The art of a great logline: if you suck yourself in, you will never get out

The logical processes behind a fine trailer turn out to be a powerful development tool when a project is struggling to be born.

The best tagline I have ever found is for the first Alien film: ‘In space, no-one can hear you scream.’ I fear the tag for an Australian film about the screen sector would be: ‘In development, no-one can hear you dream.’

Walter Bientz and Anna Churven of Solid State are responsible for the trailers to projects including Ride Like a Girl, Danger Close and The Babadook. They set part of the tone for Screen Forever 2019 with an early session on loglines to maybe a quarter of the delegates, eager to talk about marketing though they were soon talking development. 

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.