Query letter examples. The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. 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. 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. Evidently the script went around town and every studio passed. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. Instead of pitching your story to Hollywood executives, you’re writing query letters to agents and editors, hoping to catch their eye. 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. Writing and the Creative Life: 4 Tips On Creativity From The Creator Of Calvin & Hobbes. I am happy to give my opinion, but in all honesty I’ve never had to write a query letter. All it requires is a firm grasp of your story premise. It’s by far the most common mistake I see in spec scripts. 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. The killer logline is part of the elevator pitch, but there’s more to the elevator pitch. A query letter is a way of introducing your writing to editors or literary agents and publishers. Others recommend opening with the facts: “I’m seeking representation for MY GREAT NOVEL, a medical thriller complete at 80,000 words.” That’s all agencies or managers care to see. Reader Question: Where to start when developing a story. It was based on a spec script by two brothers, Jim Thomas & John Thomas. And it is especially useful for those pitch sessions at conferences or lunches. 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. “Most aspiring screenwriters simply don’t spend enough time choosing their concept. As a … Writing a one-page synopsis now seems effortless. Thirty-five words to capture their attention. This really simplifies matters: (A) Come up with a great story concept. 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. Reader Question: Are there any script rules that really shouldn’t be broken? 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. Difficulty: Average; Time Required: One Hour; Here's How to Write a Query . 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 agencies or managers care to see. 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. 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. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is it. But what is a logline? Includes a logline and short summary as described above. 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. Will some writer come along and prove me wrong by starting off their email with a supremely clever first line? Lawrence Gordon, who produced K-9, also produced the original Predator. A query letter is simply a letter/email that asks an executive to read your screenplay and consider it for production. 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.”. 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. 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. But far too many queries fail to be "killer," but instead make us want to kill ourselves. That not only resulted in him getting a manager (Circle of Confusion), it also led to his movie getting produce: “Hanna”. 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. Here are two examples of the value of a killer logline. © Write a great script. $275. The writer has lost the race right from the gate. That not only resulted in him getting a manager (Circle of Confusion), it also led to his movie getting produce: “Hanna”. 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 … 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. 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. So, Earl, please understand, I’m not dancing around your question. Why do you need one? 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. Your logline can be the difference between an Oscar or living on Oscar Mayer for the rest of your life. 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. No need to reinvent the felt-tipped pen. 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.”. (B) Work that up into a great logline. Hook readers, agents, or editors every time with a logline that nails the essence of your story. 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. 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. So, Earl, please understand, I’m not dancing around your question. Email Query Letter Format – What do you need to know about submitting query letters to literary agents by email?This article explains. The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter. It's the main goal of the story that you want to convey to your audience. 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. But, be aware, these analogies are not loglines.Keep in mind: Include a short log line only if your book lends itself especially well to pithy summary. Add what qualifies you to write the article and why you are the best person to write it. Like any other query letter, one in email form should be just as brief, concise, and straightforward. Query Letter: A fully realized query letter to maximize your project’s appeal to agents and publishers. 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. It’s by far the most common mistake I see in spec scripts. Predator: Requiem” (2007). If your logline doesn’t catch their… A logline is simply the script’s core conflict summed up in one or two sentences. Address your letter directly to the editor in charge of queries and manuscripts. 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. Months — sometimes years — are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had no hope of ever becoming a movie.”. 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. Many writers find composing a one-page query letter and a one-page synopsis more difficult than writing a 100,000 word novel. The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter. Logline Examples – Good and Bad A logline is a one sentence description of a film (same for a novel, though it's called a "hook line") that is designed to portray elements that comprise the interesting, unique, or "high concept" essence of the work. 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. that hooks the reader in and describes the central conflict of the story. (D) Email query managers and agents leading with your great logline. Thousands of others have found success when querying agents. “Most aspiring screenwriters simply don’t spend enough time choosing their concept. