RE: Attempting to reconnect with her squad, a stranded time-traveling soldier battles another soldier on a strange world to prevent him from changing history, only to slowly discover she becomes responsible for a terrible disaster and the deaths of a city’s residents.Singularity Posted 3 hours ago in SciFi.
>>>The Chernobyl is actually the climax.
But loglines don’t give away the climax — that’s a spoiler.
Okay, if you want to do a sci-fi version of the classic philosophical dilemma of the Runaway Trolley Car. However:
It’s tricky to pull off because no matter how impeccable the logic, it violates the moral sensibilities of the audience. (See how the dilemma is handled in “The Imitation Game”. )
It would be better if the stakes are personal: she’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to save her own future life.
And there’s gotta be a redemptive reason why she must live in the “future” even if it means sacrificing others in the “present”. And that could be, she must exist to prevent an even greater evil event. (Again, see “The Imitation Game”. There is a redeeming rationale for not using the intelligence gained from cracking the Enigma code to intercept every German attack.)
This way it may be possible to set up possibilities for a sequel, a franchise even. Which makes it more marketable.
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RE: When he is framed for the murder of his boss, a genetically engineered assassin makes it personal to clear his name after he is hunted by three major Syndicates.
The guy’s an assassin. Why should I emphasize with his plight? Why should I want to root for somebody in that line of work? Give me a reason to want him to live? He’s a killer. As they say in law enforcement, what goes around, comes around. Now it’s come around to him.
If a protagonist isn’t sympathetic, then he has to be compelling, fascinating, The audience wants to watch what he does in spite of their default feelings about him.
That he’s genetically engineered may be an element on which to build a fascinating character with a compelling struggle. But as is, it’s almost a throw away in this logline. What’s the big dramatic deal about being genetically engineered? What unique dramatic problem does it create for the character? Which is to ask: what’s the story hook?
(A limited lifespan is already taken by the replicants in the “Blade Runner” wanna-be-franchise — gotta come up with something different. And that he’s being framed does not qualify as a story hook because it’s not a unique dramatic problem — it’s a rather common plot trope.)
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RE: With the impending Ragnarok coming, a young cursed prince receives searing visions to save his aging star empire by pushing two police agents to investigate a sinister conspiracy undermining a planet’s sovereignty, only to realize they cannot escape the Ragnarok.
I’m not sure how many readers will know what a “Ragnarok” is. I had to google the term. Which I should not have had to do. A logline reader should never have to go online and google to find out what any word means.
But sc-fi isn’t my metier. And since this the kind of story that would appeal to primarily movie makers who would know the genre, they may be familiar with the term.
My takeaway is you can’t assume that a logline reader will take the micro -time to google an unfamiliar term. Because odds are they won’t. If they can’t immediately grasp what the story is about, they will just move onto the next logline, to one they can immediately understand.
Be that as it may “only to realize they cannot escape the Ragnarok” seems to be a spoiler, seems to give away how the story ends. And a logline should never give away the ending.
If “only to realize they cannot escape” is part of the inciting incident or the critical midpoint epiphany then the question is: what must they do in light of that knowledge? What becomes the objective goal?
And who owns the objective goal? Who is the protagonist in the story, anyway? The “cursed prince” or the two agents?
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RE: Attempting to reconnect with her squad, a stranded time-traveling soldier battles another soldier on a strange world to prevent him from changing history, only to slowly discover she becomes responsible for a terrible disaster and the deaths of a city’s residents.
Okay. But isn’t the Chernobyl explosion how the movie ends, the climactic (or anti-climactic) event? If so then it’s a spoiler element. And a logline should not contain a spoiler, should never give away the big pay off or final twist, should never reveal how the story ends.
And it’s not a happy ending, either. People –innocent people — died anyway. Which makes it a harder script to sell.
Why must the progenitors of some future soldiers live while innocents die instead? (Aren’t soldiers, present and future, expendable pawns?)
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