When a harmless prank and a mystifying homicide collide, two men decide to run from the police to figure out who set them up. Their camaraderie shatters when one ends up in jail and the other one suddenly has a flawless alibi. A relentless detective keeps unravelling the truth behind a remarkably twisted story that keeps on washing up new suspects at every turn.

Roman Mittermayr Penpusher Asked on November 10, 2015 in Crime.
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5 Review(s)

Hello,

you can improuve you’re logline beeing more specific. “Two men” is absolutely vague… what men? This is an important detail to define the story.

Make clear who is the main character, the running prankers or the detective? You have to choose and write the logline from his point of view.

Make it one sentence.

And, very very important, never say things like “unravelling the truth behind a remarkably twisted story”. This is very unprofessional, believe me 🙂 A logline tells the story. It’s not a recipe for the story (‘there will be compelling characters, unbearable suspence and a shocking unforgettable ending’).

One last thing,
the idea of a prank that collide with a real murder is interesting, but i feel like it’s the first 15 minutes of the movie, then we have a classic “i’m innocent, find the real murderer” movie- there’s nothing wrong with this structure but I would appreciate if the “prank” theme is stressed and take over the whole movie, because this is what is strong in your idea. Something like “when two prankers are framed for murder they must use their prank genius to con the police while looking for the true murderes”.

FFF Mentor Reviewed on November 10, 2015.
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What do you think is unique about your story?  What’s the hook?  What is the feature that differentiates it from other stories about somebody on the lam falsely accused of a crime?

dpg Singularity Reviewed on November 10, 2015.

Thanks for your comment, but I feel this isn’t helping much. I understand the call for a unique story, but quite frankly, I find such a thought rather generic. I could name hundreds of movies that have nothing particular unique about them per se. A lot of the stories we enjoy, are by definition not always unique. They are unique to the lives of the person on screen, surely, but not necessarily unique in the world we live in. A certain degree of familiarity is essential. The way a story unfolds, the way we’re drawn to the character and their interdependencies, from being taken along the first act witnessing something we can relate to, to following them down the rabbithole. That makes them unique. Most of the loglines I read, are definitely not unique if drilled down to the minimum — which helps in relating them to things I’ve already seen in the past. A world of tropes, even in loglines.

What is unique about the logline above? Well, find a movie that I describe. You won’t. But you’ll find some that are similar. It’s like a piece of music. You don’t explain music by saying, oh, it’s a C# but then comes a good sequence over the bridge going up to A then A# and — I know this is crazy — back to C. You’ve never heard this before.  — No. You say, “It’s a rock song. A lot like AC/DCs Hell’s Bells, but in the chorus, it goes crazy with a deadmau5 beat”. Then people know what I’m roughly talking about.

The hook? A stupid prank, then two guys are accused of a murder they did (or did not) commit? That gets me hooked, I wanna see them get out of that mess. Plus, there’s more, one guy suddenly has an alibi and the other one has not — even when both of them were there. The protagonist falls deeper, and deeper into trouble. That get’s me hooked all right.

The feature that differentiates it from other movies where someone is falsely accused? Everything I wrote above. A harmless prank. Two guys running from the police as a team, only to end up distrusting each other half-way through when they turn against each other.

Ugh. Sorry, but this just gets me going, it’s probably well-meant, but it’s absolutely generic feedback that applies to almost every single movie other than Forest Gump.

Taking some of your recent loglines (I know some are takes on existing movies):

When the passionate brother of the bland man she is engaged to marry falls madly in love with her, a woman must decide which man is right for her.
– This is hard to read, but: what’s unique about a woman deciding which man she wants?

A German intelligence agent races against time to determine if a half-Checan, half-Russian Muslim who has surfaced in Hamburg is a victim seeking refuge or a terrorist seeking revenge.
– Is this really the hook of the movie? He needs to figure out if the guy is a refuge or terrorist? Because ‘time’?

When a hyper-connected, workaholic single woman swears off the Internet and her smartphone for Lent, her whole life goes to hell in a handbasket.
– She gives up her phone and internet, and now her life goes to hell. Where exactly am I hooked here?

Not trying to be offensive, but it’s hard to work with feedback when it’s so screenwriting-guru-like generic. That’s what I’m trying to say. I thought I’d give this site a try with some of my worst, and some I’m working on (and I’m far, faaar from capable on this matter, obviously), but it’s far from being helpful, unfortunately.

I appreciate you taking the time to get this going and all, but I’m moving onwards. Please remove my account and data, I couldn’t find anything that would help me do that in the settings. Thanks, and good luck!

on November 10, 2015.
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A shorter version would be:

When a harmless prank and a mystifying homicide collide, a man has to run from the police and figure out who set him up before he gets pinned to a crime he did not commit.

But I’m not sure if that’s too generic.

Roman Mittermayr Penpusher Reviewed on November 10, 2015.
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I agree 100% with what FFF said and the logline that he suggested is really good.

 

bamgomes Logliner Reviewed on November 11, 2015.

Ditto.  FFF’s suggestion turns their character flaw into a character strength.  A cool reversal.

on November 11, 2015.
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The greatest asset a writer can have is the ability to accept feedback, be it screenwriting-guru like generic or not.
You never know what pearls of wisdom lie in the, seemingly inappropriate, comments a stranger can make until you employ complete objectivity.

All the best, you’re welcome back anytime.

Nir Shelter Singularity Reviewed on November 11, 2015.
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