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BLT’s — Blurbs, Loglines and Teasers

I’m fascinated by blurbs, loglines and media teasers. Of course, they’re three different things.

  • Blurb — Quotes from an author, publisher, reviewer, fans, or from the book / movie itself; fodder for posters, back covers and DVD jackets.
  • Logline — A one sentence summary of the plot; boils down essential characters / elements; usually includes an emotional hook or unanswered question.
  • Teaser — Punchy, provocative quips, one-liners, play-on-words, visual trailers to create interest.

BLT’s are all designed to do the same thing — draw consumers. Because of this, they’re often audacious, risqué, funny or mysterious. For instance, a teaser line for Zombie Strippers promised

They’ll dance for a fee
But devour you for free

Which really whets my appetite. Not! But I guess that’s what BLT’s are aiming to do — sift the audience. For instance, a blurb that states,

“If you liked The Wedding Planner…”

immediately lets me know I’ll be avoiding that flick. Likewise, anything endorsed by Oprah or Larry King garners immediate censure from my library.

Either way, a good logline can make all the difference. One that states:

During the Great Depression, a boy joins a traveling circus and discovers a mysterious new world

is not nearly as interesting as

During the Great Depression, a boy joins a traveling circus where he and a blind trapeze artist discover a mysterious portal guarded by a Lithuanian dwarf and her robot

The movie may or may not be good, but a creative logline can, at least, pique my interest.

Henceforth, in my dogged pursuit of creative genius (i.e., unrelenting absurdity), I am introducing a regular feature at this here website that I’m calling BLT’s (at least, until I can come up with a better title), wherein I will highlight notable blurbs, loglines or teasers from the world of film and literature.

My inaugural entry is culled from the LA Times Calendar summary of the new movie Mister Lonely. It goes like this:

A forlorn Michael Jackson impersonator falls for a faux Marilyn Monroe and follows her to a compound in the Scottish Highlands while something miraculous happens in Latin America.

Fake celebrities. Scottish compounds. Latin miracles. How can you not be intrigued? At the least, the film serves notice to fans of Jocko and Norma Jean, all of whom appear to be trapped in some bizarre time warp.

Tags: faith and politics, movies, marketing

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