How to Write a Premise and Logline - Screenwriting Course | Emilio Suárez | Skillshare

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How to Write a Premise and Logline - Screenwriting Course

teacher avatar Emilio Suárez, Actor, screenwriter

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project's first question - Someone

    • 3. What is a Story?

    • 4. Project's second question - The World

    • 5. What is The Truth?

    • 6. Project's third question - Believe

    • 7. What is a Premise?

    • 8. Project's fourth question - Fear

    • 9. How to find inspiration for your Premise

    • 10. Anecdote

    • 11. What is a Logline?

    • 12. How to write a Logline?

    • 13. Project

    • 14. Conclusion

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About This Class

This online Screenwriting Course will teach you how to write your logline for your next story.

This course is designed to teach you, not only the steps and basics of writing a logline but what a story is and what it means for you and the audience. While there are plenty of video courses, it's hard to find a comprehensive course that teaches you everything you'd want to know about being a writer. 

In this course, you'll learn:

  • What is a story
  • What is the Truth
  • What is a premise
  • How to find inspiration for your premise
  • What is a logline
  • How to write a logline
  • Class excercises

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a pro. It's always great to find new ways to improve our writing.

If you want to learn how to write a screenplay and understand the importance of storytelling, this is the course for you.

Enroll today, and I'll see you in the course.

