In a future where the average citizen is controlled by a master super-computer: when he accidentally steps into a time warp to 2019, a cyborg discovers murderous urges he never knew he had and goes on a killing spree.

    Samurai Posted on December 24, 2018 in SciFi.

    Think of Falling Down meets The Terminator. Is there a way to streamline the logline more?

    on December 24, 2018.
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    3 Review(s)

      “In a future where the average citizen is controlled by a master super-computer: when he accidentally steps into a time warp to 2019, a cyborg discovers murderous urges he never knew he had and goes on a killing spree.” (39 words)

      Right off the bat an issue is the part before the colon. It’s background, and doesn’t seem particularly essential to reveal in a logline. If it’s what your hook is, then it should be incorporated into the rest of the logline better.

      For the rest, I think you chose the wrong elements of the story to include. Again, being sent to 2019 seems more like background than an inciting incident. The inciting incident appears to be when he initially discovers his murderous urges.
      The goal is undefined. There should be an object goal the protagonist pursues because of the inciting incident, one which can be described using visual language. (For example, “fight his urges” would not be a good goal.)

      For a revision, please consider the following elements:

      Protagonist: Clearly defined in this version. Consider using a personality descriptor, or otherwise a flaw which may affect him achieving his goal. (Ex: a stubborn politician.)

      Inciting incident: Seems weak, and the logline may describe an event which is not the inciting incident.

      Goal: Not defined in this version.  Should be directly formed because of inciting incident. It should be something the protagonist must accomplish.

      Antagonist: No antagonist identified in this version. How might you include an antagonist in the logline?

      Hook: What makes this story unique? What can you put in the logline that will make someone want to read the script?

      Here’s an example I’m making up, using elements from your logline:¬†After his cybernetic body kills someone, a cyborg displaced in 2019 must destroy the supercomputer prototype which controls all cybernetics to prevent himself from going on a massive killing spree. (30 words)

      I hope this helps with your revision.

      Summitry Answered on December 25, 2018.
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        What is the goal of the lead character?

        Singularity Answered on December 25, 2018.
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          This is all backwards. You’re giving us information on the setting which is unnecessary, then telling us when something happens without telling us whom it happens to. Protagonist, antagonist, conflict, stakes. And I don’t see a protagonist here, unless you think people will identify & empathize with a cyborg on a killing spree…you need a Kyle Reese, a.k.a. the actual human being trying to stop the murderous robot.

          What we’re left with here doesn’t even make any sense: is a cyborg an average citizen? If he’s controlled by a super-computer, why is he on a killing spree? Because he time-warped so he’s on his own? It just isn’t clear, and if your logline doesn’t make the story clear it isn’t doing its job. We shouldn’t be asking questions merely to comprehend the story, we should be wanting to read more.

          A nerdy programmer must stop a murderous cyborg from the future now disconnected from the super computer which controls it.

          There are your four major elements, defined and summarized in 20 words, nothing unclear. If I saw that I’d wanna check out a full page summary, even the first ten pages. And that’s all a logline needs to do: generate further interest.

          Samurai Answered on January 2, 2019.
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