Monthly Online eZine  
News And Views For Working Writers

 INside Scoop
 IN Her Own Write
 Pen IN Hand
 Write On!
 Screen & Stage
 Top 10 Resources
 Book Reviews
 Items Of INterest
 Global Offerings
 INside Services
 Bill The Bard
 The Writer At Work
 Games & Puzzles
 Classic eTexts
 Free Software
 IN Banners
 Who's IN
 What's IN
 Editorial Calendar
 Join IN's Team
 Contacting IN

IN Front Cover


Learn To Be A Better Journalist

Buy Classic Literature Collections

Acclaimed Screenplay Writing Software

Books On How To Write Fiction

Become A Well Paid Travel Writer

Vote daily and raise our ranking!

Screen & Stage
January, 2008

The Shy Writer

Elevator Exposure
Reel in the offers
By  Kimberley Ann Sparks

Ready for your 30 second pitch to ensure you're going up and not down the shaft?
You walk onto an elevator and, just before the doors close, in walks Steven Spielberg. He pushes the button for the 15th floor and you realise you have less than 30 seconds to tell him about the excellent script you've just finished. Ah, the classic elevator pitch. Would you be ready?

There are two good reasons why you should always be ready to pitch. The first is, like in the opening example, you never know who you're going to run into and how much time you'll have to wow them with your idea. The second is that it will always make you sound professional when someone asks you what you're working on instead of stumbling around for a couple of minutes trying to explain your story.

Going Fishing

What makes a good elevator pitch? A logline. We've heard the term before, but how many of us create one while we're working on our script or even before we start working on it?

Essentially, a logline is a hook to intrigue your listener to ask for more. I liken it to going fishing. I have my logline – the bait – and I cast it out to the sea of producers, directors, agents, etc. hoping one of them will bite. If your logline is juicy enough, thus begins the back-and-forth tug of war between the two of you. Your logline/pitch is brilliant and they ask for a one-sheet or treatment. What you send them bowls them over and they ask for the script. They've never read anything so amazing before, and they give you seven figures, and you win the Oscar. And, it all started with your little logline.

The Good Logline

What are the key ingredients of a juicy, successful logline? You need to tell us who the script is about and what their main conflict or goal is. That's about it. Though it sounds simple, it takes a bit of effort to write a great logline, especially one that will attract a reader or buyer.

With a logline, you're trying to create a visual image of what your movie is about. After hearing it or reading it, we should be able to envision the whole movie.

Case Study: The Fugitive

I recently played this movie for my class. If you've seen it, you know that the main character is Dr. Richard Kimble, a respected surgeon who is also wrongfully convicted of killing his wife. Dr. Kimble's main goal is to find the one-armed man who actually killed his wife, and his main conflict is trying to not get caught by the very determined U.S. marshal, Sam Gerard.

We have all the components of a logline, now we just have to write it so that it's concise:

Dr. Richard Kimble, a respected surgeon wrongfully accused of killing his wife, escapes custody and begins the hunt for the real killer, a one-armed man, while trying to evade the very determined U.S. marshal set to bring him back to justice.

Multi-Purpose Tool

You can use your logline in a number of places. When writing a query letter, you need to describe your project briefly though vividly, and a logline fits the bill perfectly.

Loglines are also a great starting point for your script. If you can't define these two simple things – who your movie is about and what their main conflict or goal is – you need to rethink.

I use my logline at the top of my one-sheets as well. It's great to let your reader know the general details of your script before they get to the finer points. I've also seen people include the logline for the script they're trying to sell on their business cards.

Now that you understand the importance of loglines, make sure you write one for each of your projects. You never know who you'll run into on an elevator. IN Icon

Kimberley Ann Sparks is a writer who has worked in video games, television, and film. She hates fruit because fruit is evil (don't be fooled, folks, they're out to get you), and she loves popcorn (the food of the gods). Scrunchy robots with teeth make her laugh.

Sign Up and Use Our New Forums! Voice Your Opinion! Discuss Our Content! Ask for Writing Assistance. Post Your Successes, Queries or Information Requests. Collaborate with Other Writers.

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Screen & Stage
IN This Issue
Novel To Screenplay: Adaptation 101
Learning The Lingo
Elevator Exposure
Who Profits?
On The (Back) Lot
Lingua Scriptus
Part II: The Script's Key Plot Points
Part I: The Script's Key Plot Points
Origin Of The Screenplay
Scriptspeak: Writing Dialogue

Support IN
Receive Free Gifts
$20.00 Voluntary Contribution
$35.00 Voluntary Contribution
$50.00 Voluntary Contribution

New Novelist Software

Effectively Manage Your List

Writers Digest 101 Site Award

Your Ad Here

Traffic Swarm For Writers

Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

Our Own Banner Rotator System
Any banner seen below is either our own or one of our members.
Support the cause - click a banner.

Want Your 468x60 Banner Above? It's FREE For Newly Published Books

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."