If you’ve ever dabbled in the world of filmmaking or screenwriting, you’ve likely come across the term “logline.” A logline is a crucial element to capture the essence of your story and pique the interest of potential viewers or industry professionals. In essence, a logline is a one or two sentence summary of your screenplay that not only conveys the premise, but also adds an emotional aspect to hook the reader. It typically includes the main character, the story setup, and the central conflict, all in a concise and enticing manner.

What is a Logline in Film

Developing a strong logline can be challenging, yet it is undeniably important for your project’s success. To create an effective logline, focus on highlighting the unique aspects of your story and establishing a sense of urgency for the viewer. Incorporating elements such as the premise, character, conflict, and stakes will help in conveying the genre, tone, and plot of your film in just a couple of sentences. As you refine your logline, remember to remain truthful to your story, while striving for clarity and brevity that will leave your audience intrigued and wanting more.

What Is a Logline in Film

What is a Logline in Film - A Script Being Edited

A logline is a concise and compelling summary of your screenplay or film, usually consisting of one or two sentences. It includes the main character, the setup, and the central conflict, all conveyed in an enticing way that hooks the reader. A well-crafted logline not only describes the premise of the film but also adds an emotional aspect to captivate potential viewers and producers.

When creating a logline for your film, you should focus on the following key components:

  • Main character: Specify the protagonist of your story and highlight any unique or interesting qualities they possess.
  • Set-up: Describe the initial situation or event that sets the story in motion.
  • Central conflict: Explain the primary struggle or problem that the main character must overcome throughout the film.

The purpose of a logline is to attract interest in your project, garnering attention from agents, producers, and anyone who might be interested in your screenplay. It is important to strike the right balance between being succinct and impactful, as a logline should ideally be between 30 to 50 words in length.

For example, consider the logline for the movie Jaws: “A great white shark terrorizes a small resort town, and it’s up to the sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to stop the seemingly unstoppable killing machine.” This logline includes the main character, the set-up, and the central conflict while keeping it short and engaging.

In summary, a logline is an essential tool for marketing your film, as it gives potential viewers and industry professionals a glimpse of your story in a concise and compelling manner. When crafting your logline, remember to focus on the main character, setup, and central conflict, and aim to convey the essence of your film in a brief yet captivating way.

Components of a Good Logline

In this section, we’ll discuss the elements that contribute to a successful logline in the film industry. To make it easier to comprehend, the key components are divided into sub-sections, each with a brief examination.


The protagonist is the main character of your story, the one who drives the plot forward. You need to clearly identify this character in your logline, conveying their personality, background, or unique traits. This will help your audience connect with and root for this character. For example:

“A rebellious young woman…”


The antagonist opposes the protagonist and creates hurdles for them to overcome. Antagonists can be individuals, organizations, or even abstract forces. Your logline should give a slight hint of the antagonist, elucidating their motivations or characteristics. This sets the stage for conflict, an essential ingredient of any great story:

“…fights against a ruthless corporation…”


The goal is what the protagonist strives to achieve throughout the story. Outline the main objective in your logline, which should be clear and significant. This makes the audience care about the protagonist’s journey and wonder whether they’ll reach their goal:

“…to save her city from complete destruction.”


Stakes raise the tension and urgency, as they show what your protagonist has to gain or lose. Clearly mention the stakes in your logline, demonstrating the consequences should the protagonist fail:

“…with the lives of millions hanging in the balance.”


Conflict is the central struggle between the protagonist and antagonist. It’s critical to illustrate the crucial conflict in your logline, hinting at the obstacles and challenges your character will face:

“…as the corporation’s evil plan threatens to engulf her world.”


The setting is the backdrop of your story, contributing to the film’s atmosphere and tone. Include the setting in your logline if it’s pivotal to the story, mentioning aspects like location, time period, or unique environments:

“…in a dystopian future.”


Mention the genre of your film in the logline if it helps set the stage or is particularly appealing to your target audience. This clarifies the type of experience viewers can expect from your film:

“In this action-packed sci-fi thriller,…”

Keep these components in mind when crafting your logline. By incorporating protagonist, antagonist, goal, stakes, conflict, setting, and genre, you’ll create a compelling, attention-grabbing summary that draws interest in your film.

Writing a Logline

Formula for a Logline

When writing a logline for your film, it’s important to have a solid formula to help you craft an effective and engaging summary. A good logline typically includes the main character, set-up, and central conflict in a concise and enticing way. Here is a simple formula to guide you:

  1. Identify the protagonist and their defining traits.
  2. Describe the setup or inciting incident.
  3. State the central conflict or challenge the protagonist faces.

For example, consider the logline for the film Titanic: “A young aristocrat and a penniless artist form an unlikely bond on the ill-fated voyage of the luxury liner Titanic.”

