To learn about the other components read Creating An Irresistible Elevator Pitch. Reader Question: Are there any script rules that really shouldn’t be broken? One-sentence email consisting of the logline and nothing else. 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. 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. 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. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. Others recommend opening with the facts: “I’m seeking representation for MY GREAT NOVEL, a medical thriller complete at 80,000 words.” Use standard header information. But, be aware, these analogies are not loglines.Keep in mind: If you’ve sent out hundreds of queries and don’t have script requests, you’re doing something wrong. (E) Get representation. A logline is simply the script’s core conflict summed up in one or two sentences. 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. That not only resulted in him getting a manager (Circle of Confusion), it also led to his movie getting produce: “Hanna”. You may have already tackled this somewhere, but what are some tips for effective and engaging query letters/emails. The Number One Goal of the query letter is to make someone want to read your story. Months — sometimes years — are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had no hope of ever becoming a movie.”. Why do you need one? Email Query Letter Format – What do you need to know about submitting query letters to literary agents by email?This article explains. 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. That not only resulted in him getting a manager (Circle of Confusion), it also led to his movie getting produce: “Hanna”. Will some writer come along and prove me wrong by starting off their email with a supremely clever first line? “Most aspiring screenwriters simply don’t spend enough time choosing their concept. The simple answer is no. Lawrence Gordon, who produced K-9, also produced the original Predator. 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. Add what qualifies you to write the article and why you are the best person to write it. 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 200-Word Book Summary For Your Query Letter. 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. 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. Most likely they have a slate of scripts already in development. 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. that hooks the reader in and describes the central conflict of the story. My definition of a logline is this: It's a one- or two-sentence description of the overall idea of the story. A logline, or log line, is a brief (one to two sentence) summary of a movie, tv show, etc. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. 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. That’s all managers care to see (agents do not accept unsolicited material). “Most aspiring screenwriters simply don’t spend enough time choosing their concept. (C) Write a great script. Hook readers, agents, or editors every time with a logline that nails the essence of your story. 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. 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. 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. All it requires is a firm grasp of your story premise. 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. Thousands of others have found success when querying agents. 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. Perhaps. Again, no two query letters … items an executive or agent is going to read that reflects your work. Will some writer come along and prove me wrong by starting off their email with a supremely clever first line? A log line is a very short description of the characters and main action of your book. As a … But far too many queries fail to be "killer," but instead make us want to kill ourselves. What they're looking for, in Hollywood-speak, is what's called a "Logline." 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. Query Letter Recipe:How to Write a Killer Query. 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. The point of your query letter is to sell an article or an idea for an article. 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. The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter. If your logline doesn’t catch their fancy, they won’t request your script. The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter. That's what it takes to write a killer query letter. Predator: Requiem” (2007). And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. Months — sometimes years — are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had no hope of ever becoming a movie.”. 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. Although I’m giving you guidelines about how to format a query letter for literary agents, some literary agencies have their own requirements. (B) Work that up into a great logline. 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. 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. Besides of course a great Log Line…. $275. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is it. 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. But what is a logline? (F) Sell script. 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. My favorite deconstrution of how to write a logline is by Christopher Lockheart. Predator: Requiem” (2007). That’s all agencies or managers care to see. (D) Email query managers and agents leading with your great logline. The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. Expand that into a one-paragraph pitch to include in your query letter. Address your letter directly to the editor in charge of queries and manuscripts. Here are two examples of the value of a killer logline. He told me an interesting story about that movie. 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. 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. (B) Work that up into a great logline. Tip #10: Avoid any useless shortcuts. (F) Sell script. 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) Here are two examples of the value of a killer logline. It was based on a spec script by two brothers, Jim Thomas & John Thomas. 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. Study other successful query letters. Difficulty: Average; Time Required: One Hour; Here's How to Write a Query . Being able to hone your 100,000 word manuscript into one or two sentences is key to hooking them to take a further look. 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. 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. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. The writer has lost the race right from the gate. A query letter is a way of introducing your writing to editors or literary agents and publishers. 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. So, you might want to check individual agency guidelines on how to format an email query for literary agents there before you submit to them. This really simplifies matters: (A) Come up with a great story concept. So sell your script through your query letter (logline, synopsis) first, you never know where that could lead. It’s by far the most common mistake I see in spec scripts. Thirty-five words to capture their attention. Writing a one-page synopsis now seems effortless. 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. 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. (E) Get representation. He told me an interesting story about that movie. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is it. This really simplifies matters: ( a ) come up with a supremely clever line. 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