Meet Your Teacher

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Emilio Suárez

Actor, screenwriter


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1. Introduction: Hello, everybody. And welcome to this screenwriting course about premise on local eyeing. My name is Emilio Suarez, and I'm from Puerto Rico now are being studying not only screenwriting but the meaning off stories for more than 10 years. In this course, you're going to learn what is a premise. Ah, logline And how to write both of them in the same way you can learn how to know yourself better to become or start becoming a writer. And if you're ready, a writer how to maybe improve a little bit more on your writing life in these course we're gonna be discussing what is the story? What Issa premise, How to find inspiration for a premise. What is a lot line and how to write out a lot line. Of course, we're gonna have a project, but the president's gonna be divided in between classes. So you're gonna be working on your project for the class since the beginning. You're gonna get some questions that you're gonna be answering, and at the end you're just going to upload the results of your project. That would be, of course, writing a love line or, as many look lines up you want, You're gonna get feedback for your luck glands, and you can give feedback back so you can know how may be interesting is your look line or what people respect your story is going to be with that bloodline. Now, this course is for everybody. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner, you have never written anything in your life. Or if you're just a pro and 12 maybe look for some muse or some inspiration to keep on writing in your life. So just a roll and I'll see you in the next video. 2. Project's first question - Someone: now. Welcome back, everybody. And let's start with your excitement. Now, the first thing that I want you to do is to answer this simple question. Now, the the answer for this question do don't have toe upload. It is going to be on Lee for you. You have to know yourself better. And maybe the questions are gonna be a little bit weird. But believe me, it's gonna pay off in the love line. And not only in that look line, but the rest of the story in your entire screenplay. OK, so the question is, tell me something, or maybe tell yourself something that you always want to say to someone. But you haven't. Okay, now there are some rules about this. First, you haven't tell that because either you're scared or because your thing, it's stupid or because you don't want the outcome. A are what kind of outcome that you're going to spend your want it. Those are the the primary things. It's something that's holding you back on. Doesn't let you or you don't let yourself tell that thing that you want to say to somebody Now, it wouldn't be as effective if this that you want to say You want to say to somebody that's not with you anymore that say is somebody that has died because that would be that you're not saying it because it's not here anymore that the deal with this is that you don't want to say it even if the prisoners the other corner of the workers, you can talk to the person by a letter or Internet or phone whatever. But you don't want to say that you want to say it. We didn't know how to. Doesn't have to be just a line can be a paragraph B n s save you want. Try to make it a short as you can And if you write a lot, try to crop it down to maybe one sentence. Okay, Now, don't think about how to say it, like in that funny way or a dramatic way or a terrifying way, because that's the chimera that you want to work with. That doesn't matter Here. Okay, be truthful with what you want to say. Say what you believe is the truth. Okay, be honest. That's the only thing that you should be worried about being honest. Okay, if what you say gets out in a funny way. That was because it just got out in that funny way now because you were trying to do it in that way. So that's gonna be the first thing just just right. It anywhere you want in a notebook or on your computer. And we're gonna keep on working on that. Answer two, Your final project. We'll see you in the next video. 3. What is a Story?: Hello, everybody. And welcome back. We're going to discuss what is the story? I'm not gonna keep you the very details in a very definition way. That's for another course. But for now, this is what you need to know. What? Least for start working on your luck land and your premise stories about change story. It's a big change gave You see the end off a story and you go back to the beginning. You're going to see a huge difference either in the character, mostly in the character, but can be a change also in the society around it. The ambiance, a lot of things Now that change, that big change is irreversible. Whatever change occurred in the climax of your story can be reversible. Gay doesn't matter what it is. You can reverse things. Another changes in your story, but not here. Okay, that's very important. Now you can tell a story about anything you want. You have the time itself, the space itself toe work with Let's say, from the beginning, off time until the end of time and your imagination, you can write about anything in any specific way. Now, when you talk about one character's moment in life. One little story that you want tell this matter how big it is. Maybe you start your story with the beginning, since he was born until he died or she was poor until she died. You still have things from the back and the future. The changes that that character made are going to continue and that Carter came from somewhere. Their parents grand patterns. What about if it's a robot? Somebody built that robot and that personal build that robot had parents have grand parents who built that character is specific way. So in their minds, they wanted to build rollback. Okay, see, you understand it. Now maybe you want to create a story based on your life or in your friend's life. You don't need to put everything every single minute that happened with something spectacular that happen to you or to somebody that, you know, to make it truthful. Okay, to make it look real. Stories are not about being riel. Stories are about truths. Okay? Stories are about what changes happen in somebody's life in that space between the beginning and end off time. So you want to tell specific things about one little thing that you want to to talk about in your story. Okay, stories, a server, McKee says. I metaphors for life. And this is where we're going to be discussing next video about the truth. What is the truth? Which is a very important part in on artist life, So we'll see you in the next video. 