Tips and Techniques

Now that you understand the basic formula for a logline, here are a few tips and techniques to keep in mind during the process:

  • Keep it brief: Aim for one or two sentences, usually not exceeding 30 to 50 words. A logline should be a quick snapshot of your story to grab the reader’s attention immediately.
  • Choose the right elements: Focus on the most impactful elements of your story, highlighting the protagonist, conflict, and unique aspects that make your film stand out.
  • Create emotional appeal: While keeping your logline factual, also ensure that it triggers an emotional response or curiosity. You want your reader to feel invested in the story and compelled to learn more.
  • Be clear and concise: Avoid using jargon, overly complex language, or unnecessary subplots. Your goal is to make the logline easy to understand and straight to the point.
  • Revise as needed: Writing a logline is often an iterative process. Feel free to rewrite, cut, or rephrase elements until it feels just right for your story.

Remember, a well-crafted logline can make the difference in sparking interest from potential investors, filmmakers, or viewers. Take the time to practice and polish your logline to make it the perfect representation of your film.

Logline Vs. Tagline

When working in film, it’s important to understand the difference between a logline and a tagline, as they serve distinct purposes. A logline is a one or two sentence summary of your screenplay that conveys the premise while incorporating an emotional aspect to hook the reader. It typically includes the main character, set-up, and central conflict in an enticing way.

On the other hand, a tagline is a catchy, provocative statement used to promote the film. Unlike a logline, a tagline is less specific and focuses more on enticing moviegoers to watch the film. You might find taglines on movie posters, trailers, and other marketing materials.

Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between loglines and taglines:


  • One or two sentence summary of the screenplay
  • Includes main character, set-up, and central conflict
  • Appears at the beginning of a movie script or on streaming sites


  • Catchy and provocative statement
  • Used in marketing the film
  • Found on movie posters, trailers, and promotional materials

In summary, while a logline provides a concise overview of the film’s storyline, a tagline aims to draw in the audience by generating excitement and curiosity. So, when you’re working on your film project, ensure you develop a captivating logline to convey the core of your screenplay and an intriguing tagline to capture the attention of your potential audience.

Famous Logline Examples

In your pursuit of understanding loglines in films, it’s essential to explore some successful examples. Examining these loglines can provide you with a clearer idea of what makes them attention-grabbing and why they contribute to the film’s success.

Many popular films feature loglines that capture the essence of the story and arouse interest in potential viewers. Here are some examples of effective loglines from renowned films:

Back to the Future Logline:

What is a Logine - Back to the Future

“A young man is transported to the past, where he must reunite his parents before he and his future cease to exist.”

Django Unchained Logline:

What is a Logline - Django Unchained

“With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal plantation owner.”

Kingsman: The Secret Service Logline:

What is a Logline - Kingsman The Secret Service

“A streetwise youth is recruited by a veteran agent into a top-secret spy organization while a twisted tech genius threatens the world.”

The Fugitive Logline:

What is a Logline - The Fugitive

“A fugitive goes on a tireless quest to prove his innocence after he is wrongfully accused and convicted of his wife’s murder.”

Forrest Gump Logline:

What is a Logline - Forrest Gump

“A slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama narrates his extraordinary life of love, war, and friendship that intersects with some of the most pivotal events of the 20th century in America.”

To enhance your understanding of successful loglines, pay attention to the following aspects in each example:

  1. Brevity: Keep loglines short, focusing on the core conflict or premise of the story. This will help capture the reader’s attention and make the logline easy to remember.
  2. Unique Concept: Highlight what sets your story apart from others in the same genre. Showcasing a unique aspect of the film can spark interest in potential viewers.
  3. Clear Conflict: A compelling logline should clearly convey the central conflict or struggle faced by the main character. This helps communicate the stakes and the film’s emotional core.

By analyzing successful loglines and incorporating these aspects into your own writing, you can create loglines that effectively convey the essence of your story while generating interest for your film.

Why Loglines Are Important

Selling Your Script

A strong logline is crucial when it comes to selling your screenplay. A compelling logline helps you pique the interest of potential buyers and can be the difference between getting your foot in the door or being left out in the cold. Your logline should be concise yet emotionally evocative, providing a snapshot of your story’s main character, their motivation, and the conflict they face.

What is a Logline in Film?

Getting the Attention of Producers and Investors

When pitching to producers and investors, your logline becomes even more crucial. With countless screenplays competing for their attention, you need a logline that can stand out from the crowd. A well-crafted logline can:

  • Capture the essence of your story
  • Clearly state the central conflict
  • Introduce the protagonist and their goal

Remember that producers and investors are looking for projects with strong commercial potential. Your logline should demonstrate that your story has the elements necessary to succeed in Hollywood or other competitive markets.

Keep in mind that a logline is not just useful in the selling stage; it can also help you maintain focus on the core elements of your story throughout the writing process. This can be invaluable in ensuring that your screenplay remains true to your original vision and is primed for success.

READ MORE: What is a film treatment and how do I create one?

In summary, having a powerful logline is essential for selling your screenplay, attracting producers and investors, and keeping your project on track. By investing time and energy in crafting a compelling logline, you can improve your chances of getting your script noticed, making connections in the industry, and ultimately, securing the opportunity to see your story come to life on screen.