Four soldiers have one day to exploit the chaos of the 1991 Gulf War to steal gold from Iraq that Iraq stole from Kuwait.

    (24 words)
    Three Kings


    Singularity Posted on October 21, 2019 in Examples,   War.

    This version is for marketing the script; that is, it spotlights the story hook — the factor that actually hooked the attention of director/writer David O. Russell, motivated him to spend 18 months developing the script that became the movie. It will be noted that the logline doesn’t single out a primary protagonist. Well, as the way relationships are configured in the movie, there are essentially two co-equal alpha characters leading the heist. (And they are also the two characters with the strongest character arcs.)

    Notice that the logline also has a ticking clock: they have one day to pull off the heist.

    Here’s my version of a logline for plotting the script:

    In the chaos of the Gulf War, when four American soldiers come upon a map disclosing a secret treasure cache, they have one day to steal gold from Iraq that Iraq stole from Kuwait. (34 words)

    on October 21, 2019.
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      I wonder whether it would be worth including that they wanted to steal the gold for themselves? Setting them up as soldiers could give readers the impression that this is an order from up-high, whereas my recollection (it’s been a reeeeaaaallly long time since I’ve seen it) was that they went AWOL. I think this is interesting from a character perspective and adds substantial consequences to what it is they’re doing.


      Summitry Answered on October 21, 2019.
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        Well, the logline says they’re stealing the gold.  If it was an authorized military operation, then they wouldn’t be stealing, would they?  They would be doing it to restore the gold to its rightful owner (Kuwait).  Further, if it was an authorized action, the military wouldn’t send merely 4 soldiers to recover a fortune in gold.  Heck, they’d send at least a battalion (1-2,000 men)  or maybe a brigade (2-5,000 men) backed up by air support.


        Singularity Answered on October 21, 2019.

        Fair points.

        on October 21, 2019.
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