A troubled ex-con moves back to his hometown looking for work where he discovers that the city is rapidly changing to keep up with the modern world and is tempted by an illegal job offered to him by some of his childhood friends.

Moses99 Mentor Asked on January 2, 2019 in Crime.

Some background: a script set in the mid-70s in Newcastle, England which was a city undergoing massive changes as their industry and main employment sector started to crash and crime levels were rising massively. Not sure if any of that was relevant to the “main throughline” I went with above but I’ve included here for reference.

Any feedback at all is much appreciated.

on January 2, 2019.
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5 Review(s)

I agree with Richiev. The “troubles” should be more explicit to give him a reason for taking the job. You actually only say that he is tempted to take the job – not that he actually takes it. What’s his goal here?

I feel like he should be the one struggling to keep up with the modern world. Your logline says “the city is rapidly changing to keep up” but doesn’t suggest how this ex-con is dealing with it. Has he just been let out of prison and is institutionalised (Brooks was here) or has he been out for a while?

What’s the hook? I feel like this is very similar to countless other tales of criminals struggling not to take “one last job”. Why is this one different?

mikepedley85 Overlord Reviewed on January 3, 2019.
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“A troubled ex-con moves back to his hometown looking for work where he discovers that the city is rapidly changing to keep up with the modern world and is tempted by an illegal job offered to him by some of his childhood friends.” (43 words)

I agree with Richiev and mikepedley85’s reviews.

This logline heavily implies that the inciting incident would be the offering of the job. The logline doesn’t, however, give a clear goal, or really give any indication of a goal at all. It really just sets up a situation to make a decision: take the job or not.

I think basically everything in this attempt is background which is unnecessary for a logline. The inciting incident should be the event which causes him to choose. For example, if he gambled all of his money away and this offer will make him back his life savings; the inciting incident would be that he loses his money, and his goal to is get money.
Examining this attempt and breaking it into the logline elements:

Inciting incident: Implied to be illegal job offer.
Protagonist: Troubled ex-con.
Goal: Unclear.
I suggest thinking about these elements for a revision.

Dkpough1 Summitry Reviewed on January 3, 2019.

DK makes a great point: The story really begins when he accepts the illegal job.  (Because if he says no, there is no story)
What will set the story in motion is what he needs the money so desperately for, so badly that he is willing to risk going back to prison in order to get it.

on January 3, 2019.
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You should give him some personal motivation. Why does he need the money? Something people can relate and sympathize with.

Richiev Singularity Reviewed on January 2, 2019.
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Long and poorly worded. The city is tempted? And which is the focus of the story, his trouble adjusting to the changing town or the draw of returning to criminal ways? Both things can be in the script, but only one is needed in the logline. Trim it down to the four essentials — protagonist, antagonist, conflict, stakes — and phrase it so it flows.

mrliteral Samurai Reviewed on January 3, 2019.
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