The true story of a family man whose congressional testimony—delivered while hooked up to a dialysis machine—leads to landmark legislation making dialysis treatments universally available.Working title: God Committee

    Penpusher Posted on March 15, 2019 in Historical.
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      It’s rare to see such an improvement and so quickly!

      This is a case where it may help to have two loglines. This one for marketing and another for craft.

      Don’t know if it’s being Canadian, but it’s hard to appreciate the Congress part. Don’t know if it’s the years since this moment or if it’s not knowing anyone who underwent dialysis, but it’s hard to appreciate the victory. Or maybe it’s because legislation (or some other solution) was inevitable and there’s more to be mined from the committee, which is terribly dramatic. Curious if that’s only in the setup or if it plays a larger role.

      Couple of tweaks to consider…

      – congressional testimony in 1972

      – leads to landmark coverage for dialysis treatments that saved x lives.

      Mentor Answered on March 16, 2019.
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        Some thoughts:

        While an essential part of the story, I don’t think that his being a family man is essential to the logline.

        What may be essential to the logline is incorporating the suggestion that his testimony before Congress was part of a long term strategy of media stunts and provocative actions to dramatize the issue, get media time, prod legislators to act.  Because, of course, initially there was no widespread awareness of the issue, and no one outside the community of kidney patients gave a damn.

        And for the purposes of the marketing the script, the logline must suggest, must dangle the promise  of plenty of interesting conflict scenes and trailer moments throughout the story.   His Congressional testimony is just the  culmination.  Was that, indeed, the case?  How long did he fight for the landmark legislation?

        Finally,  I wonder if it may be more effective to pitch the story as  biographical rather than historical, even though the story will only focus on  the defining chapter of his life.  The biographical tag more implicitly narrows the focus of the script to the struggle of one particular character..

        Singularity Answered on March 16, 2019.

        Welcome back dpg, glad to see  you ‘re still around 🙂

        on March 16, 2019.
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          Funny, I thought you were following what dpg said in the first thread. And I just read the last post in it.

          Consider that the family man is the one rejected by the GC as that heightens everything that follows. The truth is secondary to a good story and this adjustment is on par with 99% of true stories. It seemed obvious from the whole of the first logline so a couple of details escaped me.

          I can easily picture the first half of the script covering the tension in all aspects of his life while awaiting the committee’s decision, which would be the Midpoint. Then what seems to be the least dramatic part, the steps to get the hearing in Congress, can be covered in fewer pages. Don’t mean to sound like I’m writing this for you, it’s to illustrate an example of thinking more about the story and less about the reality.

          Another way to look at it is that more time on the GC is fresh terrain, while there are many stories about fighting government. The GC to me is more of a lure than dialysis in Congress. The title alone pulls me in more than the logline!

          Mentor Answered on March 17, 2019.
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            Bear with me, sometimes I care too much. 😉

            The torture of a hospital deciding on his access to dialysis treatment sends a dying family man on a showdown with Congress seeking universal coverage. Based on the true events from 1972.


            After meeting someone rejected by a hospital for access to dialysis treatment, a family man who gets treatment takes on Washington seeking universal coverage.

            I can even see the whole script about the time before and during the process and wait for the GC. A couple of pages jumping ahead to the Congress part would be the denouement, Then, the protag can be anyone else.

            With his kidneys failing, a family man’s personal and professional lives are thrown into turmoil as he waits for a hospital committee to decide on his access to limited dialysis treatment. Based on true events before universal coverage in 1972..

            (The loglines have room to improve.)

            My three cents.

            Mentor Answered on March 19, 2019.
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