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Hey, I've been working on this screenplay of mine for over a year. I've written to the mid-point of it, but keep re-writing and re-outling. Well I'm finally done all that and have exhausted much of my time and sanity on it. Now I've realized I need that perfect logling (of course!) and this is what I came up with. I know it's probably longer than it needs or should be. But, please take a second to read it and give me your reactions, input, suggestion, etc. Thanks, I appreciate it.
-- When Jake Dragon, a despondent inmate in the grisliest prison of Pruno City, is sentenced to an unconventional death, he discovers the direful plot of a maniacal diplomat to execute the same fate on all of Pruno and must now escape to save himself and his ailing mother before it's too late; but Jake learns he has a prominent roll in saving Pruno City while trying to flee from it.
Betty, what is wrong with the name "Pruno?" What don't you like about it? Does it remind you too much of the word "prune" and thus you think of Florida? Do you know what the word means? It is a slang word, granted, but as the story unfolds, the irony is revealed as to why this city (set about 200 years in the future) is named Pruno. If you can pose a serious reason as to why the city's name should be changed, then I'll actually consider it. But, for now, it stays.
Also, I too thought I had alot of adjectives, but I was under the impression that the more "visual" the logline - the better. Should I cut out ALL the adjectives? Just some?
As for the last sentence, I thought you had to establish the external and internal goals of the hero. That whole "prominent role in saving the city" is obviously the internal, but should I reword it? Two of you say to cut it completely and I'm not oppose to that at all. Just wanted to be certain about it.
Thank you, Betty and Terry, for your comments so far.
Hey guys, thanks again for taking the time to give your responses. I kind of thought that I needed my logline to be as short as possible, but for some reason I had this notion to add as many "visuals" as possible. Your ideas and suggestions are much appreciated and has helped me. Thanks!
Oh, Betty, you have no idea how much that made me happy to hear (read). That IS EXACTLY what I was aiming for: comic book action/adventure.
Again, thanks to all for the input. This script will be complete within 1 month's time. If you care to read it, I'll be happy to make it available to whomever.
Okay...I'm not going to spend any more time on this, but take one last look at what I came up with now for a logline after considering everything said.
--A man escapes from prison to save his ailing mother's life and unravels a direful plot to eradicate his city while he tries to flee from it.--
I think it's better...at the very least I'm happy with it.
Betty, speaking from experience???
Ah-ha! Of course! Now I get the joke. That one went right over my head, actually it went zooming over my head. You are correct, I used the wrong "roll" instead of the right "role." Although, when I see or think of the word, "roll" I usually think of Pillsbury or something delicious like that...certainly not a vaginal, shall we say, problem?
And to Henry, I think it was: on page 198 in the 3rd edition of the New American Webster Handy College Dictionary, the word "direful" is listed as an adjective right after the root word, "dire" which is also an adjective for: dreadful; fearful; diastrous. Also the word "direness" is listed as noun. Just FYI...
I have grown to see how a correct and effective logline should be written. I thank you all for feedback, comments, suggestions, and whatever else you said. As someone mentioned before, just write the damn screen play...and that's exactly what I'm doing.
Terry, I gotcha. Thanks for the advice...I'm taking it.
Betty, I just re-read it all. "...no matter how large his bakery goods are." hahahahah. I get it now. I just thought you were giving me a tremendously obscure metaphor or something. If you notice though, I corrected myself in a later post. Anyway, I hope Santa brings you some Preparation H for Chirstmas.
I never liked the idea of outlines when I first started screen writing, but now, I rely on them heavily. Actually, I make my own combination of an outline and a treatment. Of course, it's a tool that I have made and can interpret into my screen play, but others who read it may not understand at all what I've done. I use it strongly for determining turning points, act structure, and character arc. As someone mentioned, it really does not aid well with dialogue. However, I will make smaller notes in my outline to remind myself what the conflict is in a particular scene/sequence, so that I know what information and/or message I need to get out. I believe it is a good tool to practice with because I think when you really force yourself to complete one, you learn more and discover more about your story and even possibly your characters.
Just my two cents...
I (try to) write a log line before I start my first draft. Being able to sum up the movie in one line means you should be all set to write out the entire screenplay. But, as I just experienced last month with my current project, I definitely had to re-write my logline after finishing my first draft. As you write your first draft, you'll find that you make sudden changes that will impact the credibility of your previous logline. So, I say write one first, and be prepared to write a new one after.
