Yet writers still continue to mix them up.
Interestingly, some writers are beginning to hit back with “So what?” these days when challenged at pitches, etc. Their tagline is cool, they might say – or it gives a “flavour” of the tone of the story.
Both of the above may well be true. But there’s one thing a tagline does NOT do – and that’s TELL US WHAT THE STORY IS.
When you pitch or submit your screenplay to a producer, agent, or even a script reader like me, the logline is your first impression. This means it’s your first chance to tell us what your story is. If you do not do that, you may well lose that producer, agent’s or reader’s interest. Yes, they may still request your script. But I bet you it won’t be with the enthusiasm they might had you really “wowed” them with your logline. It also means that, if a reader wants to check back from your script and try and assess what *your* story intentions are, they can’t do this if you haven’t included a proper logline. It’s a double whammy of missed opportunities.
If you really love taglines, there’s no reason you can’t include one as well. But don’t do it INSTEAD OF the logline.
If you don’t know the difference between loglines and taglines or want to double-check/see examples, here you go again.