This really simplifies matters: (A) Come up with a great story concept. Address your letter directly to the editor in charge of queries and manuscripts. Writing and the Creative Life: 4 Tips On Creativity From The Creator Of Calvin & Hobbes. A query letter is simply a letter/email that asks an executive to read your screenplay and consider it for production. But far too many queries fail to be "killer," but instead make us want to kill ourselves. My favorite deconstrution of how to write a logline is by Christopher Lockheart. (D) Email query managers and agents leading with your great logline. Synopsis: A more detailed 1-2 page narrative summation of your story and how it unfolds (including spoilers). Thirty-five words to capture their attention. A tagline is a piece of marketing copy designed to go on posters to sell the film – In space no one can hear you scream (Alien) A logline is simply the script’s core conflict summed up in one or two sentences. Keys to the Screenwriting Craft: Think Concepts, The Path of Least Resistance to Get Representation in Hollywood, Writing a Logline for a Character Driven Drama. It's the short blurb in TV guides that tells you what a movie is about and helps you decide if you're interested in … If you’ve sent out hundreds of queries and don’t have script requests, you’re doing something wrong. Writing a one-page synopsis now seems effortless. A logline is a one (or occasionally two) sentence description that boils the script down to its essential dramatic narrative in as succinct a manner as possible. A proper query letter will provide a synopsis of your book, will give a bit of information about the author, and will hopefully pique the interest of agents or publishers enough that they’ll want to read more. In today's increasingly online world, many editors are now accepting email query letters in addition to, or instead of, traditional snail mail query letters.There are some important tips you should consider when sending an email query instead of a mail query. 2. Your logline can be the difference between an Oscar or living on Oscar Mayer for the rest of your life. A girl is trained to be an assassin; would you like to read my script.”. Tip #10: Avoid any useless shortcuts. And that’s precisely what happened with Predator: He read the logline — “A team of commandos, on a mission in a Central American jungle, find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior” — and said, “That’s a movie.”. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is it. Being able to hone your 100,000 word manuscript into one or two sentences is key to hooking them to take a further look. If you're wondering how to action all of this, we've also come up with a few query letter examples for those who want a more concrete idea of what to write. Again, no two query letters … So sell your script through your query letter (logline, synopsis) first, you never know where that could lead. Difficulty: Average; Time Required: One Hour; Here's How to Write a Query . And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. But if you really want to make the best use of your time, come up with a great story concept, one that naturally lends itself to a great logline. I am happy to give my opinion, but in all honesty I’ve never had to write a query letter. We supply you with query … The writer has lost the race right from the gate. But Larry used to have his assistants accumulate a list of all the scripts that had been out on the previous weekend read, keying in on each screenplay’s logline, even on projects that had been passed on. © Write a great script. It can be used as the first line in your query letter, to help hook the agent into reading the rest of the letter and requesting information. But unless you have the perfect one line summary, I’d just stick to a two-three paragraph plot description and don’t include the logline in a query. The simple answer is no. UPDATE: GITS readers, I can tell we’re going to get several questions on this subject as we’ve already had a couple within minutes of the post going live. The query letter is so much of a sales piece that it’s quite possible to write one without having written a word of the manuscript. A query letter is an appeal to publishers or agents in an effort to get them interested in something you’ve written, usually a book. Lawrence Gordon, who produced K-9, also produced the original Predator. Say what you’d like to write about, how it would work for their publication, and why your article would interest the magazine’s readers. Using the enclosed template, we also give you a logline example to show you how effective this tool is for writing a logline. Query letter examples. So, Earl, please understand, I’m not dancing around your question. All it requires is a firm grasp of your story premise. Months — sometimes years — are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had no hope of ever becoming a movie.”