What would be the appropriate way to write dialogue coming from a character on the TV? Would there be a different way to structure it depending on if said character has already been introduced into the screen play or not? My first guess would be something like this...
INT. BAR - NIGHT
The PEOPLE drink and watch the television in the corner.
George Bush is on the screen.
GEORGE (O.S.) I'm a duche-bag!
--- is the (O.S.) neccessary or implied since I said he is on the TV screen?
ok, that is helpful, thank you
Laquetta, yea, after i re-read what i posted, i thought some might not know what i meant. off screen was my intention. thanks for the input
that is an unbelievable story with a great see-saw of life and victory or death and failure. i for one would obviously like to see this boy make a complete recovery. don't know if this dramatic thriller is for me to write though. not now at least. i will continue to follow the story. thanks for the notice about it!
when writing a screenplay about an african american as the hero overcoming racism in a sports industry: how essential is it to describe him as african american, and for that matter, everyone else in the story? (i.e. friends, co-workers, antagonists) family members would be obvious enough, right? if it needs to be done, is there proper etiqutte? can i say he's black/white, or, he's african american/caucasian?
have a question about the best way to format a scene.
a NYC taxi driver picks up a fare and the fare says get to JFK airport ASAP. the driver is a skilled, yet somewhat reckless, driver. i want the scene to be fast action of the taxi driving through the city, making sharp turns, runnning red lights, swerving cars and people, etc... should it be a montage? or should i slug a new scene heading each time they're on a different street and a different action occurs? and finally, once they reach the outside of the airport, is that another slug line? can anyone give me some advice on the best method to use here? thanks!
P.S. i want there to be shots inside the taxi as well with character's expressions and dialogue
Thanks for all the input. I do agree, that no matter what method is used, it should be one that is easiest for the reader to read. So, I'm going to toy around with a few ways and see what works best.
i had mixed thoughts about this movie. i think it was marketed brilliantly. check the box office numbers to confirm that. but ultimately, i was let down. the filming aspect didn't bother me too much, but definitely had me losing interest in the action of some scenes when you can't even decipher what is going on. there were some plot holes that really bothered me too. the tank squash, as someone mentioned. the fact that someone really is clinging to this video camera throughout all of the craziness he endures and never thinks to just say, "F this!" another thing about the camera that bothered me was that it somehow managed to stay completely intact through everything, including a helicopter crash, various attacks, and falling a good distance to the ground after the monster eats the guy. and the battery never runs out. i would have settled if they picked up an extra battery for the camera like they did for the cell phone. someone else mentioned the little guys being taken down with an axe or pipe but the main one survives the army. finally, i did not really like the love story that seemed to be the noose around this film's neck - so to speak. all in all, this movie was love story with a monster in the b.g. we should thank j.j. for reminding us to tell the people we really care about that we love them before it's too late.
eh...can anyone tell i didn't really like this movie? haha, sorry to ramble on there, but once i get going, you know?
i scrolled through the topics on here and didn't really find anything to help, but i was hoping someone could point me in the right direction for some good treatment samples. i know usually they're maybe 5-8 pages consisting of small paragraphs that outline the major turning points in a screenplay. some contain dialogue too, i think. any advice, help, samples, etc. will be greatly appreciated. thanks!
through a random occurence, i have aquired a legitimately good camera and now i'm all geared up to just shoot many short films.
i would be doing essentially everything but the acting. i'll encounter that hurdle soon with finding decent actors, but assuming i do, then what kind of success or career launch can this do?
also assuming that they're of good quality, are there enough contests out there to garner a reputation?
i would greatly appreciate any input, advice, experiences, etc.
ideally, i'd like to make enough shorts to enter into various competitions and hopefully win. maybe not big bucks, but at the very least i'd like that notoriety.
any insight as to different competitions based on the length of the short? i know most are less than 5 minutes. what about if i made a 30 - even a 40 - minute film?
if nothing else, i'd like to use all the short films i make as a resume, so to speak, if one of them should earn the attention of someone important
I know this may not be the proper board to post for this, but... I'm trying to get a summer job at a very popular club/bar as a camera man for all their concerts, contests, shows, etc. I met with the managing department yesterday and they have asked for me to submit a demo tape. I have shot numerous performances of friends' bands that I know. He said that was perfect and all he is looking for are my camera angles/shots. So my question is, how long should this be? I'm thinking 3-4 minutes. 5 at the most. Also, should I edit in my personal info as graphics (name, email, phone) and such at the beginning or end?
I just turned 25 and really want to accelerate my goal of breaking into the business as a screen writer. I completed a 6 month course at the New York Film Academy in NYC in 2005, served as an intern for 1 year with Script Magazine, and have entered various contests and such. I've gone to LA twice for conventions and pitch fests but still I'm here in Maryland and not anywhere near where I want to be regarding a job. Anyone with any experience I've talked to says I have to be in L.A. so... I'm not opposed at all to the move, but what advice can you give me? Is it possible for me to get a job at any of the production companies to whatever it is they want me to do? How should I go about applying for the job? And, while I know it can't hurt to have one, is it necessary for me to have a college degree in anything? I appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
2 questions briefly about how to format certain dialogue.
1- when a character mouths something to another character and it can not be heard but you can read their lips, how would you format that?
2- when a large group or CROWD of people are at a gathering and simultaneously sing 'happy birthday,' how would you format that? and obviously i wouldn't want the entire song in the screen play, so the scene would transition in to where they are almost done singing.
one last thing. i know you shouldn't describe a character as black or white so you can keep casting options open. but, if it is relevant to the story that a character is black and you haven't described any other characters, then by default aren't you naming all the other characters white?
Would anyone care to give me their opinion on this logline? I've been told to keep it down to 30 words maximum. This one is 31 words without using the two words I put in brackets. Does anyone think I need to keep those two words or leave them out to keep it shorter?
-- Three years after mourning his girlfriend, Randy's father forces him to start dating (again). (Now) Randy must be courageous to profess his love for a girl he likes or remain miserable and lonely. --
I'm much obliged, Terry, for your insight and help. Thank you.
Question though, shouldn't the logline present a decision? Such as: "hero must be more nice to save the world or remain a mean shrew and fail."
While the logline you presented was much more concise and intriguing; still it was a point blank statement of what does happen vs. what could happen. I could be wrong, but I thought a logline should present the goal vs. obstacle of goal.
The theme of the story is having the courage to love again after tragedy (cliche, I know, but whatever).
In sticking with that theme, how about this one:
Forced by his father to start dating again, a young man in mourning must discover the courage to love anew or never escape the demons of his past.
Already I know this should be tweaked, but it's along the lines of what I thought it should be.
Any more insight?
Heather and Terry, thanks for that as well. I do plan on writing multiple loglines and hopefully progressing with each one.
As to the irony you touched on, no he doesn't have her name tattooed on his face, although that would be hilarious.
Actually Randy's quirk (or flaw) is that he is emotionally (sometimes physically) attached to an engagement ring that he never got the chance to give his girlfriend before she died. The new girl he starts to fall in love with (April) has just been proposed to, but she separates from her boyfriend to think things over. During this period is when Randy must let go and give up that ring he clings to (which represents his past obviously) in order to tell April he loves her.
Too confusing? Too little action? Sorry for asking a lot on this...
Oh, and Terry, about the father...
During Randy's mourning he's been living with his very wealthy father. He's pretty much done nothing for 3 years. On his 25th birthday, Randy gets into an argument with his father- which causes dad to kick Randy out and stops supporting him. Randy has to start building his own life now.
I've been trying to think how to write a logline without the father's action of making Randy do something, but don't know how...yet.
ok guys, I do really appreciate everyone's insight and feedback. I think I got it down now, but just one last time what do you think of this?
-On his own for the first time since his girlfriend's death, a young man struggles for the courage to love anew while trying to move on from his past.-
Should the phrasing "...to move on from..." be something different such as "let go of" "forget" "bury"?
again, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to help me work this out. I'm writing the story as a comedic drama. (a dramedy, if you will). I've tweaked it again.
-A young man struggles to let go of the engagement ring meant for his deceased girlfriend as he looks for courage to profess his new found love for a girl who is about to get married.-
Still seems too long to me. I'm trying to make it concise but having trouble getting the necessary info in it.
--Friendship transpires into forbidden romance, as a resistant young man strives to bury his mournful past and profess his love to a girl who is about to get married.--
--A friendship becomes unexpectedly romantic between a young heir who vows never to fall in love and a girl who is about to get married.--
1. Do I need to include the word "unexpectedly," because that is a fact in the story. 2. Does the word "romantic" imply that a platonic friendship is now non-platonic (just about the sex)? 3. Do I need to describe what the heir is going to inherit? (ex. father's business, royal throne, the Nazi regime) 4. Do I need to describe what kind of girl? (ex. simplistic girl, care-free girl, handicapped girl)
As always, thanks for the help, feedback, insight, opinions, etc.
