industry relationships, each stepping stone makes you that much smarter, better at your craft, and closer to realizing your goals.

I would also recommend that you have more than one screenplay or project when you start taking meetings for several reasons: 1) So you don't put all of your eggs in one basket as prospective buyers might not be looking for the type of movie you wrote at the moment 2) You then have other material to speak to them about and one of your other scripts could turn out to be a better fit for them 3) When looking for an agent, in particular, the agent wants to know that you have a body of solid work that demonstrates consistency and you're not a one trick pony 5) As a writer, you want to keep moving forward. It's great to be focused and give concentrated energy to one project. At the same time, writers need to continue to stretch and challenge themselves creatively. Often, writers learn from each of their projects and by writing a new script, a writer gets to test and exercise what he or she has learned.

I hope the above is helpful. For questions and consultations to help you sell your projects and advance your careers, please fee free to contact:

Wendy Kram, Producer/Owner
WK Productions & L.A. FOR HIRE, Inc.

Ranked by Creative Screenwriting Magazine as Industry's
Top 3 Picks for "Best Script Consultants"