In a dystopian right wing world. A terrorist group is planting boxes holding either cash or explosives, opening it makes you rich or dead. A poor man and his friend find one and try to figure out what to do.


    Summitry Posted on June 14, 2019 in SciFi.
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      I have the theme/question

      “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees”

      The man doesn’t believe this in the beginning. But after having the opportunity for wealth tease him. He begins to see his life for what it is comprise and suffering. Here is the logline:

      When a poor yet content man finds a box that may contain money or a bomb left by a terrorists, and after failed attempts to discover its contents he finally deciding it is better to die than live on your knees.

      Thanks for any feedback. For tone think “Children of Men”.

      Summitry Answered on June 16, 2019.

      This logline totally explains the story from beginning to end and there is no reason for me to watch the movie.

      Your story made me think of “In time” (2011) directed by Andrew Niccol. Also because you talked about the fact that getting rich is really hard and maybe accepting that we are poor is a better option. “In Time” is technically about someone getting rich and him discovering that the rich world isn’t the place where he wants to be.

      Coming back on what mikepedley said that “I feel like if getting rich wasn’t his ambition, why would you go anywhere near the boxes in the first place?” I think the movie would be more powerful if in the end the box remains closed. If you build the story around all the times that the box almost opens but because of last minute choices remains closed, i think you would have a really tense movie.

      I don’t know, i think you are on a really good path here. Keep going!


      on June 16, 2019.

      I am not a believer in the theory of not telling the story. If it was true, people would never adapt a book to a film. A producer has to read 1000 loglines in the search for her next project. Would she be bothered to contact a writer that can’t tell a concise and complete story?  Just my opinion.

      The change in the character is from someone content to someone that is disillusioned with society.  Everyone that is angry at some point wasn’t. This is the making of the angry man.

      thanks for the comment.

      on June 17, 2019.
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        Get rich or die trying.

        Summitry Answered on June 14, 2019.
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          I am still struggling with the theme. I have the story and even the mood and tone in my head. But the theme, is escaping me. The central dramatic question. Something like “would you kill for love?”

          I write around theme and question.  I can’t find it in this story.  I would appreciate if you would tell me the questions this logline poses for you (theme questions).

          Summitry Answered on June 14, 2019.
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            That’s if getting rich was his ambition. That would indicate he had already made up his mind. I need a question. With a question I can explore various answers.

            Thanks you the suggestion.

            Summitry Answered on June 14, 2019.

            I feel like if getting rich wasn’t his ambition, why would you go anywhere near the boxes in the first place? So maybe the question is simply how much are you prepared to risk to get what you want? Then whatever peoples motives for getting rich are (to pay for a family member’s surgery, to pay for their kid to go to university, etc, etc) you can see whether people are prepared to risk their lives for it.

            on June 14, 2019.

            I am thinking he is painfully poor. Just like everyone else. So he is ‘happy’ in the context of his society.

            There are rich people, but no way of becoming one. That’s why the terrorists do it. To disrupt the social order.

            He know the box will make life better. But it will also make life harder. It may also kill him.

            Once he decides he wants the money, he can’t go back. I need a saying like “thieves never prosper” or “careful what you wish for”.

            What is the moral of the story. Otherwise it will feel like a series of events rather than a story.

            on June 15, 2019.
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              How about something like:

              Participants in a reality TV show have two hours to find and disarm a timer attached to ‘trick or treat’ boxes. When the timer reaches zero, either a lethal bomb explodes or acid dissolves a million dollars.

              (37 words)
              I think it  enhances the stakes if there’s the possibility of the money being lost as well as their lives.  And unlike the original logline,  it has an explicit sense of urgency, a ticking clock.

              This would work as an ensemble film with the  climax and outcomes for all the characters being revealed in the final moments.  (And maybe they work in teams, too, so there can be  plenty of frantic and angry dialogue.

              How many characters will the story need?  Well, here are possible outcomes:

              Fail to disarm the timer:  “Boom!” — a bomb kills the player
              Fail to disarm the timer:  “Boom!” — a bomb explodes, but the player scrambles away just in time to survive (wounded).
              Successfully disarm the timer:  No “Boom!” —  there’s no bomb — but there’s no money either.
              Fail to disarm the timer:  Acid released, dissolving the money.  At least the player has the consolation prize of still being alive.
              Successfully disarm the timer:  No bomb, no acid released  – the player wins the grand prize


              Singularity Answered on June 15, 2019.


              For me the money is a way of pushing him into a problem he has to solve. The mechanics you mention gives the raising stakes. But the overall motive is failing me.

              on June 15, 2019.
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                His final decision…
                >>>it is better to die than live on your knees.

                …doesn’t seem  to follow from his initial state of mind.
                >>>When a poor yet content man

                And in “Children of Men” the character goes from despair to hope, from having nothing worthwhile to live for to dying for something worthwhile.

                Singularity Answered on June 16, 2019.

                Yep, that is correct. This guy goes from content to angry. He sees that he and the world is wrong. One or both need to change.

                on June 16, 2019.
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