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Showing posts from December, 2014

Logline 148 - Egg Nog

When a lone bank robber accidentally steals fifty times as much money as he was planning for, he simultaneously becomes fabulously wealthy - and targeted by the FBI rather than local police. He knows he'll have to flee the country, but the entire point of the robbery was to fund his Christmas with his family, so he tries to elude capture until December 26. In the end, he's caught at a Christmas Eve service, but the agent pursuing him allows him to stay with his family until midnight before bringing him in. In the epilogue, he gets rich writing his autobiography while in prison.

Logline 147 - The Janitor

When a janitor overhears a murder plot at an office Christmas party - without seeing who was involved - he has to figure out who's trying to murder who before they do it and get away with it. When the police prove unhelpful, he has to navigate the office's social hierarchy himself, without looking too out of place - which is hard when you're the janitor at a white-collar party. He eventually manages to figure out who the target is, and jumps in front of the bullet meant for him, saving the man's life, and stopping the conspirators.

Logline 146 - Christmukkah

A Jewish girl who converted to Catholicism when she married doesn't fit in with her family anymore, nor does she really fit in with her husband's. During the holidays, she tries to convince her family to let her participate in Hanukkah, but they refuse, and they also refuse to have anything to do with her Christmas celebrations. Then, when her in-laws are critical of her "Christmas spirit," she tries to just call off the holidays altogether. Finally, she and her husband celebrate both holidays on their own, and start their own family traditions.

Logline 145 - The Christmas War

When the Frost Giants once again try to invade our world, only Santa and his army of elves can save us. The militaries of the world at first view both sides as hostile, but Santa manages to convince them he's on their side, and they swap secrets - Santa tells the militaries about magic, and they tell him about missiles. Together, they manage to fight back the frost giants and save the world.

Logline 144 - Enough

After losing custody of her children, an angry, lonely park ranger tries to prove to the courts that she's fit to parent her kids, in the hopes of getting to spend Christmas with them. Her efforts go from pretending she doesn't have problems, to hiding her problems, and finally, after missing one Christmas with them, to actually trying to fix her problems. While her efforts don't end up having any effect legally, after all of the effort she goes through to improve herself as a person, her ex-husband ends up inviting her to spend Christmas with him and the kids anyway.

Weekly Theme: Christmas

Sorry, still working on getting back into the swing of scheduling my posts in advance... or at least getting them out on time.

This week's theme is Christmas, whether that means Christmas movies like Die Hard, or movies just coincidentally set at Christmastime, like It's a Wonderful Life.

Logline 143 - Supernatural Disaster

When the daughter of a fake psychic receives a vision of a calamity, she struggles not only with whether or not her vision was real, but if her dad was really faking it or not. She tries to develop her "abilities," though unsure if they really exist, and investigates the likelihood of her foreseen disaster occurring. She finally decides that it is real, her father wasn't faking it, and manages to save the lives of hundreds - though her father dies in the rescue effort.

Logline 142 - The Comet

When a strange comet passes between Earth and the Moon, the leader of a cult pretends the phenomenon is a sign of the end times, growing his cult exponentially. But when strange, unnatural things start happening, he starts to fear that he's right, and uses his cult to try to stave off the end times. Eventually, when the comet passes and the Earth is none the worse for wear, he's left to wonder if he stopped the apocalypse, or if there never really was one.

Logline 141 - Big Buddha

A sports reporter interviews a former mixed martial arts champion who retired to a Buddhist monastery, trying to discover why he left fame and fortune for obscurity in a foreign country. He shares the story of how he had grown bored of his victories, and was intrigued by the some what exotic claims of the monks, who used martial arts not for combat, but for enlightenment. As he explains his journey from skepticism to belief, the reporter finds herself pulled down the same path.

Cutting down and opening up

As long as I'm making changes, I'm going to try cutting back to a 3-page treatment every two weeks, and let myself pick from any of my loglines, ever (and choose from any 3-page when writing a 10-page, etc.). 
The first change will, I think, do a lot to improve the quality of my 3-pagers without cutting back on actual productivity too much (half as many 3-pages, sure, but same amount of everything else (for now)). And then the second change will make up for the lesser selection that cutting back will cause.
Whatever, I'm just kind of feeling around. We'll see what works.

Logline 140 - Disappearing Act

When a street magician figures out how to actually make things disappear, she gets involved in everything from petty theft to kidnapping in her quest to master her new skill, with an ultimate goal of making herself disappear to see where she goes and if she can come back.

After years of honing her skills, she attempts it, and succeeds - she disappears, never to be seen or heard from again.

Logline 139 - A Deeper Meaning

When a worn-out office drone starts seeing signs and patterns in mundane things like clouds and floral shirts, his sister initially just believes he's gone crazy. But as more and more of his predictions come true, she wonders if he's on to something.

The ultimate test of her belief comes when he tells her that unless she quits her job, her son will die; she knows that if she quits, and nothing happens, she'll never know if it was because she quit, or because nothing was going to happen.

She decides to quit, and nothing happens. She attributes that to her brother, and asks him what she should do next.

Weekly Theme: Magical Realism

This week's theme is Magical Realism, or normal settings with fantastic elements that are played off as normal. For example, Inception just sort of pretends the whole going-into-dreams thing isn't a big deal, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is about a normal person with one impossible quirk. I think you could even categorize Field of Dreams as Magical Realism.

Playing Around

Starting this week, I'm going to be experimenting with including more information in my loglines - most notably, endings. The idea is for them to be full story ideas, and less... well, loglines.

Traditionally, loglines are more of a hook than a full story idea, telling you what the story is about, but not how it goes. I'm going to be trying out telling you how a story goes.

This is going to make them longer, but I think more useful to me, especially as I'll have to be actually coming up with good ideas (or at least, complete ideas), rather than being able to stop with just a clever insinuation of an idea.

Like I said, though, I'm going to be playing around with this for a while. Maybe sometimes I'll include a logline separately, maybe sometimes I'll do a more traditional logline just longer. Maybe I'll never really settle down, and will do different formats each week, or even each logline. I'm just playing around right now.

He lives!

Hello everyone! I'm back from break, though I'm coming back a little slower than I would've liked (the holiday season kinda beat me up a little).

I know you didn't get to really see what all I was doing (mostly, a lot of reading), but I think it's really gonna pay dividends now.

The biggest change is inspired by Robert McKee; I'm thinking about adjusting how I categorize things. He breaks Stories into Sequences, Sequences into Scenes, and Scenes into Beats. So I'm thinking about breaking my things down that way too; rather than writing loglines, I'll write a Story overview, rather than a 3-page treatment I'll write a Sequence overview, rather than 10-page treatments, Scene overviews, and then screenplays will be filling in the Beats.

I don't know how big or small it's going to appear to be, the main thing is going to be the way I'm thinking about stuff, I guess? We'll see.

Anyway, I'm obviously off to a slow start this week, but …