A 45 year old poor family man is diagnosed with a leg disease for which he will need surgery and afterwards 3 months of rest. He must now choose between getting the surgery or keeping his job as a night guard to support his family.

Short Film – The Night Guard

Logliner Posted on February 5, 2015 in Public.
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2 Review(s)

The dilemma you gave the MC is whether to take care of himself in the next 3 months or his family. This is a clear dilemma however it begs the question; after the three months are over will he not keep on taking care of his family?

By defining the MC as a family man you are specifying his family as his normal priority so the answer would be presumable ‘yes’. Therefor the actual dilemma the MC has is; take a break from taking car of his family for three months for health reasons or keep on taking care of his family with a health problem.

In my mind this is not a story worthy problem because the stakes are not high enough.

That aside a MC in possession of a dilemma and no clearly defined goal can progress a story for maybe 10 pages but certainly not 110.

What is he trying to achieve aside from helping his family? How is he going to achieve it?

Hope this helps.

Singularity Answered on February 6, 2015.
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Thank you for your comment, it gave me a whole different perspective on things.

Do you have any ideas on how to raise the stakes ? Do you think it’s possible by changing one of its parts or should I just change the whole dilemma ?

I should say that I am trying to write a short film, so I don’t need to have a story for 110 pages.

How about this:

“A week after having leg surgery for which he would need 3 months rest, a 45 year old poor night guard returns to work in order to not loose his job and keep providing for his family. He encounters a group of burglars in a building garage and is unable to stop them.”

Here, his goal would be to keep his job, and the way he would do it would be by running after the burglars.

Logliner Answered on February 6, 2015.
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