Before a movie makes it to the big screens it is presented in a pitch meeting where the screenwriters are given a couple of minutes to propose their idea. Industry experts say that it takes only around 45 seconds for producers to know if they want to invest.
Today was the first time I had heard the phrase "logline", which in short can described as "one or two sentences that explain what a movie is about." This logline is the determining factor for screenwriters trying to win over potential investors.
When a screenwriter is asked what their movie is about, it is essential that they have an answer on hand that is concise, clear and intriguing. Business leaders are asked very similar questions in their day-to-day lives about what they do and how they do it and it’s essential that they are able to communicate it in a quick and digestible manner.
When it comes to creating content, we always advise writing with your audience and their frequently asked questions in mind. With that being said, if the key to Hollywood screenwriters and business leaders getting the attention and interest of their prospects is a good logline then the same can be said for the content you write. When trying to win over your readers, it all starts with a great introduction. Get the introduction right and you’ll have them hooked!
The human brain instinctively seeks out meaning and purpose before attempting to ingest the further details. This is an important consideration to have when explaining complex topics.
By helping your audience understand your objectives before providing them with the facts you are able to provide them with a clear understanding of the bigger picture, ultimately getting them invested in your content, thoughts, and expertise that follow.
"In Hollywood cinema, one of the greatest loglines of all time belongs to the iconic thriller that kept kids out of the ocean during the summer of 1975:
A police chief, with a phobia for open water, battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers and boat captains, in spite of a greedy town council who demands that the beach stay open."
When looking at the logline from Jaws we can draw a couple of key points which make it effective and which can be directly translated into a winning intro:
- Concise - Think of those key elements which you want to highlight and create a short snippet to outline this. The logline for Jaws outlines all of the key elements of the story in one sentence.
- Informative - Think about what it is that you want your audience to remember and take away after reading your article and base your intro around this. The Jaws logline aims to give a snapshot look at what the movie is about and the storyline as a whole.
- Intriguing - this is ultimately your hook, much like those investors, readers are able to quickly determine if the content they are reading is something of interest to them, make sure your intro grabs their attention.
Remember that your intro is a great tool to stir up excitement for your readers, once you've mastered this the hard work is done. Once they're hooked they'll keep coming back for more!
One of the greatest loglines of all time belongs to the iconic thriller that kept kids out of the ocean during the summer of 1975