A Lieutenant in a drug gang, misreads a situation killing his boss. This sparks an internal war eventually leading to the destruction of his gang, his death and the loss of their terroritary.
Thanks for the clarification about “Game of Thrones”: I know you have a lead character in your logline, but I am not seeing his goal. As a result, I am doing an attempt without a lead character.
“When a mob Kingpin is killed, his five most powerful lieutenants vie for power in a deadly struggle for money and influence.”
You’re telling us the main character gets killed, his gang gets destroyed, and they lose their territory. Surely, that’s giving away the ending? I don’t need to read the script because I know what happens.
I don’t think you can say he kills his boss when actually there is a bigger boss who can just take over. He doesn’t misread a situation either, based on your comments. He is ordered to do it by the big boss. Yeah, there may be some miscommunication but as far as the protagonist goes, that was his orders. It seems there is a character who is essential to the logline and is simply not there as it currently stands. I think it would be better if the MC kills the boss on the big boss’s orders and has to maintain order until the big boss comes to sort them out. Otherwise, the big inciting incident is almost accidental, and I think that’s a pretty weak inciting incident for this kinda story. It makes the MC seem weak.
You’ve said the protagonist is scheduled to meet with the big boss. Why not tell us that in the logline? That’s the ticking clock and gives us a timeline so we know the hero has to maintain order for 24 hours. You’re not telling us the hero is getting rescued in 24 hours.. this is crucial otherwise what’s the point? You’ve said in a comment, his goal is to survive but without the ticking clock, we have no idea how long for. This sounds like a crime/action/thriller to me. A thriller NEEDS a ticking clock.
What’s the big boss actually going to do though? There’s chaos and anarchy within his ranks… how’s one guy, however powerful, going to sort that out? This is a secondary point but if the result of the boss’s killing is too catastrophic then the audience won’t believe that one man will sort it out. At that point, chances are they’ll just stop caring. This relates to the point above about the ticking clock. We HAVE to believe the protagonist will make it out of this in one piece. That everything he’s doing is for a reason.
What’s the hero’s character flaw? What makes him interesting?
I’m guessing this is the logline for marketing the project? As it is, I’m not really hooked into it. That’s mostly because you’ve given away the ending. I think it could be stronger. Richiev’s is more interesting but, as he said, lacks a main character. Personally, I avoid full stops in a logline. As mrliteral constantly says on here, and I think he’s got a good point, even a comma breaks up the flow of a logline. To me, a full stop just kills it dead. Even if you did leave it almost exactly as is, you could very easily change it to “kills his boss sparking an internal war…”
I think saying “the cocaine version of Game of Thrones” isn’t coming through for me. Both are about chaos, I’ll admit, but yours looks at how chaos affects one person specifically. It’d be like Game of Thrones being exclusively told from Cersei’s POV. Richiev’s version is more GOT.
I think my main point is don’t give away the ending. I stopped caring after that.
Hope this helps.
INTENTION: must battle other gang members/must survive. I think his objective/intention – should be more specific.
OBSTACLE: battle other gang members for supremacy. I think this works. Feels a bit vague though.
The inciting incident works. Aristotle said tragedy/great drama works when triggered by “a great human error” or “error in reason”. Also – you could say killing his boss is a “tragic deed” and certainly could be made more primal. Perhaps he could be his mentor? Best friend? Father?
These are just playing around with the idea…
1. After he kills his mob boss, his lieutenant must battle other gang members for supremacy.
2. After he unintentionally kills his mentor, a mob enforcer must battle other gang members who vie for supremacy.
3. After he kills his boss to save his own neck, a mob enforcer must battle other gang members who vie for supremacy.
Could do “vying for supremacy” instead – saves words. Not sure if it’s the right word though.
I really wanted to add “- at any cost” but I think that’s innate, right?
Lastly – I think you could push in on this guy’s dilemma…
In order to save his pregnant wife, a mob enforcer slays his mentor and boss – but must then deal with the underlings – who each want power, at any cost.
(That was quiet rushed btw. However – the pregnant wife means we have stakes.)
Anyways – good luck. Hope some of this helps.
Yep – bad people are far, far more interesting.
However – my best advice here is to make sure we have some empathy for this guy at the start/first 10 minutes.
I mean… Tony Soprano – loved his family, right? Don Corleone too. Joker was bullied.
You know what I’m saying. We probably won’t stick around if he’s an out and out horrible person. We should at least understand why he’s an asshole – at least in the first 10.
Also – goes against Aristotle. A depraved horrible person who reaches a terrible end/undeserved misfortune. Basically – no one will care.
However – if it’s an intermediate hero with bad and good qualities who meets tragic end/undeserved misfortune. We’ll care. And it’ll hurt. And we’ll feel something. (I honestly reckon Don Corleone and Joker fit the bill here.)
This advice is more geared towards the read I think.
If you were a PT Anderson/Tarantino/already in the industry – you could probably get away with making him an out and out villain. Not as easy when you’re trying to get that script read.
Anyways – good luck!
After killing his boss, driven by his girlfriend and a misunderstanding, a drug dealer embarks on a bloody coup, ambition isn’t enough resulting in his death and the destruction of the gang he aimed to control.
Going back through the script. He is stuck in a bubble. He can’t see the bigger picture. He was unsure if he should do what he thought he was told to do. Driven by his girlfriend (in it for free drugs and ambition), he does kill his boss. But the gang goes into free fall as he doesn’t know how to step up. As the gang begins to implode he sees an opportunity to take control but a few people stand in his way.
From the likability situation. Think of it like a slasher film. Everyone know Freddie, Jason, Jigsaw. We have empathy for their victims. After all there is a series called the “walking dead” not “people trying to survive other people and avoid zombies”.