Logline Madness 2020
First Round – Comedy
Judge: Lee Jessup
There were a total of 425 qualified submissions to the Logline Madness 2020 Competition. All Patreon donors were allowed to submit one logline that was automatically promoted to the first round of judging. Loglines submitted via Discord were voted upon publicly online and the nine (9) receiving the most votes were promoted to the first round of judging. Loglines submitted via Discord that were not promoted via the online vote, along with those submitted via email, were given to the selection committee of ten (10) writers, who then decided the remainder of the loglines to compete in the first round based on a vote.
A few loglines were missing required information (title, author, genre, medium, etc.) or the same author submitted multiple loglines and as stipulated by the rules of the competition, and may have been disqualified.
Below are the loglines designated as the top twenty-four (24) in the Drama genre by the selection committee and online vote. The twelve (12) loglines chosen to move on to the Semi-Final round, as determined by the judge, are listed at the bottom.
1) Grim and Her by Brendon Udy (Feature) – When Death loses his ability to reap souls he teams up with his next victim, a plucky life coach, in order to regain his powers and prevent the end of the world.
Judge’s Feedback: While I like the concept, my concern is that, today, we are making much more relationship-driven/character-driven comedies, with few fantastical concepts. The challenge with a concept like this is the world and rule building. While I’ve read a few comedies entrenched in such characters/worlds that I absolutely loved, I find it hard to get universal sign off on them.
2) Momentous by Ana Maria Defillo (TV) – When her estranged sister mysteriously disappears, a socially anxious cynic goes undercover the last place her sister was spotted – a culty self-help group.
Judge’s Feedback: Oooh I love this! While it certainly sounds quirky and offbeat (potentially indie???) this sounds like a lot of fun, with some great family history/relationship/dynamics to dig into, not too mention the culty world of self help, which can always be great fun! Be careful not to turn self-help into a caricature though; for a lot of people, it has a lot of meaning!
3) Legs Out by Ramya Mogallapu (Feature) – After a know-it-all movie theater employee finds herself in the midst of a movie piracy scandal, she becomes determined to figure out which one of her prank obsessed, social media crazy, co-workers is the true culprit.
Judge’s Feedback: This one is just not grabbing me. The industry, as a general, does not like making movies about the industry, or elements of the industry, and the world of film exhibition/piracy can certainly fall into that. That said, there may still be a more exciting version of this logline so… I wouldn’t give up on it just yet!
4) Back From Avalon by Amy Wen (TV) – A wealthy high school mean girl falls off a cliff and ends up in 5th century Britain. Now seen as a poor, uneducated foreigner, she must survive the animosity of the locals, invading Angles, and the spoiled teenage King Arthur with nothing but her wits.
Judge’s Feedback: As nervous as I am about time-traveling comedies, I do like this one, as it both takes our character out of the world she’s grown overly-comfortable and into a world and circumstance that challenges her, as well as bringing in some historical figures, which is always fun! I love that our protag has to figure her way out, relying on her smarts rather than her wits. This is bringing up shades of Pleasantville for me, always a good throw back!
5) Follow the Leader by Sara Beil (Feature) – A down-on-her-luck science fiction novelist becomes an accidental messiah when her latest book is mistakenly placed in the non-fiction section.
Judge’s Feedback: I would love to know more about our protagonist, and what she’s driving towards in this movie.
6) Rehab Beach by Damon Clark (TV) – After a drug related accident, a Hollywood actress is sentenced to 6 months in rehab, but when she gets to her Malibu Beach rehabilitation center she finds out the party is just starting.
Judge’s Feedback: I don’t know that, at this time, audiences are flocking to see movies about successful people, especially Hollywood types, living the good life even in the worst of times (i.e. a Malibu rehab). Ultimately, it’s just not a movie that I would want to see.
7) Resting Bitch Face by Dana Braziel-Solovy (TV) – When a people-pleasing starlet loses her ability to fake a smile and, with it, her shot at ingenue roles—she must learn to embrace her inner bitch, onstage and in real life.