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is it. The simple fact is the logline is the single most important aspect of any query letter. So sell your script through your query letter (logline, synopsis) first, you never know where that could lead. 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. You have one chance to impress. A girl is trained to be an assassin; would you like to read my script.”. Writers use these letters to pitch their ideas to editors and publishers. What they're looking for, in Hollywood-speak, is what's called a "Logline." One-sentence email consisting of the logline and nothing else. If your logline doesn’t catch their fancy, they won’t request your script. Lawrence Gordon, who produced K-9, also produced the original Predator. Loglines are an essential tool for pitching to agents, editors, or film producers. $350. A logline is a one-sentence summary of your script. Expand that into a one-paragraph pitch to include in your query letter. 2. Query Letter Recipe:How to Write a Killer Query. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. 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. Try writing a logline--a one-sentence description of your novel--first. To learn about the other components read Creating An Irresistible Elevator Pitch. My favorite deconstrution of how to write a logline is by Christopher Lockheart. One-sentence email consisting of the logline and nothing else. (E) Get representation. (F) Sell script. 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. In this day and age where email has essentially replaced formal query letters via snail mail, the logline is 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. 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. The writer has lost the race right from the gate. Using the enclosed template, we also give you a logline example to show you how effective this tool is for writing a logline. (C) Write a great script. Seth Lochhead, who lives in Vancouver, Canada, wrote an original screenplay. A girl is trained to be an assassin; would you like to read my script.”. 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. 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. “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. Predator: Requiem” (2007). I can confirm this anecdote because Larry Gordon, who produced K-9, told it to me back in 1987. And where does it fit in the normal flow of overall story development? (D) Email query managers and agents leading with your great logline. Again, no two query letters … Tip #10: Avoid any useless shortcuts. Will some writer come along and prove me wrong by starting off their email with a supremely clever first line? (E) Get representation. 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. Although I’m giving you guidelines about how to format a query letter for literary agents, some literary agencies have their own requirements. It’s essential to keep your query letter concise while still being engaging. We supply you with query … Screenwriter Seth Lochhead, who lives in Vancouver, Canada, wrote a spec 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. 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. The first I’ve referenced a number of times before. A logline, or log line, is a brief (one to two sentence) summary of a movie, tv show, etc. 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. If you’ve sent out hundreds of queries and don’t have script requests, you’re doing something wrong. Perhaps. 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. 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. If written properly, it should induce the reader or potential audience to want to see the film. 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. Loglines can be used to pitch your screenplay to producers and agents within a query letter. That’s all managers care to see (agents do not accept unsolicited material). The simple answer is no. The 200-Word Book Summary For Your Query Letter. If you don’t know how to write a query letter, don’t worry. It was based on a spec script by two brothers, Jim Thomas & John Thomas. Your logline and query letter are the first (and sometimes only!) Producers might use a logline to get a studio, financier, or other type of buyer interested in a script. Thanks! The Number One Goal of the query letter is to make someone want to read your story. Evidently the script went around town and every studio passed. Here are several query letter examples that may help. You may have already tackled this somewhere, but what are some tips for effective and engaging query letters/emails. 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. Besides of course a great Log Line…. A log line is a very short description of the characters and main action of your book. I am happy to give my opinion, but in all honesty I’ve never had to write a query letter. Most likely they have a slate of scripts already in development. (B) Work that up into a great logline. And to have a great logline, you have to have a great underlying story concept. Include book comparisons with care (we find these can easily backfire). This really simplifies matters: (A) Come up with a great story concept. 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. The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. 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) (F) Sell 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. Here are two examples of the value of a killer logline. That's what it takes to write a killer query letter. 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. My definition of a logline is this: It's a one- or two-sentence description of the overall idea of the story. If your logline doesn’t catch their fancy, they won’t request your script. Synopsis: A more detailed 1-2 page narrative summation of your story and how it unfolds (including spoilers). This is the format and medium in which magazines, newspapers and book editors expect to be approached. Being able to hone your 100,000 word manuscript into one or two sentences is key to hooking them to take a further look. Months — sometimes years — are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had no hope of ever becoming a movie.”. When a prospective agent or editor asks you what your book is about, your hook line is your answer. 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