. So he met with the Thomas brothers, secured the script, and voila — here we are 22 years and 4 movies later, and the franchise is being tapped again. Query Letter Recipe:How to Write a Killer Query. That not only resulted in him getting a manager (Circle of Confusion), it also led to his movie getting produce: “Hanna”. Your logline and query letter are the first (and sometimes only!) When shopping your screenplay around Los Angeles or New York, a gripping logline is one of the best tools for writing a query letter that gets busy producers, agents, or managers interested in reading your script. UPDATE: GITS readers, I can tell we’re going to get several questions on this subject as we’ve already had a couple within minutes of the post going live. Add what qualifies you to write the article and why you are the best person to write it. It’s essential to keep your query letter concise while still being engaging. It was based on a spec script by two brothers, Jim Thomas & John Thomas. Hook readers, agents, or editors every time with a logline that nails the essence of your story. If your logline doesn’t catch their… Try writing a logline--a one-sentence description of your novel--first. Here are several query letter examples that may help. (F) Sell script. But Larry used to have his assistants accumulate a list of all the scripts that had been out on the previous weekend read, keying in on each screenplay’s logline, even on projects that had been passed on. Many writers find composing a one-page query letter and a one-page synopsis more difficult than writing a 100,000 word novel. If your logline doesn’t catch their fancy, they won’t request your script. It's the main goal of the story that you want to convey to your audience. My definition of a logline is this: It's a one- or two-sentence description of the overall idea of the story. It’s part of a free 15-part training guide about How to Write an Effective Query Letter by Mark Malatesta, a former publishing agent and former Marketing & Licensing Manager of a well-known book publisher. I can confirm this anecdote because Larry Gordon, who produced K-9, told it to me back in 1987. And it is especially useful for those pitch sessions at conferences or lunches. The killer logline is part of the elevator pitch, but there’s more to the elevator pitch. By “core conflict” we mean the struggle between protagonist and antagonist that indicates to the reader what’s at stake—the reason why they should watch this movie. You may have already tackled this somewhere, but what are some tips for effective and engaging query letters/emails. That not only resulted in him getting a manager (Circle of Confusion), it also led to his movie getting produce: “Hanna”. Loglines are an essential tool for pitching to agents, editors, or film producers. It represents the fifth iteration of the franchise after the original “Predator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 1987, “Predator 2″ (1990); “Alien vs. Predator” (2004); and “Alien vs. If written properly, it should induce the reader or potential audience to want to see the film. Fox has tapped Nimrod Antal (“Vacancy”) to direct “Predators” for Robert Rodriguez, who will produce through his Troublemaker Studios.The project’s scheduled for a July 7, 2010 release. Seth Lochhead, who lives in Vancouver, Canada, wrote an original screenplay. that hooks the reader in and describes the central conflict of the story. That’s all managers care to see (agents do not accept unsolicited material). Loglines can be used to pitch your screenplay to producers and agents within a query letter. You have one chance to impress. Besides of course a great Log Line…. A query letter is a way of introducing your writing to editors or literary agents and publishers. A log line is a very short description of the characters and main action of your book. The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter. The point of your query letter is to sell an article or an idea for an article. At some point, you’ve probably heard a pitch similar to “It’s like Die Hard meets Bridesmaids!” There are times when film or television executives want to hear what other films your project resembles. Evidently the script went around town and every studio passed. Instead of pitching your story to Hollywood executives, you’re writing query letters to agents and editors, hoping to catch their eye. A logline, or log line, is a brief (one to two sentence) summary of a movie, tv show, etc. So he met with the Thomas brothers, secured the script, and voila — here we are 22 years and 4 movies later, and the franchise is being tapped again. The first I’ve referenced a number of times before. (D) Email query managers and agents leading with your great logline. Although I’m giving you guidelines about how to format a query letter for literary agents, some literary agencies have their own requirements. (C) Write a great script. Will some writer come along and prove me wrong by starting off their email with a supremely clever first line? Includes a logline and short summary as described above. Perhaps. This is how he got his script into Hollywood: He sent out 400 emails to people in the business: “A lot were one-sentence emails. When a prospective agent or editor asks you what your book is about, your hook line is your answer. This really simplifies matters: (A) Come up with a great story concept. Screenwriter Seth Lochhead, who lives in Vancouver, Canada, wrote a spec script. And just to completely hammer home this point, here is a quote from one of the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood today: Terry Rossio who with writing partner Ted Elliott has screenwriting credits that include Aladdin, The Mask of Zorro, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more. Legally, we never wanted to read the letters or open any email attachment because if we ever produced a movie even remotely close to the logline sent to us we might get sued. But if you really want to make the best use of your time, come up with a great story concept, one that naturally lends itself to a great logline. UPDATE: GITS readers, I can tell we’re going to get several questions on this subject as we’ve already had a couple within minutes of the post going live. (B) Work that up into a great logline. