“A hard-headed Police Chief leads a small group of ‘Sleepers’, those to whom a new anti-sleep drug has no effect or choose not to use it, to battle against the increasingly powerful and psychotic ‘Woke’ to get justice for his son’s death and prevent society from descending into violent chaos.” (1 Hour TV Drama) Updated Version

    Penpusher Posted on August 2, 2019 in Drama.

    Title – “The Woke”

    on August 12, 2019.
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      The bait on your story hook is a drug that eliminates the need for sleep.  It enables people to party all night — literally — and work all day. That’s the sizzle, the lead, the strongest selling point of your concept. I suggest the logline be reworked to put a stronger focus on it.

      You’re on the mark that the drug like everything else in life (including the Force) has a bright side and a dark side, positive and negative consequences.   However, the dark side, the side effects are a little vague. What are the side effects, anyway?

      And I don’t see how the sheriff nearing retirement is germane to the logline. As part of the script — no problem. But what value does it add to the logline?

      As I understand it, a descriptive tag in a logline for a character protagonist serves one of 3 major purposes:

      1]To ID a character flaw that jeopardizes the protagonist’s struggle to achieve his objective goal. Later or sooner, he’ll have to overcome it — or fail.

      2]To ID a psychic wound that can only be healed by achieving the objective goal. (Example: the protagonist is wracked with guilt by either a sin of omission or a sin of commission in his past and seeks absolution and redemption by achieving the objective goal in the future.)

      3]To ID an ability, a skill, a strength a character will need to succeed (eventually). Often it is initially disguised as a flaw, or of no consequence. (Like Raymond in the “The Rain Man”. He’s an idiot savant — with a photographic memory. And he can count cards.)

      If such a tag is assigned to the antagonist, then, obviously, it’s there to indicate why he presents a formidable foe, a serious threat to the protagonist.

      If the tag doesn’t serve one of those purpose, it’s superfluous in a logline.  Even if it fleshes out the character in the script.


      Singularity Answered on August 8, 2019.

      Yep agreed DPG. Soon-to-retire can be replaced with something the fits the purpose you describe, maybe ‘skeptical’. You’re right the hook is the drug and the world of no sleep, no hotels, no beds, 24 hour food, 24 hour crime, super productive human beings, who learn faster, workout more developing more physically etc., but the catch is two fold 1) the drug doesn’t work for everyone and a random minority group without a specific genetic marker it has no effect randomly splitting society/families/co-workers into two groups the super productive ‘woke’ and the now second class ‘sleepers’. and 2) after about 6 months the lack of REM sleep begins to have violent psychotic episodes in those who have take the drug. The pilot begins 6 months into the trial with the death of the sheriff;s son. Until this point the trial has been nothing but a success the town but some people like the sheriff have been very reluctant to take part. The sheriff’s skeptism towards the drug trial is treated with contempt by most everyone, most notably the mayor and the biotech CEO (possibly a former acquaintance or relative of sheriff not sure yet) involved who are all blinded by the massive benefits of the drug has brought to their lives and the town in general. With the biotech CEO looking for FDA approval at the end of the 1 year trial, he very much wants to bury any investigation into alledged side effects. Under the threat of loosing his job the Sheriff is forced to take part in the trial by the end of the pilot but the drug fails to work for him and we discover the drug is not as ubiquitous as first stated, only working for some people. Ultimately the sheriff leads a small group ‘sleepers’, those whom the drug has no effect or choose not to use it, to battle against the ever increasingly powerful and pyschotic ‘woke’ to get justice for his son’s death and prevent society descending into violent chaos. Trying to get this into a logline may be difficult 🙂 so trying to trim it to the bare minimum as we speak. if that doesn’t work then i’ll move to next idea.

      on August 8, 2019.
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        Some randomized thoughts:

        Frankly, I was more interested in the earlier “Recals” version you posted despite its complexity and my nit picking over the legal issue. Why?

        Well, I’m a rabid true believer in the principle that a strong hook is the most important element in a logline by a new writer trying to break into the business. That the paramount job of a logline is to sell the sizzle, not describe the steak.

        Ideally, a good logline does double duty:  it both sells the sizzle as well as describes the steak, the key elements of the plot.  But sometimes it may be necessary to write two loglines: one to market the script that spotlights the sizzle, and a second one to develop the script that focuses on describing the plot.

        This version of your story idea (with a  polish) may be useful as a logline for developing the script, but, IMHO, it doesn’t sell the sizzle. And what is the sizzle? A drug that enables people to stay awake 24/7/365. Which this version of the logline mentions but doesn’t highlight, doesn’t really focus on.

        And then I read in your last comment:

        >>>powerful and pyschotic ‘woke’


        That might be the story hook word, the word around which to brainstorm and organize the plot.  And pitch it:  “Woke’ could be the title of the script.  Heck, the name of the drug.

        I suggest you do a “Coppola” with that one word, as in Francis Ford Coppola, the technique he used to write and direct the screen adaptation of “The Godfather”.  (See my recent post in another logline thread on the “The Godfather Notebook”.)  See where it takes you, what new discoveries you make.


        Singularity Answered on August 8, 2019.

        Good points. That could be series logline and my original could be Pilot Logline. Will continue to work on it. Will read your “Godfather” post also. Thanks.

        ‘The Woke’ – 1 Hour Serialized TV Drama

        Series Logline: A hardheaded Sheriff leads a small group of ‘Sleepers’, those whom a new anti-sleep drug has no effect or choose not to use it, to battle against the increasingly powerful and psychotic ‘Woke’, to get justice for his son’s death and prevent society from descending into violent chaos.

        Pilot Logline: After a ground-breaking biotech drug trial divides a small town into those who need to sleep and those who don’t, a skeptical local Sheriff investigates links between the drug’s side effects, his son’s death and a rising crime rate.    

        Also found this pretty cool T.E.Lawrence Quote which could open pilot:

        “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” – T.E.Lawrence

        on August 9, 2019.
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