Judge’s Feedback: While it holds true that Hollywood doesn’t love making content about Hollywood types (unless Mark Whalberg or Ryan Murphy are involved), I do like this concept, for the “LIAR LIAR” feel of it all: a protagonist who is no longer able to hide their most innate instincts, and instead embrace them.
8) Average Mom by Cathy Lynn Yonek (TV) – After inheriting a rehab center for ex-cons, a single mother must learn to balance a wholesome family life and her addiction to saving bad guys.
Judge’s Feedback: This is a fun concept! I love the juxtaposition of innocent kids with rehabbing bad guys. I would be careful though that our single mother is not a wholly reactive character; we want to make sure that she has her own goals and stakes driving her.
9) Friday Night Death Slot by Jasmine Elist & Connor Tkachuk (TV) – In order to boost their ratings, an All-American family with a reality TV show on the verge of cancellation cook up a storyline that could save their show, but threatens to risk their lives in the process.
Judge’s Feedback: While I am unsure that audiences are interested in seeing more Kardashian types (isn’t one such family enough?) I do love the idea of a family desperate enough to hang on to its status to go to such extreme measures, as it can breed a ton of fun and misguided storylines, and, let’s be honest, don’t we all love having such characters humbled?
10) The Eve by Gerrard Hartland (Feature) – After accidentally running over a fake Santa, a single mom learns she’s been cursed for the festive season and has until Christmas Eve to prove she is the holidays greatest champion.
Judge’s Feedback: This concept does show some promise, and is positioned for some fun story escalations and challenges for our single mom. I love the ticking clock (xmas around the corner) and appreciate the curse, which amounts to a single “big lie” that we should be able to buy into for the duration of such a movie.
11) How Sheep Get Away With Murder by Vincent Ivory (TV) – When a farm owner is murdered at his farm house, an investigation ensues that yields no human suspects. Now, the investigation turns to a farm of talking animals who attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the authorities.
Judge’s Feedback: While I do worry that this concept will not be able to sustain over multiple season, and that the novelty of talking animals will wear off, I do love the whimsy of this concept!
12) Mad Rush by Manfred Lopez Grem (Feature) – Two dueling Vogue interns almost cause the complete collapse of Western Civilization when one of them “borrows” the wrong dress from work.
Judge’s Feedback: There’s lots to love here: The world, the competitive nature of such a high profile internship, and some of the themes that I am sure would come up in the work. However, I am not sure that I buy – or would buy in a script – that borrowing the wrong dress could cause the collapse of a civilization. In order to pull this off, the writer has to make sure that the story itself never gets too outlandish so that we are able to buy into the ride beginning to end.
13) Chasing Heaven by Patrick Makin (Feature) – After being thrown out of Heaven, an egotistical philanderer must get himself killed if he is to return to Paradise, but getting yourself killed isn’t easy when you’re stuck in a peace-loving Amish community!
Judge’s Feedback: This is the one I had the hardest time with. I went back to it a number of times and feel like I need more information for this one to galvanize into something that could be perceived as a movie, rather than a sketch.
14) Aliens Are Assholes by Micah McFarland (Feature) – When a human-obsessed alien crash lands in a curmudgeonly park ranger’s cabin, they must work together to save humanity from the rest of her species.
Judge’s Feedback: I love the title, right off the bat! Even though I am not usually one for big outlandish concepts, this one reads like it can be a lot of fun! It’s definitely one I would check out.
15) The Bump by Casey Gates Frey (TV) – In an alternate-present reality where all men have become barren (turns out cell phones in pockets were a bad idea), couples must audition for a reality show called THE BUMP to compete for the greatest prize of all: insemination.
Judge’s Feedback: This one just doesn’t do it for me. Too much world-building for a few laughs, and, with many people today struggling to conceive, I am wondering whether this is timely or tone deaf…
16) How To Snatch A Crown by Dan Hass (Feature) – A mangy band of drag queens plot the ultimate revenge fantasy — infiltrating the ball of the season to tear down the evil queen who stepped on their tucks on her way to the top.
