Congratulations Followers – I Choose You!

I’m going to be straight up with you, I need your help. I have finally settled on an idea for my feature film that I have to work on for the next year for University and before I start planning out the ins and outs of the film, I have written some loglines. They don’t do the story I have in mind a lot of justice as there is a lot to the story with back story etc which I will leave out for now.

If you could take the time to read the following the loglines and let me know which intrigues you the most, and if possible a reason why? This is an exercise I have read about in my latest screenwriting book purchase of “Save The Cat!” by Blake Snyder, I may do a review on this book once I have finished it because it is actually really good, if you want to know more about it I suggest going on Amazon it is a must have book if you’re a screenwriter!

So without further ado, here are the loglines:

  • An ex-soldier must overcome his addiction to DAWN, a virtual reality device, in order to save his brother.
  • A dismissed solider must overcome his own problems to help look after his brother, as a new killer emerges.
  • A recently discharged solider has to shelve his own problems to save his paralysed brother from a new cyber-killer.
  • A recently discharged soldier has to face a new breed of killer, a cyber-killer, to save his brother’s life.
  • An ex-soldier who is addicted to the virtual reality world of DAWN, must overcome his addiction to save his brother’s life.
  • A discharged solider must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer.
  • An ex-soldier must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-killer.

Let me know in the comments which is your favourite and your reasons why. Thanks ever so much!

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24 thoughts on “Congratulations Followers – I Choose You!

  1. A discharged solider must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer.

    This is my choice. I like the aspect of your main character being discharged. Gives more depth to your plot possibly.

    1. Great thank you (: That’s the one I’m thinking at the moment and someone just told me on facebook they like that one too (:

      1. I agree with that one too. some of the others have too much data for a logline, others too little data or unneeded bits. This has a nice, lean compromise.

  2. “An ex-soldier must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-killer.”

    This logline really stood out for me as your strongest. Kudos for trying multiple versions. You say a lot with this. An ex-solider with an addition gives us a complete idea of the main character. Also there’s a lot of intrigue n this logline. I want to know more. Like to see you make progress with the script. Good luck.

    A suggestion: You can drop the word “must” to make the statement a little more assertive.

    “An ex-soldier battles his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-killer.”

  3. Dan, Logline 5 is my favourite out of all the ones you have outlined because I think the whole Idea of addiction might be a very interesting area to explore and provide a real focus for the arc of your character; giving him plenty of obstacles to overcome as well . Also you haven’t outlined what the threat is in exact terms which I like because it intrigues me.. In the others you have; and, for me at least, this leaves you with more room to manoeuvre. You could maybe work at giving us a subtle idea of what the threat is as an add-on as opposed to- bam-straight into the cyber-killer….. Also there could be more than one threat….and that is quite intriguing-the jeopardy of the cyber-killer and something else….something emotional maybe, connected to his addiction…..Just a few ramblings. To be ignored at your discretion…

    Just had a further thought… I suppose it also depends on where you want to put the emphasis of your piece- on the emotional arc of your main character, or on the serial-killer/virtual reality/action element.

    All the very best

    1. Thanks for your feedback all of it is great (:

      That’s the trouble with my idea there’s a lot of backstory needed so the more I try to fit in the more convoluted the logline gets so keeping it vague works in its favour, enticing people to want to learn more about the world, or at least that’s the plan.

      I’m hoping for a mix but I’d rather focus on the drama elements of the character. Like Looper (which is an amazing film by the way), this is less action and more character focused (though there is action in it)

      Thanks again 😀

  4. “A discharged solider must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer.”

    I’m curious to know why he’s been discharge and how did this obession came to be, even though it may not be a thorough explanation since this is his ordinary world. Also, why is his brother being chase by a cyber-killer?

    Many questions pop out just by reading this logline, which of course makes me want to read the script.

    So this is the one I suggest :). Good luck!

  5. A discharged solider must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer.

    Yeah, I like that one too, except I’d have it say
    A discharged solider must battle his addiction to the virtual world DAWN in order to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer.

    Why? Because having a name for the virtual world makes me curious about it and stop to think about what it might be, it simply catches my attention. But I still want the discharged part, for the same reasons as the person up above said, and cyber-serial killer sounds interesting.

  6. A discharged solider must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer.

    I say this one because of the obvious questions. Why was he discharged? Did it have anything to do with the addiction? Is this fellow flawed that rising to fight the addiction and save his brother will make him a better protagonist? The cyber-serial killer, were they involved in the discharge somehow? So many intriguing possibilities to see played out.

  7. I’m pretty much in accord with everyone else: the next to last one (“A discharged solider must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer”) is the one that’s the clearest and presents the greatest number of opportunities. They’re all good, and a case could be made for any of them, but this one is the most complete and the best worded.

  8. I’m in agreement with the majority in choosing either of the last two as the strongest, but I have a suggestion. The thing at stake is his brother’s life, so look at what happens when you lead with that: “To save his brother from a cyber-serial killer, a discharged solider battles his addiction to a virtual world.” Hmm, there’s a an emotional disconnect there and it falls a bit flat.

