Film School Confidential: LOGLINES AND DIALOGUE


Another day with Stefan Jaworski, looking at log lines for our stories, trying to distill it down to one simple idea. What the logline should contain, is the main protagonist, his or her main project, and the resistance in the story. It’s also a great idea to have dramatic irony in the logline (in Liar, Liar, the logline is “cynical lawyer must tell the truth for 24 hours” or something = dramatic irony).

Jaworski was a very competent story mechanic, fast and precise in analyzing what our story needed, even after just a short description of plot and character. It was great to pull in and get a tune-up, although it would have been great to do this exercise earlier in the year.

We spent the next morning looking at the major plot points from Ransom, and dialogue scenes from movies such as When Harry Met Sally, Falling In Love, Silence of the Lambs and Training Day.

Other topics we touched upon was outlining vs. surprising yourself in the writing process, making sure the actual writing process is pleasant, because most of movie making is hard to control.

According to Jaworski, here are three ways to succesful living as a screenwriter in Denmark: Writer on TV episodes (good money), developing something with a director (little money, can be hard to agree on idea and premise, rules for the collaboration) and developing something on your own (no money, hard to get people involved at the late stage because of the auteur tradition). We touched upon the nature of the craft, about not taking in notes you don’t believe in and the fine line between dramatic structure and personal taste.

All in all a great couple of days. Now I have to run home and get ready for my youngest daughter’s birthday. So long, Mr. jaworski!

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