After discovering his travelling companion has a bag of cash a man starts a conversation hoping to blackmail him. When that fails he threatens violence that escalates into murder.

    Summitry Posted on May 12, 2019 in Noir.

    They are on a trip to negotiate the end of a strike in 1980.  One man has a bag. When their car breaks down on a back road they are forced to wait and eventually walk.  This is when he discovers the bag of money.

    on May 12, 2019.

    So the two men are union guys? Why does one have a bag of cash? Is the murder accidental? And then what is the conflict – the murderer trying not to get captured by police?

    on May 12, 2019.

    They are going to talk to the union. The bag of money is there to bribe the union leaders.

    They have both done things in their past. The blackmailer was caught and punished.  The guy with the cash got away with something. This angers the guy and kicks off the blackmail.

    on May 12, 2019.
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    8 Review(s)

      Believing a past unfair prison conviction ruined his life, a man blackmails his travelling companion that got away with murder as a youth. As their battle of wits unfold, his resolve is challenged and his violent nature is uncovered.

      Summitry Answered on May 17, 2019.
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        Who is the lead character, the man with the cash or the blackmailer? (And if it’s the blackmailer, why do we want him to succeed?)

        Singularity Answered on May 12, 2019.

        I agree with you, Richiev, how does the bag of cash come into their possession? who is who?

        on May 13, 2019.

        They have always had it.  But only one man knew about it.

        on May 14, 2019.
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          @Richiev traditionally the main character is the person with most screen time. But with only two characters on a deserted road, they’ll both be in all shots, so two main characters.

          The idea is that both characters have reasons to hate them and reasons to like them. The audience is challenged to make a decision.  People can handle complex films. Every time one is a success people are amazed and then go back to boring formula.

          Summitry Answered on May 12, 2019.
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            Sounds like the audience will naturally gravitate towards the person carrying the cash. What does he want to achieve?

            Singularity Answered on May 12, 2019.
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              He wants to do his job as well as stop his offsides from telling people his secret. The conflict comes from discovery during the story.

              He is a different person than the person he was when he did the bad thing in his past. So he wants to keep that in his past.

              Summitry Answered on May 12, 2019.
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                Describe the men. Add the details from the discussion.

                If the blackmailer is angry about the past, why doesn’t he start with murder? How exactly does he blackmail the other?

                >> both characters have reasons to hate them and reasons to like them.

                This should be apparent in the logline.

                What’s the purpose of this being 1980?

                Something like, “After their car breaks down on the way to delivering a bag of cash to their union bosses, two family men- one…”

                Mentor Answered on May 14, 2019.

                Not their Union Boss.  They are going to bribe the Union leaders. That has a completely different implication. If the boss knows the money is coming, the man can’t blackmail the person holding it.

                After the car breaks down they begin talking.  They pass the time telling stories of their past. He is angry because he can see that his travelling companion has done something far worst in his younger years and has gotten away with it.  He on the other hand was punished (with prison) for a seemingly lesser crime.  He wants the money. He thinks he deserves it. He is blackmail his travelling companion because of what he has learnt in the conversation. Not really worth murder immediately. 

                This escalates as their argument grows.  He finally pulls a gun in a rage.  There is still more talk. But the man with the money is arrogant. This leads to his death. Both men a as good or as bad as each other currently. 

                They are shaped by their past. The man with the money has done something wrong, but doesn’t let that thing define who he is now.  The other man has never been able to get over what he sees as excessive punishment for what he sees as a small white collar crime. So that is the story.  

                It is in my head. I am thinking of running it around the competition circuit once I have committed it to paper.

                PS: No Mobile phones in the 80’s. means that are trapped waiting for help.

                on May 14, 2019.
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                  What is the status of this idea, in development or completed script? Different comments for each and I personally like to give my time to those being developed.

                  Mentor Answered on May 14, 2019.

                  I will help everyone no matter what the stage of their story.  Sometime finishing a script is like standing at a front door.  You are too close to the entire structure and forget what is in the backyard.  So, help is needed after the script is done.  Sometimes it is before people have even paid the deposit on the block of land and helping them is a good thing as well.

                  But I struggle getting started on a logline. Always have always will.  I can help people easier because I am not emotionally invested in the story.

                  I have a book on Amazon called “Logline”. As well as a podcast by the same name.  I try to help everyone and building a community around this craft helps everyone (including myself).

                  As an update for my fellow loglines:

                  Hostage – logline on here about two cops abducting someone to beat a confession out of him, is in pre-production in New York and is due on Amazon Oct 2020.

                  Amy –  Teenage Lesbian drug dealer is in negotiation with a Toronto based producer.

                  This one I am thinking of making myself. In the tradition of Australian writer directors.

                  on May 14, 2019.
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                    Next logline attempt, try for more of an A Story than the two talking. Or add details to help us imagine lengthy dialogues because even the responses make it seem like they only have one thing to talk about. It seems better if the car does not break down early on…a road trip (doesn’t have to be far) with obstacles, opportunities, and variety along the way.

                    What are they waiting for? I thought they’re talking and walking along the way? How can they be so far from help? If you don’t do this yourself, consider setting it in today’s world and figure out another solution to the help part. Even for yourself, are the extra challenges worth it? Would 1980 help or hurt the marketing of a movie that lacks a substantial reason for being set in 1980?

                    As for helping, I said that because of experience where most writers working on a logline for marketing- after the script is complete- are much less able to see room for improving the story. Plus, with all the loglines here and free time being limited…

                    Mentor Answered on May 16, 2019.

                    I don’t think 1980’s will not hurt the marketing.  “Stranger things”, “Super 8” and even a season of Fargo I do believe.  The 80’s was also an era of excess, the “Greedy is good” generation.  It was the move internationally towards right wing politics.  There is a lot to mine in the 80’s.

                    I also think it is far better than that trope of someone waving a phone around say “We don’t have signal out here”.  Plus we can’t assume CSI is solve everything. Someone gets shot in the 80’s, there is a good chance the shoot doesn’t get caught.

                    That is why they are on quiet back roads.  They are sneaking into town to carry out their shifty deals, like bribing union officials.

                    This is written for audience experience and engagement.  The audience is challenged to consider who is the most right, or at least, the less wrong.

                    This isn’t your normal everyone feels good about themselves after watching this film.  There are 1,000,000 of those sitting unmade in people’s desk drawers.  I even use to write that, it is to think you have to when everyone tells you “People have to like your character”.  Then I wrote something I would watch, it was gritty and all the “good guys” die.  It sold.  I wrote another one I wanted to watch. Drug dealer, selling drugs to make money and betrays friends etc.  Hugely unlikable character, current being set up in Canada.

                    I think we are seeing a move towards more dark and challenging film.  Mostly for streaming.  But I’ll write for streaming all day.

                    The ability to write sharp concise loglines will become more important as the world become less involved in agents and people make connections directly with production.


                    on May 17, 2019.
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