    Is it the addiction that he has to battle or is it the killer? Well, the killer, right? How can you hit that harder? What does your soldier do to stop this killer? It’s not actually overcome addiction. The addiction is a symptom of a more crippling problem for your soldier. What’s that problem? Is he afraid of the real world? Is he ashamed of what he did? Is he agoraphobic? I suggest you dig down to the root of his emotional/psychological problem and work out the log line from there.

    So if someone asked me what your film is about right now, I’d say: A discharged soldier who has to save his brother from a cyber-serial killer. Then, expanding on that, I get something like: When his brother is threatened by a cyber-serial killer, a discharged soldier overcomes his virtual demons in order to stop the real one.

    Hope this is helpful. It’s late here, so I may be rambling and incoherent. If so, just chuck this in the round file.

    1. Hi first of all thanks for the comment (:

      Second of all I really like what you have suggested! Putting the brother saving bit first helps shows that that is the main point of the film so I may try a variation using this.

      Just a bit of back story to the idea, Roy (our soldier) is addicted to this virtual life because his real life sucks, and the reality is starting to blur between what’s real and what’s not. So, declaring himself done with the world he says he won’t go back into it, but his brother is who is paralysed and “mind locked” is permenantly plugged into the machine, giving this lifeless body a life inside a virtual world allowing the mind to continue on. The Cyber-Killer has found a way to hack the virtual world and is starting to kill people and the people on Roy’s brother’s ward start dying so Roy has to go back into this world that he had forsaken to save his brother.

      That is the rough outline and it will probably change and flesh out as I continue with this but I thought I’d try explaining briefly what the core idea is for you (:

  9. I’d choose: An ex-soldier who is addicted to the virtual reality world of DAWN, must overcome his addiction to save his brother’s life.

    Obviously, I don’t know what back story you have in mind but this log line leaves the field open for you to contrast the ex-soldier’s addiction to DAWN to his brother’s addiction to a conventional drug like alcohol for example. one could delve into both men’s lives when they were younger to see where the root for their addictive behaviour lies, while using the respective “drugs” as a metaphor for the way some people escape their responsibilities in facing up to uncomfortable truths about themselves. Ex-solider boy can only save his brother by donating a kidney/liver/whatever…and in doing so must do something unselfish for a change…being addicted to a drug, wheatever it might be, is the ultimate act of selfishness, since an addict will place the drug above all else.
    If you wanted to make it more “action” rather than “character” exploration, I guess you could let ex-soldier boy save his brother, who dabbled in selling drugs on behalf of some heavies but then got greedy and now has to face the music.

    Personally, I’d be more interested in the “character” exploration than the latter, which has been used so often.

    Save the Cat is a great book, I read it and found it enormously useful, not just from a scriptwriter’s point of view but for most types of writing. The author takes a refreshing no-nonsense approach and uses plenty of examples to get his point across. Great stuff.

    Best of luck and keep us posted on this project.
    Maria

  10. Hi, Daniel! I hope I’m still on time to give my opinion. I’d go for the last one: “An ex-soldier must battle his addiction to a virtual world in order to save his brother from a cyber-killer”. I think it gives you more scope to develop the character without falling into the stereotyped action hero. Somebody that’s struggling with an addiction is vulnerable to lots of things and the suspense can get hold of the audience throughout the whole movie. You could also play with the relationship between fantasy and reality specially because detox is a tricky, freaky, treacherous, long process. This soldier, for example could be a pro in the virtual world but lousy as a real soldier and the confusion between realities may arise many turns in the plot with the soldier behaving unexpectedly because he’s confused. There are also all the emotions related with accepting one’s addiction: guilt, self-deprecation, impotence and so on. However, a person who faces all that and more and continues to be commited to stay clean has more guts than batman, spiderman, superman and whoever-man put together 🙂 I like the idea of courage, strength and resilience coming suddenly out of weak, damaged people. I also prefer action movies when the action comes from smartly thought ordinary situations rather than Hollywood reality. (not that I don’t enjoy the latter too, though)

    OK. I’ve just read what you wrote about the back story so all my comment should be reviewed. ha! Just keep in mind that an addict is always an addict no matter how long he’s been clean. Moreover, going back to your drug of preference, even after decades is usually worse than having stayed doing them non-stop; so no addict who is conscious of their addiction would go back into it confidently or carefree. Actually, if the addict is not deeply scared of the consecuences of trying drugs again, that addict might not be using drugs, but the deceitful quality of the illness is fully operating and disaster is not far away.

    Sorry if I was too opinionated! Good luck! I’m sure you’ll write a great script.

    1. Of course you’re not too late! Thanks for the advice, this will all be able to be influenced right up until December when I have to hand in the plans for the film plus a scene by scene breakdown of the entire script haha.

      Thanks for the reply though I’m glad you’re in agreement with everyone else (: and I really like your points on the hero not being like a “super” hero is good, and about how he is a good soldier in the virtual world but not in real life. Maybe he could have some sort of “abilities” not super powers but I dunno, maybe he’s a little stronger in the game and he begins to think real life is like that and picks a fight with someone who is strong than him?

      Thanks for the input!

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