When a shelter bully blackmails a recovering junkie, the leader of a small group of homeless takes a heroic stand to protect her.

    Penpusher Posted on August 30, 2018 in Drama.
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    3 Review(s)

      What are the stakes?

      In this story, what will draw the reader in is what the lead character will lose if she is blackmailed.

      The reader of your script (And logline) must be able to understand how the blackmail will destroy her life if she does not comply.

      Singularity Answered on August 30, 2018.
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        Is this a short or a feature length? The goal of the protagonist is to protect the junkie by taking a heroic stand… this could be over in a couple of minutes. If it’s a feature length I think there needs to be more in there.

        I don’t think the blackmail element is required. He’s a bully. If he’s being abusive in any way then he deserves to be stopped by our hero.  It’s usually the protagonist who’s being blackmailed because there’s a very obvious struggle and a very obvious arc (weak to strong). By having someone else step in you lose a lot of conflict and ultimately the junkie doesn’t learn anything. In this case neither does the leader. It’s almost Deus Ex Machina – the leader steps in to save the day and the film ends.

        In this version, the fact that he leads a group is seemingly irrelevant. He doesn’t need to be the leader of a group to step in and sort the bully out. If it’s relevant enough to be included in the logline it needs to be relevant to the story.

        Maybe consider making the bully just a bully, and the protagonist, rather than a leader of men, just a new face at the shelter. A bum who is down and out, his wife left him when he lost his fancy job and took his kids (who are now being raised by Dave the accountant), so he turned to drugs. He had no purpose in life. When he turns up at the shelter the bully picks on him but he doesn’t submit so he gets a beating. He looks around and sees all the scared faces and he realises he has a purpose – to lead these bums in uniting against the bully and teaching him a lesson. This might not be the story you want to tell (and it’s still a little thin for a feature) but the inciting incident happens directly to the protagonist upsetting the balance in his life so, in order to restore the equilibrium, he has to knock the bully down off his perch. This can also then teach him things about himself. Things that can possibly help him get his life back in order and be allowed to see his kids again. Then we have a nice Internal and external struggle plus subtext all over the place.

        Got carried away a bit there but I hope this helps.

        Summitry Answered on August 30, 2018.
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          As the others said.

          And what is “an heroic stand”?  What happens at that moment?  How does that translate into an objective goal?

          Singularity Answered on August 31, 2018.
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