Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scriptshadow's logline contest

So as many of you guys already know, Carson picked his top ten loglines.

In case you haven't heard about this yet, Scriptshadow, the guy who reviews a screenplay a day and who's blog you should be reading if you are serious about the craft, put up a contest to select a good screenplay from among his readers. First, you submit your logline and he picks 10 he'd like to read. Then, you submit your first ten pages or a one-page synopsis and he picks 25 of those he'd like to read. Then you submit your whole screenplay and he picks his top three.

Guess whose logline he picked in his top 100? Memememe!

Here is my logline:

Twenty years after the zombie apocalypse wipes out life as they know it, a pair of survivors learns they are not alone, and must fix their issues to protect their warrior children on a dangerous journey by boat to save a woman who may be the key to reviving humanity.

Now here's the thing. I know I don't have the world's most original idea. It's not a high concept script by any means, and up next to all those other loglines it looks really boring.

Take this logline for a script by Josh Eanes called Humans!:

In a world populated by sentient zombies, an outbreak of humans threatens the lives of two ordinary zombie youths, as does an increasingly chaotic military response.

Or this one, by Mike Rinaldi titled In the Heat of the Dead of Night:

A Southern town divided by racism, intolerance, and William Faulkner must come together to survive an invasion of the walking dead and the only man who can unite them is a compulsive necrophiliac.

My heart kind of sunk when I saw those because let's face it, they're more clever than mine. I want to read them. I want to see them on screen.

So that brings up the old discussion about concept vs execution. These two scripts are terrific concepts that announce their potential up front. Mine is a story not unlike some we've seen. So when Carson reads our scripts, I'm curious to see how strongly the idea figures into his decision. It could very well be that all three zombie scripts are strong, but let's say one is not - will the idea save it? I don't know. I'm interested to find out.

I'm not sure I stand much of a chance anyway, since I just discovered that the screenplay I consider the best I ever read, Tonight, He Comes, is one Carson thinks is stupid.

Still, it's a cool exercise and I'm sort of amazed that Carson has taken all this work on himself. I'm also pleased to see not only a pro you probably know already - William Martell - in the list, but also a 19-year-old writer. It doesn't matter who you are, an idea's an idea, and all ideas are welcome. It's going to be pretty neat to see the development of where the clever ideas leave off and the great scripts take over.


  1. It's great to see this opportunity taking place, a good use of the power of the web.

    Congrats for making it in, Em, fingers crossed.

  2. Congrats! I hope you advance to the next round.

    I like keeping up with Carson's site but I don't think it's required reading for the serious screenwriter. Personally, I think Carson has horrible taste in films/scripts. I think you should take him as seriously as any other critic. He has his own likes/dislikes, and they inform his reviews, obviously.

    It's entertainment, not education.

    I prefer when Roger Balfour does a guest review on Scriptshadow. Our sensibilities are much more similar.

  3. I don't think it's required reading because I agree with him all the time. I think it's required reading because of the discussions that come up there. I learn something with almost every post. But I generally agree with you, Roger's posts tend to match my taste more than Carson's.

  4. Good point about the discussions. I wasn't thinking about that because up until a couple of weeks ago I couldn't get into the fucking comments section.

  5. Yeah I don't know what the hell's going on with that comment section. You definitely aren't the only one who's had problems. You can see it okay now though, right?

  6. Yeah, it was my browser, apparently. Internet Explorer is not friendly with Scriptshadow comments.

    Firefox works much better.

  7. Just for fun I submitted (even though I knew I'd have to withdraw) a logline. It, of course, wasn't selected (I knew it wouldn't be, I hate writing log lines). I'm not complaining because me and my sucky logline (the script, too) start preproduction next month on the film.

    Anyway, good luck. The recognition can't hurt.

  8. congrats! I know you'll go all the way! I hope Beefcake takes you out for a nice meal!

  9. Stephen Hoover9:46 PM

    I'm in with a comedy -- GET MOTIVATED.

    I've got a horror/action zombie script that's been going nowhere. Think the curve has moved on to action/comedy. Spoofs and zom coms will be coming out next year.

    Best of luck though with the script. Good news in '10!


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