4. Project's second question - The World: Hello, everybody. And welcome back. Let's go to the second question there. You're gonna be answering for your love line at the end. Now, this is the question that they're gonna have the same rules about honesty about Don't worry how funny you want to write it or how dramatic you want to write it. Just answer the questions as truthfully as you can. OK? Now I want you to ride something that you want to say to the world. Imagine yourself in this big place on the top of the biggest mountain with a microphone on every single human being in the world can hear you can understand you doesn't matter what language they talk. That microphone that magic microphone can even talking like sign language. Okay. And you want to say something? Something that you want to say to the world Now, don't think about something that you want to say, So everybody's gonna like you. I don't think also something that you can say that everybody's gonna hate you. You are not looking for a feet back off the people. You just want to say something that it's inside of you, that you want the whole world to world to listen. Think about it, right? As much as you can't and compresses a smush as you can. Maybe one sentence and I'll see you in the next video. 5. What is The Truth?: Hello, everybody. And now we're gonna be talking about what is the truth for artists. Truth is not actually something that happens. Like I say, this is a pan, and that's the truth, because it's a pen. So working pen. Uh, but we're not talking about that kind of truth. We're talking about the truth that we used in writing or in any kind off art form. Truth is not what happens. Truth is not what it is. Truth is, what with thing about that other thing that happens, Let's make an example of this. You're in the street and, um, there's a car of crossing our red light very, very hight speed and Intacs another car. And you're washing that. You know what's happening? That car GIs when ah, very fast across the red light and hit another car. If the police go to you and ask you what happened, you just tell them exactly that that could be seen as a truth but in art for in writing. Truth is what you think about that then happened. Okay, if you take that same scene and put it in a movie, for example Ah, let's say our protagonist is the one who crosses the red light. And most of the time you're gonna be the site of the protagonist. You're gonna understand why that happened. Maybe it's trying to prevent somebody for from dying. Maybe he's or her son was kidnapped. And was I just rushing to, Ah, point of meeting, Um, maybe trying to save the world, whatever it happened. True, it's what you think. If you were in that same situation and you understand every single aspect of that character and that character is thrown into some sort off situation, whatever situation it is, how do you think that person will react? That's why when you are doing research, you're going to places to shake how everything works. You want to write something about education, so you go to different schools and try to find out how that system works, and you read a lot and do all of that research so you can understand how the education in your country works. Then you put a character, and that character has some believes, some values that character came from somewhere with a point of view of life. When those two parts clash, maybe because there are schools they're going to close, and that character works in one of those schools. Or maybe that character doesn't even care about schools, doesn't even have Children to go to school. But that Kurt from nose, the importance of that's little school that's going to close and it started doing things, whatever it takes, used to save one school. And maybe it's going to break the law. Would you believe that? Truth as if that person come from somewhere specific with certain values, certain experiences in life and then a school near closest. Do you believe that character would do that? That's truth. That's the truth. You put a character in the situation and you show the world. How do you think the world works? How do you think those characters in those situations and characters remember our metaphors for humanity? So do you think the humanity certain person, well, reacting that way because of that? What happened? That's why we have to do research and research is not Onley rating or asking questions research. It's leaving life research. It's going outside and see the world how it works and how do you believe it works the best or how do you believe, or how do you think certain things will work? What will happen? It other events occur? That's what's true. It's a little bit confusing, I know. But during the course and discourse and the rest of the courses, you're gonna be understanding that more you're gonna be understanding how things work in life. Judum put anything in the story that you don't really believe in. You put something in the story that you really believe them. That doesn't mean you can put whatever you want in a story and say, Well, my truth, I can put it for want to This is a thesis. A story is a thesis. So you keep on working on that and see how he goes. Now we'll see you in the next video. 6. Project's third question - Believe: Hello, everybody. And welcome to third question for your project. And the question is all the same. Room rules apply. Write something that you believed in. You really, really, truly believe it, you know? Be honest. For example, You believe in war You believe that war kills lots of people. But you believe it's necessary for said certain reasons that you only you have. Ride that down. Okay? Write it down. Write what you're in. What you believe, right? That thing that you believe in and why you believe in that Give us many arguments as you care, right? It save it that we're going to continue in the next video. 