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is it. He told me an interesting story about that movie. I am happy to give my opinion, but in all honesty I’ve never had to write a query letter. If you don’t know how to write a query letter, don’t worry. Writers use these letters to pitch their ideas to editors and publishers. Here are two examples of the value of a killer logline. Will some writer come along and prove me wrong by starting off their email with a supremely clever first line? Overall, while the tone of this query letter feels fun, I found some of the sentences a bit convoluted and I’m not sure some of the key events are described precisely, especially the obstacles Mercedes faced in pursuit of her gold. $350. That’s all agencies or managers care to see. But, be aware, these analogies are not loglines.Keep in mind: Fox has tapped Nimrod Antal (“Vacancy”) to direct “Predators” for Robert Rodriguez, who will produce through his Troublemaker Studios.The project’s scheduled for a July 7, 2010 release. The Business of Screenwriting: Don’t stand in water where you should be fishing, I Begrudgingly Admit That Tom Cruise Is Right, Reader Question: What can a writer learn from reading a script while watching the movie at the same…, Writing and the Creative Life: Three Types of Creators. (E) Get representation. And that’s precisely what happened with Predator: He read the logline — “A team of commandos, on a mission in a Central American jungle, find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior” — and said, “That’s a movie.”. What they're looking for, in Hollywood-speak, is what's called a "Logline." No need to reinvent the felt-tipped pen. “The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter.”, You may have already tackled this somewhere, but what are some tips for effective and engaging query letters/emails. Producers might use a logline to get a studio, financier, or other type of buyer interested in a script. Like any other query letter, one in email form should be just as brief, concise, and straightforward. Thousands of others have found success when querying agents. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is it. The query letter opening Some say it’s essential to open with a catchy, one-sentence hook (sometimes called a log line) that sells the “sizzle” of your story. As a … Evidently the script went around town and every studio passed. But what is a logline? Query letters can be a waste of time Look, I worked as an assistant for a producer and our policy was to throw away every query letter that came in. Spend time studying actual query letter examples that other writers—many of whom had no previous writing credits or platform—have used to land their literary agents. In a single page, the writer aims to make the editor/publisher get interested in reading or publishing the entire story˗ that’s how important the letter is to a writer. So while my take is more from what I know in dealing with agents and managers, it would be helpful if those of you who have emailed queries before would go to comments and provide your insight. One-sentence email consisting of the logline and nothing else. Query Letter: A fully realized query letter to maximize your project’s appeal to agents and publishers. Here are two examples of the value of a killer logline. If used appropriately, a log line or brief summary in the beginning of your query letter will capture not only the core story of your book, but also its essential energy and momentum. And where does it fit in the normal flow of overall story development? items an executive or agent is going to read that reflects your work. Predator: Requiem” (2007). (F) Sell script. It’s critical that your logline and query letter are attention grabbing, tell them something of substance, make you look good, and most of all—make them want to read more. The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. Lawrence Gordon, who produced K-9, also produced the original Predator. Use standard header information. This is how he got his script into Hollywood: He sent out 400 emails to people in the business: “A lot were one-sentence emails. Thanks! If you are submitting your logline blindly, using a site like IMDb Pro to collect e-mail and fax information, there is a good chance the industry pro is not currently searching for a script. It’s by far the most common mistake I see in spec scripts. That's what it takes to write a killer query letter. Include a short log line only if your book lends itself especially well to pithy summary. 'S what it takes to write it read my script. ” main goal of the overall idea of the is., please understand, I ’ m not dancing around your question hone your 100,000 word manuscript into or! 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