After living with the lie for 30 years that she heroically assassinated a notorious Nazi war criminal, a new clue gives a retired Mossad agent one last chance to finish the job she botched.

    Singularity Posted on April 13, 2019 in Examples.

    (34 words)

    The Debt (2010)
    Genres: drama, action-thriller

    on April 13, 2019.
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    3 Review(s)

      This is a logline for marketing the script.

      A logline for developing the script is another matter because the story jumps back and forth between the present and  the past. (For more on the distinction between the two, see  Development vs. Marketing under the discussion of the basic formula.)

      And the Big Reveal, that she failed in her mission, was responsible for the Nazi  escaping , doesn’t come until deep into the 2nd Act.  Normally, a logline  shouldn’t disclose a Big Reveal, particularly one that occurs so late in the story.  But the Big Reveal — that she botched the job, hence, that she’s been living a lie for 30 years — is the story hook.  And IMHO, when it comes to marketing a script. the story hook is the most  important element; it trumps all the usual “rules”.

      Further, there are complications and a Big Twist in the 3rd Act that keep the plot riding the up escalator in terms of tension and suspense.


      Singularity Answered on April 13, 2019.
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        I’m unsure if you actually need to include the “hook” (the lie) in this logline, as it seems like it might unnecessarily complicate the premise you’re selling.

        The core premise is this Mossad agent coming out of retirement to hunt down and kill the last Nazi war criminal who ever managed to evade/escape her. It might be important to the script that she pretended that she had killed the Nazi 30 years go. It doesn’t really change the logline though.

        Penpusher Answered on April 30, 2019.
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          Part of the core premise is not just that she’s coming out of retirement to hunt down the Nazi criminal, but that she’s been living a lie for 30 years, pretending that the mission was already accomplished.  And it’s her fault that the mission failed.   I deem that to be the hook.  What’s at stake is not just terminating with extreme prejudice a very old Nazi war criminal, but of reclaiming her honor,  her honesty, of righting her wrong.

          Singularity Answered on April 30, 2019.
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