7. What is a Premise?: Hello again, everybody. Now we're going to discuss what? Issa premise Gay? Um, it's plain and simple premise. It's an open ended question. It's like, What if? Question that's the premise is what sparks some kind of idea that you're going to translate into a lot line and then you're gonna ride your story. For example, what would happen if somebody who's really, really scared and can stand blood becomes a vampire? That doesn't mean that's the whole story. That's something that got into you and you have it in your head and you want to know more about what would happen if exactly. And that's a premise, So you can imagine how many inspirations you can get from this in a daily basis, anywhere you go, whatever happens to you around you. Even if nothing happens around you, you can get premises all the time. Just keep asking the same question. What would happen if what would happen if and that what would happen? Question usually goes to two things that look like can connect, and that's why you're asking the question. A person who hates blood becomes a vampire who needs blood to live. What would happen not every story is about two things that don't connect Stories, as I said, are about change, about what would happen if something would have any. We got invaded by aliens, like right now, like in this day that you're watching this video, What would you do with all the things that you know with all the movies you have seen about aliens with all the conspiracy theories that are out there, what would you do? Or what would anybody else do, or what with your character based on how you create that current would do? Any of those questions would work very good for a premise. So just go outside and start finding them, and I'll see in the next video. 8. Project's fourth question - Fear: Hello, everybody. Question number four for your project. Write something that you really, really are. Scare off. That terrifies you to death. Write something. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter how big or how small it is. Think and write it and I'll see you in the next video. 9. How to find inspiration for your Premise: Hello, everybody. Now, how do we find inspiration for our premises? Already told you just have to go out. Science, See the world majeste. But how do I do it? What do I do once I'm outside premises, as I said are everywhere in a confession off a dark secret of a friend of yours in a showers. Fancy in an umbrella left out in a car in a lonely person sitting in like a fair being a nightmare in a daydream There are everywhere you just have to look and grab Whatever you think. It's interesting, big things that makes you think Have you ever been sitting somewhere and watch two people talking about something that you can hear? But you're kind of wondering, What would they be talking about? They look like they're fighting there, look like they're in love when they're fighting, skied off a little bit more entertaining. So you start making all those so gestures in your head. That's a beginning off a premise. Okay, now premises awake. Every did not. A writer has inside the some off all the experiences. He can inspire one writer to write one thing, and another writer seats the same thing and inspire it to write a very, very, completely different thing. Because this is a Selma's. I said off all your experiences on How do you see the world? Okay, a premise is that light bulb moment when you say that would make a terrific movie, and then you just go and gives you excitement, too, to be working on that project. That story for months or even years now a premise is not a precious thing as long as it contributes to the story to the telling, Do you keep it? But if one point your story starts going to the left instead of the writer you want to go, then you have to leave it on and follow the story because the story is trying to tell you that that's what I want to say. And it's not like the stories telling you yourself. You are the one telling yourself what you really want to write. But that little premise, even if you don't use it at the end, gave you the light ball gave you the excitement to write a story. I'll see you in the next video 10. Anecdote: Hello, everybody. And this is the final, the fifth and final question before you go to your project. Okay? For this part, what I want you to do, it's go and fight an anecdote. Okay? Goto one of your parents or your grand parents try to go, uh, toe a generation older than you. Like your parents. If you can find an anecdote from your grandparent's better now you don't have anybody. You can maybe ask a friend or the oldest person that you know they can give you some kind of anecdotal. Ask them if there's something that happened in your life that we you can tell me some anecdotal whatever. Record it, right it and keep it cause you're gonna use that for your project. OK, don't invent deciding. Vote yourself is done. That anecdote off. Use an anecdote off somebody else and see how the person tells you that anecdote. Okay, we'll see you then. Thanks. Video 11. What is a Logline?: Hello, everybody. And we're near the end. We're gonna be discussing now what? Issa logline Now, in the same way that most of the people need a trailer to see, how what's the movie is gonna be about how going to look, at least for that same reason. Actors, directors, producers, Amy Body it's gonna need a line about What's your story about? So they could have an idea before they read your script. That's what's so logline. And I know you probably know this already, but just to be more clear, look, lines are a condensed version off your entire story. No saying that is a condensed version. Sounds like you're going to write the whole story and then you're gonna condensed it. You can do that. I have done it. And I have to tell you it's very, very difficult. Teoh condense a story that you've been working on for months or years, which every single aspect of the story, it's important, and you're just trying to not put everything in your love line. Okay, you can do that, but I don't recommend it. Try to do your love line before you write your entire script. Okay, so you can expand it. It's easier to expand that to condense. Have you ever thought about writing a story or happening de fr a story? And you tell that to somebody and somebody ask you there, What's the story about? And you, your start telling everything that happens. Everything that you have notes its story about this guy that the first, it's going to come from a very poor house that you keep on going, going, going, having a local and will help you to just give a straight line. You're writing story. Yes, what it's about. It's about this, and that will help you to know if you're love lines kind of interesting for people. People say I would like to see that movie or I would like to read your novel or your book. That's what's so lovely is the simple is that now we're gonna be working about how to ride a love line, which is pretty easy, but it could take you lots of time to come up with right bloodline. I'll see you in the next video 12. How to write a Logline?: Hello, everybody. How to write a love line? Okay, let's start with this. Forget all the small stuff. Everything that you think is gonna be important so the people can understand what your story is gonna be about. Just forget it. You have put all of those things inside the story already. People will find out once the people go there and watch your movie and see your movie. Okay, That's the lovely the