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First attested in 1613 as logge-line. A compound of log +‎ line.



logline (plural loglines)

  1. (authorship) A very short summary of a script or screenplay.
    Coordinate term: elevator pitch
    • 2013, Xander Bennett, Screenwriting Tips, You Hack (page 16)
      Screenwriting Tip #12: If you don't know your own logline, you probably don't know what your script is about. Some writers will tell you they don't have a logline. Their screenplay is “too complex” or “too character-driven,” []
    • 2013, Linda Venis, Cut to the Chase: Writing Feature Films with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers' Program, Penguin, →ISBN:
      The first step in outlining is to make sure that your logline, that one-or-two- sentence summary of your movie you first created in chapter 2 (“Jump-starting the Screenplay”), is the best that it can be in capturing what your movie is about now.
  2. (nautical) The line fastened to the log, and marked for finding the speed of a vessel.
    • 1613, Mark Ridley, A Short Treatise of Magneticall Bodies and Motions
      Besides the ingenious Pilot knowing the elevation of the Pole in some places of his voyage that he hath passed, by keeping a true, not a dead reckoning of his course in pricking his Card aright, and observing the way with the logge-line, with other currants, will give a very artificiall conjecture of the elevation of the pole in that place where he is, though he sec neither Sunne nor Starres.
    • 1627, John Smith, A sea grammar with the plaine exposition of Smiths Accidence for young sea-men, enlarged
      Bring the ship to rights, that is, againe under saile as she was, some use a Log line, and a minute glasse to know what way shee makes, but that is so uncertaine, it is not worth the la­bour to trie it.
    • 1659, John Collins, Navigation by the Mariners Plain Scale New Plain'd
      The 120th part of that Mile is 41⅔ feet, and so much is the space betweene the Knots upon the Log-line: So many Knots as the ship runs in half a minute, so many Miles she sayleth in an hour; or so many Leagues, and so many Miles she runneth in a Watch or four hours, called A Watch, because one half of the Ships Company watcheth by turns, and changes every four hours.

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