Judge’s Feedback: Outlandish, but fun for sure! There is a lot of larger-than-life (literally and figuratively) elements in drag; I hope that this script gives us all of those, as well as the more intimate, real, authentic moments that can take this script beyond “comedy ensues… “
17) Out of Touch by Frazer Vella (Feature) – After a long-standing MP loses his seat in Parliament, he goes on a wild ride of drugs, alcohol and mishaps to find the meaning of life.
Judge’s Feedback: We all love to see Brits let loose and know that such events can offer fertile ground for comedy, so, if well executed, this cold be a fun ride!
18) Kitty Stardust & The Corner Store by Ilene A Fischer & Diana Cherkas (TV) – Retired stripper Kitty Stardust returns to her Puritanical hometown of Chippwitch, Massachusetts to take over her parents’ shop. With a few changes.
Judge’s Feedback: Yes! Sounds like a fun, fish-out-of-water, female empowerment screenplay. If done well, balancing strength and determination with vulnerability and candor, this should be a screenplay that could garner some interest!
19) Guide To Being A Go(o)d Parent by Mike Beddoes & Amy Clarke (TV) – A couple in their 30’s with no plans or desire to have children, get their Godparent status activated when their best friends die in a tragic accident.
Judge’s Feedback: Because we’ve seen protagonist-inherits-kids movies and TV shows before (there were a slew of them in the 90’s and early 2000’s, this is something that will have to deliver a freshness in execution in order for the material to stand out.
20) Hounds & Dicks by Michael Gutierrez (TV) – A mockumentary found footage comedy following an amateur detective as she investigates the disappearance of a ’90s kids television star and discovers his co-stars, gearing for a reboot, might be involved.
Judge’s Feedback: While it continues to be true that Hollywood does not love making content about its own industry (unless made by Ryan Murphy, of course), I love the concept of the mockumentary and the 90’s TV starts – there could be some good nostalgia there!
21) Making Enemies by Adam S. Kantor (TV) – After a deceptively amicable breakup, a stand-up comedian and popular podcaster begin to paint each other as real-life antagonists in their respective material, jeopardizing both their public images and personal relationships.
Judge’s Feedback: This is a fun concept but I am wondering if it might be better suited for film. While the fun back-and-forth can be great to watch for a few episode, I am not sure how this continues to hold our interest 3 seasons in.
22) She Brews by Esther Agulian Carr (Feature) – A down-on-her-luck scientist meets an old Scottish grandmother who introduces her to the male dominated world of competitive craft beer brewing.
Judge’s Feedback: I always love seeing new worlds we’ve yet to explore on screen (competitive craft beer brewing), so this is one that would definitely have my interest!
23) The Cat of Versailles by Hilary Van Hoose (TV) – An immortal cat narrates stories of his whimsical adventures throughout France’s history to an American girl living abroad.
Judge’s Feedback: Who is the audience for this? It seems like a kids’ show rather than a prime-time episodic. But, if intended for a younger viewing episode, it could be fun!
24) Oreo by Aleisha Hull (TV) – Oreo is a coming of age story about an awkward black teen from the hood who struggles with the duality between the culture she grew up in and the predominantly white high school she now attends.
Judge’s Feedback: I don’t know how funny it sounds, but it does sound interesting!
The loglines selected as the best 12 and moving on to the Semi-Final Round:
#2 Momentous / #7 Resting Bitch Face / #10 The Eve / #11 How Sheep Get Away With Murder
#12 Mad Rush / #14 Aliens Are Assholes / #16 How To Snatch A Crown / #17 Out of Touch
#18 Kitty Stardust & The Corner Store / #20 Hounds & Dicks/ #23 The Cat of Versailles / #24 Oreo
The other First Round loglines (Horror/Thriller) will be announced in a forthcoming article. Thank you to all writers who submitted loglines and congratulations to those moving on to the next round of the competition!Find us here: