When he’s pulled back into the real world after a mysterious board game traps him in a jungle for 26 years, a fearful man-child and his fellow players must survive the dangers that appear on every dice-roll to finish the game so he can return to his childhood.
I know this is a long one but I feel like the story doesn’t quite come across without all the elements I’ve included.
The inciting incident, to me, is not the moment he’s sucked into the game as it doesn’t set up a goal for him. In the jungle he must wait. It’s only when he’s back, his goal of finishing the game and returning to his childhood appears. Just finishing the game isn’t the goal to me either, because there’s nothing that says they have to play and seemingly no real consequences of not playing (other than the things that have already come out) so the only reason to keep playing is so Alan can get back to his own time. It is a long inciting incident admittedly, but it’s important to know how long he’s waited and what sent him there in the first place.
Without stressing that dangers appear on every roll of the dice – i.e. if I just said “must survive the dangers from the game” – there’s no understanding of how the story progresses. It would just seem random, and it’s not. To me, this is an important mechanic of the story as it stresses the risks of playing which is the only way to finish. The more you play, the worse it gets, so the harder it is to complete the game. I would like to have said “the dangers the game throws at them on every dice-roll” as it makes it clear that the game is responsible but I’m not sure it’s 100% necessary.
I think it’s important to include “his fellow players” too. This not only makes the reader understand there are multiple people who have to roll thus increasing the number of rolls (and runtime), but also that this is a film about a group of people working together – not just one.
I look forward to all your comments. I really enjoyed writing this logline and I’m intrigued to see how you would shorten it.
Looking at the IMDB summary:
When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped in it for decades–and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.
… I think “magical” makes more sense than mysterious. Mysterious just seems like a “ghost story at the campfire” type of word, especially after the protagonist has 26 years of experience with it, it’s not really a mystery anymore. And “decades” is simpler and just as effective as 26 years.
The thing I’m having the most problem with yours is “his fellow players”. It seems like just a throw-in, and you don’t explain anything about who they are or why we care about them.
I didn’t think mentioning “pulled back into the real world” is necessary. The idea of “freeing” or “releasing” someone from an object kind of implies that. When you release a genie from a lamp, you’d assume they’re no longer stuck in the lamp. It’s not quite the same with a “jungle in a game”, but, to be free of it generally means “our world”, I think.
I like the dice roll explanation… I don’t think it’s necessary and sounds unnecessarily specific, but it does add some information that I think might interest a reader. And I think returning to childhood also would add interest.
I’d try to say something like:
When two kids free a man from the magical board game that trapped him in a jungle for decades, they must finish the game, surviving the dangers that appear on every dice-roll, so he can return to his childhood.