On a whim yesterday, I posted this:
Here is a word cloud based on the loglines for the 78 Black List 2012 scripts:
Okay, all you clever people. Time to come up with a logline based on some of the key terms in the word cloud. For instance, take “ruthless father” and “ex-con son,” link them up with “goes to war” or “government conspiracy,” who knows what you get.
By the way, no zombies, vampires or aliens? What’s up with that?!?!
Franklin Leonard took note and sent me this:
I love this. Let’s push it a little further.
People’s answers can be put in the comments and/or tweeted with the hashtag #BLWordCloud.
The people who come up with your favorite five get a free read at the new site.
We already have quite a few loglines in the original thread. With an offer for a free script evaluation from Black List readers, I would think we would get a bunch more.
So post your loglines based on the Black List 2012 Word Cloud — here or Tweet them with the above hashtag. Let’s take submissions through Friday, December 21 at midnight Pacific. And you know what? I’ll let Max Millimeter decide which five are his favorites. You know what that means: Make them entertaining.
Thanks, Franklin, for that offer, very much in the spirit of the holidays!
Now let’s see your BL Word Cloud inspired loglines!
For a larger image of the Word Cloud, go here.
UPDATE: Two things. First the cutoff is midnight tonight [Friday, December 21] Pacific time. Second, this whole thing started as a lighthearted romp, something to engage people’s creativity and have some fun. I’d like to keep it in that spirit, even with the gracious offer to have five people selected for a free script read by readers affiliated with the new Black List service. It was in that spirit that I enlisted Max Millimeter to be the judge.
A few folks have raised some questions: (1) “How many loglines may I post?” Since I didn’t specify anything upfront, I would say you can submit as many as you’d like. That said, even in a fun challenge like this, you should focus on quality over quantity. (2) “Since there are only about 100 words in the word cloud, there is bound to be overlap with loglines. How will you sort that out in terms judging?” Good question. And hopefully a good learning point for all of us, the difference between the logline for Dude, Where’s My Car? — “Two potheads wake up from a night of partying and can’t remember where they parked their car” — and The Hangover — Three groomsmen lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him”. The focus on a lost groom due for his wedding is substantially better as a comedic conceit than simply looking for a car. (3) “What about people riffing off earlier loglines?” Another good point and I would think Max will tend to look more favorably on earlier loglines with similar iterations simply due to the earlier writer came up with the idea first.
But bottom line, let’s remember this is supposed to be a fun exercise. The opportunity to get a free script read has certainly upped the participation, which is good, but hopefully won’t create any ill will on the part of folks who don’t get selected. Even if you don’t win, you will have exercised your creative muscles, and that’s a plus for you.
UPDATE: #2: The Word Cloud Challenge is done. No more entries. I will sit down with Max Millimeter over the weekend to review each one from this post, the first post and Twitter. Hopefully Max will select 5 by Sunday night, but due to the high number of submissions, that may stretch to Monday. Thanks to all who participated in the Challenge. We may have to put on our thinking caps to come up with other variations on this as it’s a great exercise to get everyone thinking creatively and work with loglines, both critical for a screenwriter.