“When people across the US suddenly start descending into unexplained comas as the hit their 35th birthday, a pro-vaccine doctor and his 34 year old daughter discover a link to a preservative added to vaccine shots 40 years ago and begin to push the most powerful pharmaceutical company in the world for answers.” (1 Hour TV Drama) Updated Version.

    Penpusher Posted on August 9, 2019 in SciFi.

    Title – ‘Relinquish’

    5 days ago.
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      I feel like there will most definitely be a shorter way of saying this. I think there’s a few bits that are over-explained a little and we can probably trim them down a bit.

      From a story perspective, surely the vaccinations weren’t just all made 40 years ago. They’d be produced daily. So what’s actually happening that will cause people, say someone who had the vaccine 5 years ago and another 30 years ago, to both potentially be at risk? This has to be believable whilst not necessarily accurate. It may work better if there’s a dormant enzyme (I’m not a scientist so bear with me) that only activates when it’s been in the human body for a prolonged period of time. It affects some people quicker than others but there is still a period that it is “safe” for. Now stick his daughter just coming to end of that “safe” period and you’re upping the tension and giving us a ticking clock. In addition to this, make it more extreme than just blacking out. Make it something that is potentially life-threatening (I get that blackouts could be if they’re driving or whatever but still). Make it something like slipping into a coma or go into a vegetative state. Something that is curable but requires hospitalisation. This then adds pressure to the health care industry and adds another story strand – there’d be a lot of people under 40 there – but also provides a perfect set up for why this disgraced doctor would be allowed back in. They need the staff.

      Anyway… back to the logline.

      Inciting incident – there are two currently: people blacking out and his discovery. I think that with a few tweaks you could make this one whilst still suggesting everything you have so far. The I.I. should be the blackouts as this sets up his goal. The discovery is part of his journey towards the goal.

      “once famous now discredited doctor” – 5 words. I get that you want to suggest some sort of redemption arc with him but I wonder if just saying something like “disgraced doctor” would suffice for a logline. The fact that his daughter is affected is interesting and adds a personal angle but I almost feel like that’s the B story – his internal arc is redemption, that’s his primary internal goal. I could go either way on this but based on how you’ve framed the rest of it I’d say remove that for now.

      Goal – find the truth. That works.

      Ok, so let’s trim it down.

      “When people across the US begin slipping into vegetative states after their 35th birthday, a disgraced immunologist and his 34 year old daughter go on a quest for answers that leads them to the most powerful pharmaceutical company in the world.”

      Sure there’s still issues with the above but hope this helps.

      Summitry Answered on August 9, 2019.

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for input. Yep, the intent was to have it be effect people of a certain age first but then it progresses from blackout to full comas and from only 35/40 year olds to other ages under 35/40. When I came up with idea the hook was, wouldn’t it be cool if most every adult under 40 or 50 were incapacitated in a way that and meant they couldn’t be relied upon to operate any machinery/cars/guns or any position of responsilibity and that their care and the running of the country was sqaurely laid at the feet of their elders, forcing many out of retirement. The vaccine angle was also part of the hook, having read an article in NY times were a nurse was fired because she refused to take flu vaccine based on the fact that she felt the chemicals used to preserve the virus in the vaccine were not tested for long term effects. 98-99% of the population take the vaccine and 1% don’t. That 1% can be viewed as an interesting group also and they of course now would be uneffected. Handing that ‘interesting’ group power too was kinda of exciting. The passing of the power/responsibilty in the country to the older generation and these 1% no vaccine group was needs to somehow make it into the logline. If I can’t get it in there then the idea might be bunk. Old age pensioners lead by clint eastwood type versus this 1% might be fun 🙂

      Following on from your suggestions I think I’ll update logline to the below and work on it a bit more to see if I can get more of the generational power/responsibility thing in there.

      “When people across the US suddenly start slipping into unexplained comas as the hit their 35th birthday, a disgraced doctor and his 34 year old daughter discover a link to ingredients added to vaccine shots 40 years ago and begin to push the most powerful pharmaceutical company in the world for answers.”

      on August 10, 2019.

      Maybe you should take a step back and look at your longline from 30 thousand feet.

      “A disgraced doctor discovers a link between childhood vaccinations and a coma inducing sickness…”

      Compare your logline to one that starts:

      “A nutcase claims a link between measles vaccinations and autism…”

      Do you see the similarities?

      Doctors and scientists have been working for years to convince people that vaccines are safe. Now you want to make a movie that claims otherwise? (Albeit, under a fictional setting.) Those who are convince vaccines are safe, will have difficulty setting aside their disbelief to buy into your premise, while those who believe vaccines are unsafe will will see in your film a vindication of their beliefs.

      Of course, since Robert De Niro is an anti-vaxer, you may find a ready market for your script… 😉

      6 days ago.

      Point taken. The main doctor will be absolutely pro-vaccine dealing with an horrific and unexpected discovery. But a discovery nonetheless. What would a pro-vaccine doctor do if he discovers one the preservatives added to vaccines for the last 40 years was harmful? That’s was one of the fictional questions the series would try to answer. The idea being that vaccines are developed by doctors and the preservatives within the vaccines are developed by the pharma companies who sell them, the longer the shelf live or vaccine the more they can charge. The pharma company are destroying the value and work doctors have put into vaccines for the extra dollar. Good pro-vaccine doctor versus bad pharma company that will be quite happy to paint him as a nutcase. Anyway, re-working idea and maybe vaccine angle may be dropped. The most interesting question for me was ‘what if the younger generation were in incapacitated somehow and the older generation had to run the the country? the idea that the crazy nutcase anti-vaxers were unaffected was an interesting addition to me. Thanks for input.

      5 days ago.
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