I keep hearing about the “high concept” idea and I want one. There are lists to follow and statements out there that are supposed to make this all clear to us as writers. I’ll share what I’ve learned, but does it really explain what everyone is talking about?
I kinda hope if I pick a title that it is catchy. Think of some of the titles that stick in your minds: Legally Blonde, Jurassic Park, Santa Clause. I admit they are pretty good and they do give you a clear understanding on what the story is about.
The loglines above are linked back to the page I quoted them from. Check it out if you’d like to read more about the movies.
It turns out they are more vague and to the point than my previous post suggested. Here I get the catchy logline, and I still remember “Life finds a way.” That one I believed. The other two I smile when I read them, but do they summarize the whole story?
Yeah, I think they do, but I didn’t notice until I stopped to think about it.
When I posted my spiel about loglines it was . . . good vs evil and what might happen if good doesn’t win. I’m wondering if I should rethink this.
An idea that touches or appeals to the masses, then add a your own twist.
Okay I can see this with Santa Clause because it answered tons of questions I’ve had since I was a kid. I did find Tim Allen very likeable, and easy to watch. The way he played the character made the bad stuff funny. Legally Blonde, I loved it too. I can’t say why. Was it revenge or that it took trying to keep a man undeserving of her before she truly realized her worth? And Jurassic Park had so many likeable characters, but it was much more terrifying.
I remember a young friend of mine asked me if he could go to Jurassic Park and he didn’t mean the movie. I told him if he went he would be an h’orderve and he didn’t understand. I finally said, “Honey, to a dinosaur you are just cheese and crackers.” Well, the little guy just laughed and laughed. Even after that he was still willing to take a chance. Now that is appeal
Well, I did see some high stakes during Jurassic Park, lives were on the line and Santa Clause had Christmas and believing in magic on the line, but Legally Blonde—not so much. Okay, so I don’t remember. Shoot me. 🙂
So what movies, or stories did you come across that fill all the requirements? Do you think the Harry Potter books did? How about the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Do you have an opinion on why some missed the mark? I’d like to hear about it. As a writer I really need to know.