A man makes numerous phone calls trying to negotiate his own safety while travelling to his gangster boss to confess his failure, finally having to settle for saving his family from revenge.

    Summitry Posted on September 18, 2018 in Noir.
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    8 Review(s)

      Hi All,

      Interested in your questions and rewrite suggestions.  I am planning on shooting this late this year.  It is a single person story.  He knows he will not be able to outrun his fate.  He set up a drug deal involving an undercover cop (who he had vouched for).  He is travelling to see his boss, all the time making calls and trying to wheel and deal his way out of it.  Finally the best he can hope for is that his boss will not take out his entire family as pay back.

      I am attempting to have the audience feel conflicted.  A bad guy, meeting a bad end, but the audience feels bad for him.

      Summitry Answered on September 18, 2018.
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        There are a couple things you could do to improve this logline

        1: You say ‘a man’ but that only cuts down the possibilities from 8 billion to about 4 billion. Is there a personality trait you could give him so we have more information. Adding this will help your logline.

        2: You say ‘confess his failure’ but don’t tell us what that failure is. Did he fail to kill a guy? Did he fail a drug exchange for money? Did he fail to return his bosses cable boxes after his boss switched TV providers?

        3: Finally, if you have leeway to do a rewrite of the script. I would make it so the mob boss already has his family. (However, if that is not possible that’s cool)

        Anyway, I like the concept, this seems like a good movie short that could be done on a shoestring budget.

        Singularity Answered on September 18, 2018.


        If the boss had his family he would have no choice but to go. This way he has to choose to die.

        Something about how he always has control of a situation would explain him more.

        on September 18, 2018.
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          Have you seen Locke? A great film with Tom Hardy. The whole film takes place in one car, on one journey, told through phone conversations he has on the road. Your idea made me think of this.

          Overlord Answered on September 18, 2018.

          I am a HUGE Stephen Knight fan. I’ve seen everything he has written, from “Who wants to be a millionaire” to Taboo. And yes Locke is amazing. I heard SK talk about Locke as the challenge of trying to tell a single person story in a single location.

          I am inspired by a story I heard about a father of two IRA sons who was given the choice of handing them over or dying himself.

          on September 18, 2018.
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            After failing his mission, a criminal tries to negotiate his own safety while traveling to confront his gangster boss, and ultimately rescue his family.

            Admittedly my longline isn’t the greatest, but I think you need to to re-word this so it streamlines it.

            The protagonist needs a descriptor other then “a man”. Who is he? Did he fail his mission because he’s having a crisis of conscience? Or is he simply a gangster that failed? What’s redeeming about this man/gangster that makes us want to root for him?

            Why does he need to confess his failure?  His boss would already have gotten word that he failed his mission, no?  I think it’s better if the boss knows so the whole script they’re at odds, and he’s FORCED to go confront his boss because his family’s lives are at stake, and he can’t simply disappear or walk away.

            No one would “settle” for saving their family from revenge. That should be the driving action that makes him step up.  People may be criminals, but the love of family if the strongest motivator of all.

            Penpusher Answered on September 19, 2018.

            His family is unaware of the danger they are in. The story is all internal struggle.

            Imagine you know the boss will find soon, so you are trying to get in front of it.

            You are seeing things getting worse. You are the kind of guy that would run. But finally you do the right thing and take your medicine to save your family.

            on September 19, 2018.
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              >>>negotiate his own safety

              More to the point, the stakes are his life and that of his family.  From the FADE IN, isn’t that’s what he’s fighting/negotiating for?

              Singularity Answered on September 19, 2018.

              There are heaps of twists and turns. He thinks he may be okay, then he isn’t, then he may be, finally he could run and live. But it is going to cost his family.

              He is a self centered egotist that finally realises the power of sacrifice.

              I am also trying to get the style of film across.  I was approached to write a one man film.  To stop it from becoming a monologue or having the character talk to himself constantly.  I needed to have a series of calls.

              The project is something I am going to continue on my own.  But i wanted to bounce the idea around for a while.

              on September 19, 2018.
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                Being responsible for bringing an undercover cop into their organisation a gangster travels to see his boss while making a series of calls trying to rescue the situation finally settling on just being able to save his family.

                Summitry Answered on September 19, 2018.
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                  Would benefit from a ticking clock.  He has X hours to do whatever.

                  Singularity Answered on September 19, 2018.

                  I have one in the story. The idea that it is better coming from him, before the boss finds out.

                  I need to trim this. It’s wordy.

                  on September 19, 2018.
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                    I see a little Midnight Run type opportunity here.

                    Logliner Answered on September 20, 2018.

                    I just wrote the closing shot.  I haven’t finished the script. A long way from it.  But I know the closing image.

                    Once the guy knows he has to go and face his death, he leaves a coffee shop and walks to his car.  Has be approaches the car is just fades away.

                    The reason this happens is because his wife doesn’t want to be “One of those women whose husband just disappears”.

                    He looks at people that have made mistakes or been killed and he has no empathy for them.  He jokes about them, blames them for the situation that are in.  This makes this series of events even harder for him to deal with.  In his mind “He isn’t one of those losers”.  That opinion is what makes him initially think that he talk his way out of it.  He has an inflated sense of his own worth and thinks his mistake is nowhere as bad as those other idiots.

                    It will come down to him seeing that he is being held responsible for all the bad things he has done in his life.  He can do one good thing.

                    on September 20, 2018.
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