Scripts & Scribes – Logline Madness 2015
Judge: Christopher Lockhart, WME
The following loglines were chosen as the top five (5) in the drama category and the logline selected as the best will move on to the semi-finals.
301 by Douglas Warne (feature) – When a man’s daughter is abducted in the hallway outside their shared apartment, he becomes obsessed with finding the kidnapper who he believes must be one of the building’s twelve eccentric tenants.
Impressions: Any parent would become “obsessed” if their child were kidnapped, so the word choice feels obvious and superfluous, and the set-up perfunctory. The idea that the kidnapper might be a tenant in the building gives this a contained element that could be interesting. But that element isn’t put to clever use in the logline. I’m not sure I see the movie here. Does he call the police? Is there a ticking clock? Is he knocking on tenants’ doors or kicking them in? The logline doesn’t need to spell all this out, but it needs to infer more information that enables me to see the movie. I’m not sure what the protagonist does after his daughter is kidnapped. The protagonist is simply labeled “a man” – giving us no idea as to how he might interact with the story. In TAKEN, for example, Liam Neeson isn’t just “a man,” he’s a former black ops agent – which gives us greater insight as to how that character will impact the narrative. Who is your protagonist? This helps me envision who might be cast in that kind of role. There’s some intrigue here, but, ultimately, this logline doesn’t quite sell it.
MEN AND WOMEN MERELY PLAYERS by Ellis Christopher (feature) – An abused sister of a school shooter develops a sense of purpose and friendship as her story is brought public by a Congresswoman with ulterior motives.
Impressions: What the fuck does “develops a sense of purpose and friendship” mean? A logline needs to interpret that poetic claptrap into something that’s dramatic and cinematic. The logline continues to be vague with the Congresswoman’s “ulterior motives.” Is there anything else you DON’T want to tell us? Loglines are designed to provide information – not to be vague, coy or secretive. Full disclosure and specificity is the name of the game. Is there something compelling in the sister’s story? Why isn’t that information included in the logline? Why are we interested in her story rather than, let’s say, a parent of a victim? This is devoid of conflict and forward momentum. While the sister might be an interesting character, the logline fails to bring her to dramatic life here. This logline doesn’t convey a movie to me.
WAITING FOR EVER AFTER by April Austin (TV) – An one hour anthology dramedy series that goes against a variety of romantic comedy clichés, including the best friend pact, “the one”, just friends, career girl, the sidekick and the damsel in distress, by exploring different character relationships as they try to get to the happy part and have a tough time figuring out when their ever after begins.
Impressions: I don’t see a TV show here. As an anthology series, does it have a different cast every week? Is it a “cliché of the week” series? (TV is about characters first.) A series can be difficult to pitch in a logline – but this seems particularly vague and muddled.
THE UNITED DIVIDE by Holt Hunziker (TV) – At the height of the U.S.’s 2nd Civil War the President enacts the Sherman Plan in a bloody last ditch effort to keep the U.S. as a united government.
Impressions: I’m not a fucking historian. I don’t have a clue what the “Sherman Plan” is – which means I’m in the dark about the most important part of the logline. And I’m not going to Google it either, so this is PASS.
SHORE LEAVE by Joseph Woods (feature) – A deserter returns home to get revenge on his best friend who set him up for murder after his high school graduation.
Impressions: I don’t understand this. Is he going to kill the friend? Or is he going to create some elaborate scheme (like in THE STING) to bring him down? Why does he need, at least, 90 pages to do what he needs to do? Has he just been charged with the crime? Is that why he’s deserting? (Is he in the Navy?) What does high school have to do with anything? Is the character 19 or 49? We have no clues as to who this character is. As a result, this suffers from the same kind of protagonist-anonymity as 301 by Douglas Warne. This seems to offer up the wrong information and fails to convey who the protagonist is and what he’s up against. There is some indication of a movie here, but not enough to sell me.
BEST – Drama
- 301 by Douglas Warne (feature)
The top drama logline moves on to the semi-finals to compete for one of two spaces in the final round.
Congratulations to Douglas Warne for winning the Drama Bracket in the 2015 Scripts & Scribes Logline Madness Contest!
Thanks to all who participated.
Next up: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/War – Round 2
Previous results –
Round 2: ComedyFind us here: