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  • Singularity Posted on November 15, 2019 in Comedy.

    Interesting idea.  How about framing the logline (and plot) from the POV of an ambitious bank manager anxiouis to make her mark, move up the corporate ladder? She could be a protagonist caught in the middle, has to negotiate between two incompetent crews, play one against the other to buy time, save the money.

    A further complication could be that both crews want to take her hostage as an insurance policy while they make their escape.  Since comedy often entails reversal of roles she could end up advising the incompetent crews how to do their job, the best route to escape out of town, etc.


    • 7 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Singularity Posted on November 14, 2019 in Horror.

    How can flesh and blood stop ghosts?  What’s his m.o., his secret weapon, his game plan?

    • 4 reviews
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  • Singularity Posted on November 14, 2019 in Adventure.

    I can understand why government guys would want to catch a sasquatch.  For scientific research.   To prove they actually exist. For the honor and publicity of apprehending such a legendary and elusive creature.


    But exterminate them?  Why? So what if they are aggressive?  So are bears and wolves.  Why is there a government conspiracy to commit genocide on sasquatches?

    • 1 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Singularity Posted on November 13, 2019 in Horror.

    >>>To be true, the logline to Sixth Sense mentions that Bruce Willis’ character is a ghost.

    The loglines I have seen for “The Sixth Sense say” say the psychologist is treating a troubled boy who sees ghosts.  I haven’t see one that gives away the Big Reveal that the protagonist is a ghost.  Not even the IMDB teaser is a spoiler giving away the Big Reveal.

    At about what point in your plot (Midpoint? End of 2nd Act? Or…?) does she discover her “friends” murdered them – and she is next?

    • 8 reviews
    • -2 votes
  • Singularity Posted on November 12, 2019 in Public.

    Nir Shelter:

    In regards to Dingam having a character arc, I’ll have to think about that.  However, I don’t see him as the main character.  For one thing, he doesn’t have much screen time, far less than than  BIlly, Colin and Frank.  (He might even have less screen time than the only female character, the shrink, who serves as the love interest.) 

    I see Dingam’s getting “street justice” on Colin as being true to his defining characteristic from FADE IN: to FADE OUT:; that is,  abrasive, combative  At the start of the film he’s as abrasive with Colin as as he is with the Billy.  He later insults Frank Costello to his face.

    Dingam resigns after the death of Queenan rather than work for his successor. He has to be restrained from attacking Colin — and at that point he doesn’t know just how guilty Colin is. When (off screen) he eventually figures out that Colin not only killed Billy, but is also complicit in the death of his boss Queenan.  So even if Billy hadn’t been killed by Colin, Dingam would still have all the motivation he needed to avenge the death of his boss.

    (But the whole 3rd Act is littered with plot holes and “WTF?” story beats so your ideas about Dingam’s role is as good as mine.)

    As I said earlier, I have become somewhat  fluid in defining and applying character roles and paradigms. As it happens I just read a character breakdown for “The Shawshank Redemption” by one of the more popular screenwriter gurus in the U.S.  And I just don’t see it that way, how he pigeonholes the characters.  I should take that as the inciting incident to post a logline for “The Shawshank Redemption”.


    • 6 reviews
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  • Singularity Posted on November 11, 2019 in Crime.


    My first version was exactly as you suggested.

    However, I believe that a logline should be immediately and entirely clear on the first read. An industry reader should not have to read a logline more than once to  understand what the story is about.  Maybe most readers would immediately understand the story concept with the version you suggested.  But just in case, as an insurance policy, I opted to pad my version with two more words for the sake of clarity.  It is certainly arguable that my padding was superfluous.



    • 3 reviews
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  • Singularity Posted on November 11, 2019 in Horror.


    Please don’t post the same logline again… and again.

    • 8 reviews
    • -2 votes
  • Singularity Posted on November 11, 2019 in Public.


    First of all, I’ve become rather fluid on defining and applying terms and paradigms to plotting. Terms and paradigms are supposed to be tools, not inviolate rules.

    “The Departed” is my favorite Scorcsese crime film. But I don’t think it’s a flawless film. I think it breaks some screenwriting “rules”. But it is certainly not boring. Not for any of its 151 minutes. In my rule book the one inviolate rule is: “Thou shalt not bore thine audience.” Boring an audience is the unpardonable sin and the whole purpose of all the “rules” is prevent a screenwriter from committing the unpardonable sin.

    I’m mostly on the same page with you in your definitions of the main character and protagonist. Yes, most of the time they’re one of and the same. When they aren’t, I, too, would give the “protagonist” nod to the character who more than any other has the job of struggling for the objective goal.

    However, when they aren’t one and the same, I’m not so sure about the character arc criterion.

    In “The Departed” I would tap the mob boss, Frank Costello, as the main character. I haven’t timed the scenes he’s in, but I think it’s safe to say he gets more screen time than any other character. Or at least he’s a close second to the good cop, Billy Costigan.

    More important, he’s at the center of the the story. He is in every way the central character (a synonym for main character). Everyone else is acting in response to him and just about everything that happens is because of him or about him.

    I would designate the good cop as the protagonist because he is tasked with the primary responsibility to achieve the objective goal, build a strong enough case to take down Costello. And further, it’s a pro-social, pro-moral goal.

    What is Billy Costigan’s character flaw? I dunno. I don’t see one. I see him as a tragic hero/victim of circumstances beyond his control. He dies at the hand of the bad cop who is more cunning, who is in a better position to stay one step ahead of him.

    And why can’t Billy be a tragic victim through no fault of his own? That was the original essence of Greek tragedy. The Greek term “hamartia” has incorrectly been rendered character flaw. But in the days of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, it merely meant a mistake made more in ignorance than because of a character weakness. IOW: a blind blunder. And all it took was one to seal a character’s fate. Oedipus was doomed to fulfill the prophecy to kill his father and marry his father no matter how he tried not to. Because that was his fate. Mere mortals are pawns in the hands of the gods.

    But I digress.

    I can’t think of any major character in “The Departed” who has a significant character arc that transforms him or the outcome of the story.

    I’ve only seen Donnie Brasco once, when it first came out. If you don’t think he’s both the main character and protagonist, I would be interested as to why you think that is the case.

    • 6 reviews
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  • Singularity Posted on November 9, 2019 in Horror.

    Alas, I don’t see how Richiev’s revision solves the apparent problem of the emotional deceit/cheat.  The protagonist is usually  the character in whom the audience is most emotionally invested in,  the character in a horror genre whom the audience should worry most about.  Eventually the audience will find out that she was never in danger of being attacked and killed by the zombies, right? They were set up to worry about her for nothing.

    What jeopardy do the zombies pose for her?  What is her character flaw that the zombies are forcing her to confront?

    • 8 reviews
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  • Singularity Posted on November 9, 2019 in Horror.

    >>The girl discovers that her friends killed these women and that she was meant to be their next victim.

    I’m guesing this is the Big Reveal.  Notmally, a logline shouldn’t’ give away the Big Reveal.    However, if she discovers this no later than the midpoint, than it might be okay to include in the logline.  But including it creates this other problem: the logline sets her up as the main character — and then the Big Reveal leaves me with the impression that she is not in jeopardy.  She has nothing to worry about.  It’s the guys who are in mortal danger — and deservedly so.

    So where’s the suspense?  What should the audience be worrying about, fear might happen to her?  (It’s a horror flick: a stock feature of the genre is that the audience worries about the fate of the main character.)

    • 8 reviews
    • -2 votes