Logline Madness 2020

Genre Finals – Drama & Thriller

Judges: Scott Carr, Adam Kolbrenner, Daniel Seco

Below are the loglines designated as the top four (4) in the drama and horror/thriller genres. The top logline chosen for both genres will move on to the Championship Round, as determined by the judges.

Drama Genre Finalists

1) Black Russian by Danielle Motley (TV) – A Black woman unknowingly acts as a Russian sleeper agent while under involuntary hypnosis and must discover who’s controlling her before the alternate personality kills someone she loves.

Judge Scott Carr: Solid concept. Suggests a potent dilemma for the character and suggests there’s intrigue and action/drama. It would need to distinguish itself from conceptual spy thrillers like Bourne, which set a high bar, so the execution will really matter.

Judge Adam Kolbrenner: Russian stories are hard but also not sure I understand why they would want to use hypnosis to control someone into being a russian spy – and how that would even work.

Judge Daniel Seco: A bit too wordy and too much going on. A stripped down revision of this would make for a compelling concept.

2) Starlet by Sara Ataiiyan (TV) – Former teen star Madison Jacobs is penniless and desperate to get her career back but must contend with her addictions, family secrets and her younger sister’s emerging career that threatens to overshadow her comeback.

Judge Scott Carr: Pretty stock conflicts for a family drama. There’s potential for a relatable empathetic protagonist, but it all needs to be on the page since it’s so low concept.

Judge Adam Kolbrenner: Very familiar story, not sure there is much to do here. Would need to have a better twist that we haven’t seen before.

Judge Daniel Seco: Clean, simple and to the point albeit overly familiar and generally lacking in immediate urgency.

3) Post Mortem by Travis Carr (TV) – After a fateful accident, a desperate funeral home director tries to save his failing business by killing citizens of his sleepy small town, convincing himself it’s all for the sake of his family.

Judge Scott Carr: Clever irony to the idea, with a compelling moral dilemma for the character. Nailing the tone will matter as a drama, given it’s such an extreme action to take to save one’s business, it sounds like the idea for a black comedy.

Judge Adam Kolbrenner: Could be interesting – Breaking Bad in tone.

Judge Daniel Seco: Very well done. Immediacy and urgency that hook my attention and allow me to visualize the project.

4) Voodoo Macbeth by Daren Wagar (Feature) – A young Orson Welles contends with racial tensions, a drunk lead actor and his own ego as he tries to stage Macbeth with an all black cast in 1930s Harlem.

Judge Scott Carr: If it’s based on a true account, there’s potential in the idea because it could be actor bait if well executed. If it’s not a true story, don’t see any commercial appeal and it feels like it’s trying too hard to be relevant with the black cast angle.

Judge Adam Kolbrenner: Could be interesting but period pieces are very hard to get made and everyone has a Orson Welles story.

Judge Daniel Seco: Great concept that’s conveyed in an easily digestible manner. Nicely done.

The logline selected as the best of the Drama genre and moving on to the Championship Round:

#3 Post Mortem by Travis Carr (TV)


Horror/Thriller Genre Finalists

1) Jacqueline/Hyde by Matthew Bryan (TV) – After being attacked, a by the book cop receives a heart transplant from her brother, a brilliant surgeon on death row. When she awakens, she discovers she can now see, hear and speak to her dead brother while solving crimes – but if her heart rate gets too high, he takes over her body and goes outside the law to pursue his own brand of justice.

Judge Scott Carr: It’s a neat idea but sounds very far-fetched and somewhat contrived. Will really need to sell the buy-in well for the idea to hold up.

Judge Adam Kolbrenner: Very unique take. Jekyll & Hyde meets LAST CHRISTMAS.

Judge Daniel Seco: Way too much going on that distracts from what could be a compelling logline.

2) Log by Alison Parker (Feature) – A weekend of debauchery turns to terror for a group of friends staying at an old lumberjack camp when a bloodthirsty log springs to life and embarks on a murderous rampage.

Judge Scott Carr: It’s an original way into a familiar horror setup, but sounds like a horror/comedy with such a silly notion of a log coming to life and killing people. As a thriller, it will really need to stick the landing on the page to not come off ridiculous.

Judge Adam Kolbrenner: Started off sounding super cool but I think the log coming to life and killing everyone is a stretch.

Judge Daniel Seco: Quirky from a conceptual standpoint, but a well-executed logline that sets expectations for the project.

3) Humboldt Cut by Allison Mick (Feature) – In the forest where her grandfather was murdered 50 years ago, a suicidal woman leads a search party for her missing brother. In the woods she battles nature, mental illness, and a supernatural evil none of them could have imagined.

Judge Scott Carr: Sounds like it has potential for a redemptive arc and some good scares. The conflict is too vague though; could use some more specificity the source of the evil.

Judge Adam KolbrennerCould be interesting but I would remove the suicidal part – I think just her going into the wood to track her brother and coming into contact with outside forces could be cool – maybe there is a deeper -more sadistic reason her grandpa died out there (aka maybe he wasn’t killed but lived out there killing others or etc.)

Judge Daniel Seco: There’s a lot going on here. I’d try to simplify it so the reader knows what to focus on heading into the script.

4) All the Evil by Joel Justin Joseph (TV) – Haunted by the disappearance of his childhood friend, a true crime novelist must piece together the puzzle behind an urban legend from his youth, a masked boogeyman involved in a series of grisly drownings.

Judge Scott Carr: Pretty stock setup and concept for a horror film. If the mystery is clever and satisfying, it could distinguish itself in the execution, but idea is too pat to grab attention.

Judge Adam Kolbrenner: Could be interesting – but very similar to the new APPLE TV show that came out.

Judge Daniel Seco: Clean, clear and to the point but able to add significant details that help differentiate the project in a meaningful way.

The logline selected as the best of the Horror/Thriller genre and moving on to the Championship Round:

#1 Jacqueline/Hyde by Matthew Bryan (TV)


The Logline Madness 2020 WINNER will be announced in an upcoming article. Thank you to all writers who submitted loglines and congratulations to those moving on to the final round of the competition!

Semi-Finals, Drama (results):  https://www.scriptsandscribes.com/2020/05/logline-madness-2020-semi-finals-drama/

Semi-Finals, Horror/Thriller (results): https://www.scriptsandscribes.com/2020/05/logline-madness-2020-semi-finals-thriller/

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