Disillusioned with Hollywood, a movie star returns to her Midwest hometown to attend her high school reunion – only to reignite old flames, rivalries and loves.

    Mentor Posted on April 9, 2020 in Romance.
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      This needs a hook.

      There have been quite a few stories about someone going back to their small town (and even about the reunion) So you need that “One Thing” that separates this from those.

      Anyway, this is a cool idea as long as you get a hook going… maybe something to do with “Me Too” that would be topical. (Edit* when I said ‘me too’ I am talking about how she is an actress and what might have caused her to become Disillusioned with Hollywood, her motivation)

      Singularity Answered on April 9, 2020.
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        As Richiev said about the need for a differentiating story hook.  “Reignite old flames, rivalries and loves” — nothing new there.  Those are staples of the high school reunion trope.

         

        Singularity Answered on April 10, 2020.
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          Thanks for the feedback, guys.

          I agree. Will work on this and post again.

          Mentor Answered on April 10, 2020.
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            Also – my original idea/logline looked like this…

            Two forty-something best friends return home to their old town for a high school reunion, in the hope of recapturing their glory days – only to find their plan thwarted by old friends, flames and enemies.

            I think I need to do character work to better understand her intention/objective.

            My way in was her age…

            She’s definitely disillusioned with her life and career. Approaching 50 and reaching that expiration date in Hollywood.

            She’s middle aged. Not much of an actress. More a sex symbol.
            Her sexuality is her commodity – it’s how she’s expiring.

            Why does she go?? To relive her glory days/better days. Gatsby syndrome?
            Trying to recapture lost past? I dunno yet. (Which is not good.)

             

            Mentor Answered on April 10, 2020.
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              Other ideas:

              She’s returned home to lay low from a sex scandal.
              She’s returned to reconnect with estranged family.
              She’s returned to rediscover her joie de vivre.

              Unexpectedly falls for sister’s boyfriend , a man couldn’t be less interested. (primal – I guess.)

              I dunno – none of them interest me that much. Also – things like “reconnect with family or rediscover joie de vivre” – I’ve been told you can’t do because it’s too internal. I’m not sure if that’s bullshit or not. To have a very internal objective.

              Certainly, a character should have one objective and only one.

              What do you guys think?

              Mentor Answered on April 10, 2020.
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                Hi DH,

                Ultimately I think you should write the film YOU want to.   If that’s an internal objective, so be it – being told you can’t do that is BS.  I suppose what they are saying is that the logline is looking for the objective goal that also heals the subjective, internal need/goal?   It depends on your motives… It could find indie status rather than mainstream, or it may just end up a piece that really helps you hone your voice and never sees the light of day – that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been successful.

                Hmm… as the others have pointed out, this needs a hook (and a good one to be able to compete with other films set like this)… at the moment you have a backdrop…

                I’d say you need to focus on what she’s struggling with – the industry giving her an expiry date and society’s perception of beauty.  Your hook will lie somewhere in there and you could tell this as a cautionary or an empowering tale.

                What does ‘beauty’ say to me off the top of my head?:

                • Instagram
                • Plastic
                • Cosmetics
                • Plastic surgery
                • Growing old gracefully
                • Hard truths
                • Conventions (like comic con)
                • Botched surgery
                • Older men with young women, but not Older women with young men
                • Filters (insta)
                • Gym bunnies
                • Recluses
                • Stress

                Have you seen  Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5711148/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 OMG what a great romance. So bittersweet and tender.  An ageing Hollywood beauty falls in love with a young actor from Liverpool.

                Regards
                Trix

                Mentor Answered on April 14, 2020.
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                  Hi Trix,

                  Speaking from experience: I put a logline up 6 months ago that got 3 votes and resonated with people. I put it up again – and it’s not quite the same response.

                  One has to remember how horribly subjective this industry is. “Nobody knows anything” and it’s true. You have to stand by your ideas – because no one really knows what will be a hit. You could come up with the perfect logline and writing it may end up being a soulless experience (because it’s not quite the thing you want to write) and there’s no real certainty it will sell or generate any heat.

                  You just never know. Even with a high concept.

                  Admittedly – a lot of the loglines I put up were old and I did for practice. But one must remember “quality over quantity”.

                  Hmm… as the others have pointed out, this needs a hook (and a good one to be able to compete with other films set like this)… at the moment you have a backdrop…

                  I agree it does need something – as it doesn’t hugely turn me on as well.

                  I spoke to a fairly big-time writer/director who told me that loglines are just silly marketing tools and “don’t write for the market, write what you want to write, the odds are against you anyways”. (I’m not telling you who this was btw ha – but, he advised me to watch a lot of films in my genre and do what hasn’t been done. Not unlike a hook.)

                  I’m on the fence here. Certainly – a strong logline/concept fixes problems before they’ve started. A strong (high) concept makes it easier for everyone down the line – writer, manager, agent, etc. Same time – trying to come up with the perfect logline is writing for the market. You’re changing your idea to conform to what other people want to see. That’s the dilemma, right – we’re all writing to sell, well all want to have more than one person in the audience ha. Same time – you need to stick by what you think is right and what you want to do.

                  It’s a terrible thing to compromise your vision. Okay – rant over.

                  (My manager keeps trying to get me to shoehorn a real person into something so we can make it more marketable. The whole idea makes me sick to my stomach.)

                  Thank you for your notes. Some brilliant ideas there.

                  The images conjured up reminds me of YOUNG ADULT. I think if I continued with the idea – I’d have to do an overview and ask a lot of questions. (I usually go through a series of checklists.) Admittedly – I wasn’t sure what direction it was going in (not a good sign). Whether it was a rom com or a midlife crisis dramedy. I didn’t know what it was.

                  FILM STARS looks cool.

                  Mentor Answered on April 15, 2020.
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