--A young man believes he has a second chance at true love when he unexpectedly falls for his best friend- a girl about to get married.--
I'm getting there yet, Gene?
No, no, no, I don't feel piled on. I absolutely appreciate everyone who has taken their time to reply on this matter. I'm afraid some of you will give up actually.
Terry, you asked, what does he do to win her heart away? While he does things throughout the story that impress her and such, he doesn't actually say or prove that he loves her until the "big event/now or never" moment when he crashes her wedding, objects, and tells her literally at the alter that he's in love with her. She is in love with him and has been for a while, but she agrees to go ahead and get married to her fiance because she can't justify waiting for Randy. As it turns out, she is pregnant with Randy's child from their fling that happens in the beginning of the story. She reveals this to everyone at the wedding after Randy objects and all.
This whole scenario probably seems cliche but it will be ripe with humor (I'm hoping.) Is this enough info or should I provide more minor details that occur before this?
-- A young man must give up the engagement ring meant for his dead girlfriend to prove he's in love with his best friend before she gets married.--
more contemporary ones I can think of are
American Beauty Sideways
In film school I was going to write a story about an alcoholic with a best friend named, Al, of course. Al was going to be the protagonist obviously and as the hero got sober, Al got more distant. In the end you would have seen that Al was every alcoholic's best friend. Literally, there would be multiple Al's in a bar or whatever hanging out with individuals. My instructor told me that was...I forget the exact words...but "dumb" is what he was driving at. He said, "kill all your little darlings." Basically it wouldn't work, he told me. So I didn't write that story.
Flash forward a few years later and I'm watching 'Mr. Brooks' and I'm thinking, WOW! It can work and I wish I'd written what I wanted to.
Sorry to go off there, but it's what came to mind.
I'm kind of stuck on how to format this scene.
EXT. GRAND TERRACE - NIGHT
Action description. JACK and JILL head into to the crowd.
ON THE DANCE FLOOR (as a scene heading)
They hold each other closely. (action)
ON THE STAGE (as a scene heading)
BOB waves to people and talks into the microphone. BOB Hello everyone! ------------------------------------
ok, now my problem is that I want to have a conversation between Jack and Jill at the same time Bob is addressing the crowd. Do I need to establish the ON THE DANCE FLOOR and ON THE STAGE? Can I just keep it all under the heading of GRAND TERRACE and describe that Jack and Jill are on the dance floor and Bob is on the stage? Should I write INTERCUT after Bob starts talking to clarify I want to go back and forth between stage and dance floor?
Mind you, at some point Bob will call Jack up on to the stage and Jack encounters MARY on the way.
Any help, insight, feedback, suggestions are always appreciated. Thanks!
That's refreshing to hear and what I was hoping for. Thanks!
We all know the facts about the battle of Gettysburg. We know, factually, that people have claimed there to be cursed and haunted sites among the battlefield. Now, in my story (present day), can I create a made up scenario about something that happened there in the past? My character is cursed, and the reason he is, is because of an incident that allegedly happened there. If people were to really dig deep into resources, they would never find such a story regarding this curse. Is that ok? I know, and feel, that its more than ok, but for an executive to read the script, will they stop and ask, "hey, is there really a legend about this?"
Never seen that one in particular, but similar worksheets like that. It's a good tool, I believe.
I want to write a short story script; and where I intend on ending it, one could easily see it as being the midpoint/point of no return of what could be a feature length script. It comes down to a decision the main character has to make. If he says, "no," then -- the end. He does not proceed any further. If he says, "yes," -- then trudge forward with the story.
I think this question arose to myself because I've typically been used to writing feature length scripts with the same old 3 act structure. In trying to outline my short story script, I found myself doing the same thing, but I couldn't condense 3 acts down to make it a short story. Instead, I found myself structuring it as a 3 act feature length, and when I got to the midpoint, I realized it's a crucial decision for the character and if he just doesn't proceed then there's no more story to tell. Granted, it becomes a tragedy, but that's ok, right?
What are your thoughts, reactions, or ideas about this?
I understand what you're saying, and I can't say that I disagree. However, my trouble is that in writing a full 3 act story as a short film, it seems that much of the story is rushed, contrived, and/or missing essential parts that would help explain point A to point B, etc.
I guess if the writer is talented enough, these obstacles are overcome. How long is the average short story screenplay?
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