RussellNSamurai Posted: October 13, 20162016-10-13T07:34:19+10:00 2016-10-13T07:34:19+10:00In: ExamplesIn Vichy Morocco, a nightclub proprietor risks all to save the woman he loves and her Resistance Leader husband from the NazisCasablanca ShareFacebook5 ReviewsVotedOldestRecentRussellN 24 Loglines 20 Reviews 6 Best Reviews 1,071 Points View Profile RussellN Samurai 2016-10-13T07:39:14+10:00Added an answer on October 13, 2016 at 7:39 am Sorry, should have been posted in Student Loglines.0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppdpg 105 Loglines 5,558 Reviews 559 Best Reviews 111,953 Points View Profile dpg Singularity 2016-10-13T13:37:56+10:00Added an answer on October 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm Casablanca.What a fantastic choice, RussellN! There is s-o-o much to discuss about this classic. Where to?begin?Here is my short take: Scripts didn’t need no stinkin’ loglines in 1942. (7 words) There was no significant market for spec scripts. Everything was produced in-house by the studios. ?They had their own staff to find stories, their own stable of writers to knock out?scripts.So it seems to me the issue is: how would (could?) one pitch the plot of Casablanca today in the modern script market? Can it be done in a way that conforms to current logline conventions? ?Is the story an exception to (some) of the usual rules??Well, fwiw, here is how the story breaks out for me:?What is the hook? This has become my first and most important question to answer. What is there about the story that will grab and hold attention, sell the script, sell tickets at the box-office?Objectively, the action seems to hang on the letters of transit, the McGuffin that everyone wants. But does that make for a compelling story hook?I don?t think so.It seems to me that what makes for a compelling story hook is the love story, the complicated relationship between Rick and Ilsa. This is what sold the story, sold tickets to the movie, earned it 3 Oscars, elevated it to the status of an enduring classic.Who is the protagonist?Rick Blaine, expatriate and ?gin joint? proprietor.What is his character flaw?He’s cynical. He sticks his neck out for nobody.What is the inciting incident?Ugarte gives Rick the letters of transit, the McGuffin that everyone wants.What becomes his objective goal?Here is where I think it gets interesting and complicated.After coming into possession of the letters, Rick is passive. ?I don’t see that he commits to a positive Objective Goal. Instead, he sticks to his Inviolate Rule, ?I stick my neck out for no one.? He expresses no intent to sell and certainly not give the letters gratis to anyone.Rick is pursuing the wrong goal.? Or maybe it?s more accurate to say he has no Objective Goal, certainly not proactively a positive one.Now then.Another required element in a plot is the Dramatic Question.? Although not explicitly stated in the logline, it is implicitly raised by the Objective Goal. To wit, will the protagonist achieve his Objective Goal?But in this case, Rick is pursuing the wrong goal or no goal transitioning into the 2nd Act. ?Does that mean there is no Dramatic Question to be answered in Casablanca?No, because at the same time, Victor Laszlo is desperately pursuing his objective goal of obtaining the letters of transit. Laszlo?s action collides with Rick?s obstinacy and this dramatic collision raises the Dramatic Question:Will Rick change his mind, violate his Inviolate Rule, give the letters of transit to Victor and Ilsa?So given that the hook is the love story ? relationship more than action ? and given that Rick is initially pursuing the wrong goal (or no goal), how does this mix translate into a logline?0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppdpg 105 Loglines 5,558 Reviews 559 Best Reviews 111,953 Points View Profile dpg Singularity 2016-10-13T22:59:41+10:00Added an answer on October 13, 2016 at 10:59 pm Here’s my tentative version:After coming into possession of letters of transit, an American expatriate in Morocco must overcome his cynicism and give them to his ex-lover and her resistance leader husband struggling to flee the Nazis. (33 words)Yes, the dastardly Nazis, led by Major Strasser, are the villains. ?Yes, Colonel Renault has expressly ordered Rick not to give the exit visas to Victor Laszlo. ?Yes, both suspect Rick has the visas.?? But neither one can prove it, can find the visas on his person or property.?And Rick has a wink-and-a-nod modus vivendi with Colonel Renault, who, in any case, ?is more interested in seducing women than enforcing the law. ?And Rick’s backstory, running guns in Ethiopia, fighting for the Loyalists in Spain, proves he is no coward, not afraid to defy Fascists and Nazis.The only impediment stopping Rick from giving the exit visas to Laszlo is internal, his own cynicism and bitterness.I would point out that Rick’s dramatic problem is not about “having to decide to decide” — a too common logline error in framing?the protagonist’s struggle. ?He’s not indecisive. ?Rick has already made his decision in Act 1. ?He’s emphatically decided to not risk himself to help anyone. “I stick my neck out for nobody.” ?That’s his Inviolate Rule. ?His dramatic need is to change his mind, reverse his decision.As to the length of my logline, see above about the nature of the business in 1942. And another logline where I present my conclusions after analyzing 725 movie loglines.0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppNeer Shelter 23 Loglines 2,877 Reviews 260 Best Reviews 55,444 Points View Profile Nir Shelter Singularity 2016-10-14T08:13:17+10:00Added an answer on October 14, 2016 at 8:13 am Rick’s moral and emotional struggle is a hurdle, but his major obstacle is the Nazis.I believe that his inciting incident is Elsa’s entry into his gin joint… and his goal is her safety. Sure, at first, he wants her for himself, and he still suffers from the pain of losing her in France. However, when she first walks into his bar, he realises she’s in trouble or at least in danger – his goal becomes her safety. Eventually, he realises her safety comes hand in hand with letting her go and the greater good of safeguarding Lazlo.So:In the midst of WW2 after his former lover shows up in his bar in Morocco, a former anti-fascist fighter must provide her and her resistance leader husband exit visas to Lisbon before the Nazis catch them.0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppdpg 105 Loglines 5,558 Reviews 559 Best Reviews 111,953 Points View Profile dpg Singularity 2016-10-14T08:27:47+10:00Added an answer on October 14, 2016 at 8:27 am I’m flexible on what scene gets tagged as the ?inciting incident.?(Although if the arrival of Ilsa is the inciting incident, it doesn’t occur until 25 minutes into the movie. ? Which means the movie doesn’t conform to contemporary conventions for placing plot points.)But I think the Nazis are only a hurdle, a complication; ?Rick’s emotional struggle with his cynicism, his bitterness over Ilsa seemingly to have deceived and ?dumped him is the major obstacle that impedes him from handing over the exit visas. ?Rick has several private moments with Ilsa and Victor, opportunities to ?hand them over — no Nazis, no Renault around to stop him. He can give the letters of transit to Ilsa or Victor. ?But he won’t.Around 70 minutes into the film, ?in a private conversation, Victor begs Rick to sell them to him. ?Rick point blank refuses. ?When asked why, ?he says, “Ask your wife.” ?After that Ilsa meets with him (privately) and tries to reason with him into giving the letters of transit. ?Rick refuses. ?She begs him to. ?He refuses. ?She points a gun at him. ?He still refuses.It isn’t a matter that ?he can’t turn them over to Mr. and Mrs. Laszlo ?but rather that he won’t.??0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppYou must login to can add an answer. Username or email* Password* Remember Me! Forgot Password?