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Showing posts from June, 2014

Logline 41 - Piasa

After unknowingly saving the life of a dragon in disguise as a human, a young Cahokian warrior finds himself with the debt of the most powerful creature around. But each time he accepts the beast's aid, he finds himself walking down a darker and darker path.

Weekly Logline Themes are Official

So, I've been thinking about it for a while, and decided that from now on, I'm going to be picking a theme for my loglines each week. It was happening often enough on accident, and now I'll actually be able to deliberately channel the creative energies. Sometimes the themes will be something broad, like "low budget," and sometimes narrow, like "retired superheroes," and sometimes I'll probably let a logline that I really like slide through without meeting the theme. But yeah, that's the idea.

This week's theme: Mythical monsters!

Treatment 7 - Deus Ex Machina

This was a challenging treatment to write. I've had the basics of an idea in my head for a long time, but without ever thinking critically about them, there were a lot of assumptions I had about the story that, as I wrote it, I realized just didn't work. So I had to undecide a lot of decisions I didn't realize I'd made.

In the end, though, I like how it came out. It's not my best treatment, and might be better as a book than a movie, but I think it has the potential to be one of my better stories.

Ranking Loglines 36-40

I'm still happy with titles, though they did give me a little more trouble this week. It also helps me think about the ideas after I've written them by giving me something to hold on to. Remembering what "Logline 39" was about is hard; remembering what "Hell to Pay" was about is easy.

They did give me trouble this week, though. Coming up with titles has stretched the amount of time it takes me to come up with loglines. Not too much, just enough to counter the reduced time it was starting to take now that I've gotten used to it all. And I'm not always happy with what I end up with. But I guess I'll get into that in the breakdown!

Logline 40 - Last Thursday

After discovering that the entirety of the universe was created less than a week ago, with everyone given false memories so that nobody had any idea, a middle-aged loser tries to hunt down the deity or deities responsible to find out why they gave her such an awful life.

I'm moving!

Just a heads-up, I'm moving tomorrow, and my new house won't have internet until Monday. I think I've got everything all set up so you shouldn't notice, but just in case there's any oddities, now you understand why.

On gender of protagonists

I struggled a lot ("a lot" here meaning ~10 minutes) with the genders of this last logline. I wanted it to be a female, if only because the idea seems to suit a male lead in my head and I figure that's more due to my thoughts being set in their ways than the idea actually preferring it. But after writing it out with a female lead, it just didn't look as funny as a male lead. I don't know. Maybe it's just that I'm not a good enough writer, or not creative enough, but for now, I've landed on a man. Maybe I'll change it if I turn it into a treatment, but the logline is finished.

I've tried very hard to default to female protagonists in my ideas, after reading a post on the subject by Xander Bennet. The basic gist of his thinking was that everyone else in Hollywood defaults to male protagonists, and so by defaulting to female you're already standing out - and also it, you know, is a tiny step towards better representation of women in movies.

I…

Logline 38 - Out of Date

After his girlfriend dumps him because he's a fraction of her age, a young man from the future comes back to the present day so he can live with his love while they're the same age; however, he finds life in the past to be more confusing than he suspected.

Logline 36 - BFFs

A retired magical girl reclaims her powers to fight an oncoming Evil, but realizes things will be harder than she thought after finding out out the Evil is one of her old companions.

Treatment 6

I had a lot of fun writing this treatment. Like I said at the start of the week, when I wrote the logline, I was curious about the protagonist's motivations, and it's always fun when your characters take on a life of their own like that.

I really want to wax philosophical about how and why that happens, but this isn't really the place for it. So I'll just get on to the treatment.

For reference, here's the logline that started things: In a future where the entire world is controlled by only two, constantly warring supercountries, a young scientist develops a weapon that could end the war - but rather than give it to her country, wants to use it to establish her own.


Ranking Loglines 31-35

I think adding titles to my loglines helps. It's already not as hard as I feared it would be, and for one of these loglines (not that I can remember which one), the title actually led to the logline, rather than the other way around. So it's helping not just with my titling skills, it's actually helping me with the loglines. So, good job me for doing it! I guess.

Anyway, as for the actual ranking...

Logline 35 - Young

A colony consisting of a few hundred children and teenagers, raised and taught by robots, lives on its own, isolated in a strange world filled with vicious monsters. When the colony is assaulted and hundreds are killed by semi-intelligent beasts, a group of teenagers forms a squad to go eliminate the beasts once and for all.

Logline 34 - Villain

A superheroine is very careful about fighting crime within the law, and is dedicated to keeping her identity secret so that nobody comes after her family. But when her husband and children are discovered and murdered by her arch-nemesis, she chucks the rules out the window and embarks on a campaign of revenge.

Ranking Loglines 26-30

So, in case you hadn't noticed, I've been trying to set written and set up ahead of time so I can have scheduled releases (like stuff posting at midnight), but it hasn't always been working. Well, it's been working fine technically speaking, I'm just having trouble remembering all the things I'm supposed to do, and putting in the wrong times, stuff like that. So that's why you're getting some posts showing up blank at first, some showing up early, some showing up late. I'll get it all figured out sooner or later.

