During a solo expedition through the Australian outback, a lonely female scientist befriends a mysterious traveller via her long-range UHF radio, but things turn sinister when he insists on meeting up in the middle of nowhere.
I like this idea. However, I feel like this logline is currently just the inciting incident. The break between Act I & Act II would be where she meets this guy – either by choice or otherwise.
“things turn sinister” – in what way? Film is a visual medium so give us something visual? How has it actually turned sinister when all he’s done is suggest meeting up. You say “insist” but surely there’s no way he can actually insist on that. He can merely suggest. That would be when he just turns up at her camp though. Now that’s sinister!
Why is she a scientist? You can probably remove the word “female” as you refer to her as “her” later on.
The main thing this logline needs though is a goal. Once she’s come face to face with this guy, what’s she going to do.
Definitely looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Might a lonely character risk their life to meet a stranger in the middle of nowhere, because they are “Needy”? That is , a character who’s psychology is emotionally fragile; requiring constant attention and support – possibly clingy and dependent. I guess the false belief for a character like this might be unhealthy levels of trust and a constant feeling of being abandoned when others aren’t around.
If the inciting incident is “a solo expedition through the Aussie outback”, then I wonder how the logline might benefit from an explanation as to how a Needy/Clingy character got catapulted into a situation like this in the first place. Maybe like Indiana Jones, who hates snakes, the motivational drive toward the Arc is so powerful, he would even enter a tomb full of them. What might be the “Maltese Falcon” like prize she hunts for in the outback? … Ha, maybe she is a snake scientist/biologist, plenty of them in the outback!
This logline reminds me of something Woody Allen said about setups for movies: “The world is strewn with very good ideas that don’t go anyplace…It happens all the time, to me, and everybody. They get a great idea. A guy walks down the street and finds a wallet and he goes to a house and there’s a dead body on the floor. Then what? It’s the ‘then what?’ that kills you.” (Start to Finish: Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking, p 13)
So she meets up with a guy in the middle of the Outback. Actually, the logline only says he insists on meeting her. It doesn’t say she agrees, that they actually meet. Anyway, he insists on meeting her.
What is the plot that arises from this setup? “Things turn sinister” is vague, uninformative, doesn’t go anyplace. It doesn’t tell us what becomes the woman’s objective goa, what the dramatic question is.
I think this is close to a solid logline and there seems to be two ways this can go. The guy shows up and tries to kill her (could be a short or feature), or … the guy shows up, after a lot of ominous worrying, and it turns out to be a nice guy. (probably a short). Possibly want to modify the logline to express which it is… or something else if I’m mistaken.
I agree that a logline should not reveal the Big Payoff, even for a short. The journey to that Big Payoff should stand on its own; that is, it ought to be interesting, compelling, dramatic in its own right. A logline should describe the journey to a destination, not the arrival.
A textbook example is “The Sixth Sense”. The Big Payoff, the Final Reveal is a whopper, one of the most famous in the history of cinema — but the dramatic journey is interesting, compelling in its own right.