work of the love likeness. Just come and I will give you everything that you want, but you have to go and see it in the theater. Now, one of the first things that you need to write it. It's who's the story about who's your protagonist, okay? Or protagonists, if you have more. But you need to express where we're going to follow in this story. Now we don't need to see how the person looks. We don't need to know the age of the person. We don't need to know. Um, the name of the person you can put it. You can put all of those things, but it's not necessary. Okay, Is it is not unless it's a specific and important thing for the developing off the love line. Gay pride. You need to put all those sticks Now. Remember this? Look, lines are very different. You're going to read love lines all abroad. You're gonna find that they're written different, waiter and go to teach you. Okay, But it's okay with this. With what I'm going to tell you, you're gonna have old equipment that you need to write your logline. Then you can look at other look lanes and start learning and see what catches you. And you can develop your own formula to write your own log lines. But start with this. Let's start with somebody gay, for example. A hesitant prints or shy man, an FBI agent. Those little descriptive things, like the shy part FBI agent has a tent works for us because we start imagining the character we know the characters is hesitant. Prince is a prince, but he's a very hesitant person now. The next thing is what the conflict. What happened to that character that character wants to fix or it needs to get back. And that's the only thing that you need for a lovely a cowboy. Those profoundly jealous with a spaceman figure so plans him as the top toy in a boy's little room. That story story. Okay, you have your character who's describe a certain way, which is a cowboy doll. And then what happens to him? It's gets threatening and gets yellows because a norther toy comes and so plans him and takes he space as the favorite toy in the boys room in Andy's room. That's all that you need to do. Write something like that. You need the character and the moment when the life of the character changes drastically. So it sends him toe on adventure that what you need to put some writers like toe extend the leveling a little bit more like putting some kind off ending. What would happen? What could happen at the end. But it's not necessary Now. If you need examples of this, just go to the international movie database space. That's I m. D b dot com, and under every single movie that you're right there, there's gonna be a logline underneath. Read them and get in touch with those log lines and then start practicing and writing yours . Start thinking about possible loved lines that you can have Now. I'll see you in the projects description so you can go on star writing. Your lovely 13. Project: Hello, everybody. And welcome to the project. Now, this is what you're going to do if you decide to do it. Of course. Remember all those five courses that you have. OK, read them. Read them as many times as you can. Now Gold side and look at things. Go to the park, go to the mall, go to your job, but gold side and see the world. See things with this new idea with all the things that you have learned discourse. Now go and write everything that you see that interest you everything so you can have lots off premises. OK, once you have your premises, at least five premises big the favorite to day. You have your favorite to and work on those. Now take all of those questions. All of those questions that you answered and makes them up into one story makes them up. All those questions with the premise with the first premise. And although quit the questions with second premise and write your logline, you're gonna be You're not gonna believe what kind of locals can come out from that exercise. It's crazy. It's crazy. That's what I did when it was doing my thesis at the university that exact same exercise and I came up with the story that I still love today. Now you don't need to put all the answers in the premise. Now all the answers that you gave its cannot help you to develop a character, a character that we're gonna be developing later in another course Maurin detail. But it can give you an idea of the world off the ambiance off what year it iss everything and you can change things. You don't need to put that thing that you really believed in. Maybe you right the opposite of that. Maybe the anecdote that you got it's an anecdote from are no, a lot of years ago from the 19 fifties. But you don't need to put that in the 19 fifties. You can put it right now play with those things, play with all of them, change the persons that you have in your mind. It was a boy tried a girl, was girl tried a child or just leave it like that. Mix everything up and create your own luck line. Once you do that, you can upload the love lines as many love clings as you want, and it starts seeing what other people think. If it's interesting enough, you'll see. You'll know you can give feedback back now. Enjoy the right import. Enjoy it. This is yours. It's your life. It's your premises. It's your story. Keep on doing it. And I hope you have enjoyed this as much. Decided I'll see you around. 14. Conclusion: So there's the conclusion of the course writing. It's not easy, but it couldn't be fun. You love to write, right? Don't do it because you need to do a job. Do it because you really love this. And then you're gonna find a job. Okay? Writing this about practice, it's about Duin it every single day. Take a time. Taken our take a couple of pages day, two pages, three pages, five pages. It doesn't matter and write whatever it is, whatever it doesn't need to be. Screenplay can be all an essay about the story that you want to write. Maybe you want to write about a character and then your righteous an essay about the fingers of that character with every single day and practice your love lines, OK, breakfast, your love lines, some love links. They're gonna be more better constructed than other ones. But don't worry important things that you know how to ride them, how they work and what they do More than that, those other aspects about the truth about you finding your own truth, okay, working that, that's I think that's the most difficult part because everything else it's kind of a formula that it's about you. And it's very difficult to say things that you maybe don't want to share with the world. But every story needs the truth. Thank you for being here. Any questions that you have just asked them. And I'll answer s many questions if they came and I'll be with you all the way of Julia. Okay. See you around.