Anyway, this week's loglines were revolution themed, apparently. I like revolution movies, generally speaking, probably because of the scope. Movies about a scrappy rebellion are usually simultaneously massive in scope, and deeply personal; and it's really easy to play those off of each other.

For an easy example, there's Return of the Jedi, which is about Luke trying to redeem his father, and also save the entire galaxy from ty…

Treatment 5

So this doesn't technically have to do with this treatment, but I need to mention somewhere that I started work this last week on a step outline, based on Treatment 4. I really should do a ranking of the treatments sometime; the only trouble is, the ranking is easy: the first is the worst, the last is the best. I was still figuring out the process for the first couple. I'll start ranking them next month, now that I know what I'm doing for all of them.

The goal for step outlines is 20 pages or so, but seeing as this is my first, I'm giving myself plenty of wiggle room. Anywhere from like 10-40 is all I'm really shooting for right now. We'll see what happens, and I'll set firmer guidelines in the future.

Also worth noting is that this treatment is based on Logline 25.

Movie titles

So, in case you hadn't noticed, today's logline has a title attached to it. After thinking about it for a while, I realized the main reason I wasn't doing titles right now was because I'm not great at coming up with them, and that needed to change. Besides, after putting together a logline with a title, I do see how a title can sort of tie everything up in a little bow.

So from now on, I'll be coming up with titles for the loglines. I don't promise they'll be good, but hey! I don't promise anything here will be good, so they'll fit right in.

Logline 30

In a world with supervillains but no superheroes, the sergeant of an anti-supervillain military squad is put in charge of rehabilitating a captured supervillain into a hero.

Logline 29

After a brutal coup on a colony ship, the two children of the former captain are the only ones who can use the DNA-keyed controls. They find themselves hunted by, and soon leading, both the old guard, and the new government, against each other.

Logline 28

In a future where the entire world is controlled by only two, constantly warring supercountries, a young scientist develops a weapon that could end the war - but rather than give it to her country, wants to use it to establish her own.

Logline 27

In a future where music can be used as a weapon, when a tyrannical middle eastern government outlaws music for fear of revolution, a small indie band that just wants to be able to play music finds themselves accidentally leading that revolution.

Logline 26

A fey noble kidnaps a human child to raise as a weapon in the fairy courts. But as the child ages, she develops even grander aspirations than her adopted mother: to become a fairy queen herself.

Treatment 4

Sandra is a Psycop - a law enforcement official slash soldier slash secret servicewoman who uses implants and drugs to stimulate her precognitive abilities, allowing her to train for fights days, weeks, sometimes months before they happen. However, she’s been out of commission for a while after a “novel” fight - a fight she hadn’t seen coming. She was left maimed, and shows up to work sporting new cybernetic legs.

Ranking Loglines 21-25

I think it's interesting that three of the loglines this week are about big mysteries. It's probably from what I've been watching - Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I really enjoyed it. Very sinister; Lovecraftian horror, almost, if that word wasn't associated with tentacles. I think I like the sense of the unknown that a lot of horrors and thrillers have. And anyway, that comes out in these loglines.

Of the two outliers, one is only kind of an outlier; logline 22 could also be about the unknown, and doubt, if you made it to be. The other is kind of riding off of my fantasy kick from last week. So yeah, I guess I go in themes.

Logline 25

A manned mission sent to explore the edges of the observable universe finds a primitive human colony, farther away than it should be possible for them to be. When their ship breaks down in orbit, they're forced to solve the mystery in order to return home.

Logline 24

In the near future, after a mysterious object falls from space, people near the impact start having visions - some mundane, some of widespread destruction. When the minor visions start coming true, mankind needs to decide if the destruction is fated to occur.

Logline 22

When a lone monster hunter is infected with Shadow, he knows he only has a limited time to train a replacement that will be able to kill him when he turns.

Ranking Loglines 16-20

I have to say, I am definitely happier writing sci-fi and fantasy loglines. I feel a little... guilty isn't quite the right word. You know that feeling you get when you haven't done anything wrong, but it's something that you've judged people for doing before, so you still feel bad? I feel like that. Not that I judge people for writing fantasy and sci-fi loglines. I think I'm just used to judging myself a little. Oh well.

There's also an element that doesn't feel like I'm trying as hard, but that's just because I'm not. It's easier to write stuff that you want to write, and that's not bad. So whatever. I'ma do my own thing. That'll be low-budget when it's low-budget, but if I really want to start writing low-budget stuff, I need to watch more.

As for the actual quality of this week's loglines, they feel a little cliche to me, but intellectually I know that's just because I'm aware of the fantasy and sci-fi tropes,…

Logline 21

Years after a pregnant woman is publicly taken away by aliens, the aliens return the woman's young daughter to her father, with no explanation. The man struggles to give his daughter a normal life amid the popularity, fear, and men in black that surround her everywhere she goes, as she tries to figure out what the aliens wanted - and still might want.