When the Imperial head chef is beheaded for serving uninventive dishes, the sous chef must obtain a magic cookbook in order to execute a dish pleasing to the Emperor before he and his staff are beheaded.
Hi Francois, thanks for volunteering your opinion. I agree with you that the logline is long, however your solution removes the inciting incident from the logline entirely – and loglines need to have inciting incidents. 🙂 I’m also missing a flaw for my hero so will need to rework this in.
Why must the dramatic problem be solved through magic? Why not through character? That is, rather than find the winning recipe in a magic cookbook, the sous chef has to find the winning recipe from within himself, develop the skill and confidence to create the dish.
What makes Remy the rat in the Pixar animation film, “Ratatouille” so appealing? Because he can follow a a magical recipe? No it’s because, like all great chefs, he doesn’t slavishly follow instructions; rather he follows his gut instincts, his palate; he relies on his intuition, on his experience.
Hi dpg, I agree with you. I was trying to include an intriguing external goal to imply an exciting outer journey in which the sous-chef would get out of the Imperial palace and into culinary action/adventures. My intention is to have the sous-chef pressured to come up with the life saving dish/dishes himself after, finding the “magic book” and realizing that it’s a hoax. Maybe even dropping this towards the end of the second act.
I struggled to keep the logline shorter but it would have read something like this:
When the Imperial Kitchen Chief is beheaded for serving uninventive dishes, his under-confident protege must obtain a magic cookbook in order to execute a dish pleasing to the Emperor. But when he discovers the magic cookbook is a hoax he and his staff must come up with something truly tasty before they are all beheaded.
One strength of your logline is that the stakes are clearly defined. It’s a matter of life and death. But I’m unsure as to your genre and I get a mixed reading as to your target demographic: beheading is an R-rating scene (in the U.S.), but it seems to me that magic is more likely to appeal to the PG and PG-13 crowd. Could you please clarify?
Hi dpg, I was trying to be a bit kooky with this one. The rating would be above the PG13 crowd for sure and the main target market is China. I was going for something eccentric/vulgar/violent along the lines of a Stephen Chow movie like the God of Cookery in which magic, martial arts and a lot of cooking was featured – definitely not for a young crowd. The genre would be a (weird) combination – historical epic mixed with myth mixed with violent black comedy.
I’d say pretty close … but I’d love some more definition of what “must obtain” entails? Does it mean he has to travel over the entire country to get it, or does it mean besting an old master chef at a cook off? The budget for the two movies would be entirely different, so please clarify.
“When his predecessor is beheaded for serving an uninspired menu, a timid chef must secure a magic recipe from an order of mountain-dwelling monks before the Emperor’s fortnightly banquet, or face the chopping block himself.”