A lawsuit for his wife’s injury offers a homeless group leader a ticket out… until a member of his flock threatens to testify. Now he must resort to extreme measure to stop him.
I know say this a lot on this site,- but- you need a lead character and the lead character must want something. This is an interesting situation but to improve the logline you should focus on a lead character.
Here would be an example of what I mean:
“After he’s fired and loses his apartment, a department store Santa is determined to give his son a perfect Christmas, even though they are forced to move into an abandoned train station with a group of homeless families.”
Hope that helps, good luck with this!
Actually, not to attack the other reviewers, but that mentality is why studios consider “normal” movies to be a movie that has lead of a straight, white male. They figure that they don’t want that audience to be deterred from seeing a film just because a woman, or Asian person is the lead, different from the “normal” moviegoer or “normal” American.
Personally, I think the homeless angle would be refreshing and more interesting. It’s quite possible these people have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and possibly, each other, depending on the story. But now, whatever petty differences they may have, they are forced to deal with them in order to survive.
>” That would feel like a story ripe with social commentary and interesting ideas. And I could easily buy that regular people could be trapped at a train station.” One misconception about homeless people is that they aren’t “regular” as you say. But really there are homeless people are people that have steady jobs but lost their homes, for whatever reason. A story highlighting homeless people is ripe for social commentary that isn’t normally depicted in film, such as the attitude people have toward homeless people, seeing themselves as being better than them, and plenty of other topics. I read an article recently about a homeless woman who was raped and when she went to the police they told her something along the lines of, “That’s why they made houses, to prevent rape.” Which is ridiculous because a lot of people are raped by people they know and trust, meaning someone they would let into their home.
The ensemble cast also allows for a diverse cast., with each person getting the spotlight.
Like I said, I didn’t mean to attack DylanK or Zentaneous, Your perspectives just sparked a discussion for me.
When a leader of a group takes a stand for a woman in his flock he is forced to re-examine his values in cruel, merciless world of the homeless in which some fall all the way to the bottom, while a few struggle to retain some remnants of human dignity.
This concept sounds like an interesting drama. But the story revolving around homeless people doesn’t work for me. I would prefer to see this story told around people just like me trapped in a train station and struggling to survive as their personal conflicts escalate out of control. That would feel like a story ripe with social commentary and interesting ideas. And I could easily buy that regular people could be trapped at a train station. Especially a small one in the winter.
Personally, I don’t think the homeless people angle is really a hindrance, but also, I don’t really think it’s important to mention in the logline. You don’t sketch a clear plot, though.
Suggestion: When five are trapped in a train station…
Then just insert a plot there, such as “they must put aside their differences in order to escape the gunman holding them hostage.” Or some such. Just give the characters a clear goal.
That they are homeless is the cause of their predicament; it’s why they end up in a train station; they have no where else to dwell.
However, I’m not so sure about them taking up temporary residence in a train station (unless it is an abandoned). If the story is set in U.S., generally speaking they would be considered vagrants. They might be able to loiter during the cay, but they would not allowed to stay overnight.
Why not leave them homeless on the street during a blizzard?
Setting it around the Xmas holiday season is okay; the story plays on the sentiments of the season.
“you need a lead character and the lead character must want something”
In this case I disagree, while maybe for a new writer tackling a story with no lead may prove to be challenging.(and I don’t know torgodog’s experience, so no comment there) But at least this idea leads itself to not really focus more on one character. The story is specifically about the interaction between all the characters, so focusing on one character would put the other characters(like I said before, possibly diverse characters) in smaller roles. The film would end up being more about the MC’s relationships with the others, as opposed to giving all the conflicts equal time to develop.
That’s my opinion, anyway.
It’s an ensemble story. For the purpose of the plotting and a logline, even ensemble stories may benefit from having a “first among equals”, a primary character. In this case, it could be one character who makes it his cause and responsibility to organize the group, keep them alive for the duration.
And to be homeless and destitute is to have an objective goal of merely surviving until the next day. ( I know; been there, done that.) It would be more obvious, however, and more dramatically compelling if they were on the streets rather than in a train station — if they had no place to take shelter from adverse circumstances like (as I suggested earlier) a blizzard.
Well, yes, for the logline focusing on one character may be beneficial. But if they all have the same objective goal, then the logline could go without a focus character. I suppose Avengers is a bad example because it’s established the characters before and such, but anyway, the logline wouldn’t be “After an agent dies, Tony Stark must stop Loki…” Because the focus isn’t on Stark(though Stark and Cap probably have the most screentime between the two of them). A better one that includes all of the characters would be something like, “After an agent is killed, six superheroes must come together to stop Loki…” That’s all I meant, really.
Now, if one character is really the inciting character, say framing Nick Fury as the protagonist, “When a threat arises, Nick Fury must get six superheroes to come together to stop the threat. ”
I suppose it really just depends on the story.