‘Off The Grid’ After moving off the grid, bickering newlyweds accidentally kill the creepy neighbors kid and now must work together to escape the families vengeful wrath.

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    Update of RHSC

    Logliner Posted on March 13, 2020 in Thriller.

    Newlyweds must fight for their lives after bickering led to a fatal car crash killing the son of their psychopathic neighbor.

    on March 14, 2020.

    Newlyweds must fight for their lives after bickering leads to a fatal car crash killing the son of psychopathic neighbors hell bent on revenge.

    on March 14, 2020.

    After their car crash kills the neighbors son, newlyweds fight for survival against the fathers lust for vengeance by befriending the red-headed step child.

    on March 14, 2020.
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    6 Review(s)
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      As for the logline, it seems that the story is there: the main characters cause an accident, kill a boy and now have to fend for their lives – fine. The problem is that it sounds rather generic, if not a bit flat. Perhaps if the setting was unique or the way in which the father tries to kill them was original it would help elevate the premise.

      Singularity Answered on March 14, 2020.

      Thank you. That’s good advice. It definitely sounds generic at this point. The uniqueness of the plot stems from a B plot involving the vengeful father’s step-child and his mother… The setting is just a typical backwoods scenario… Ill try to brainstorm some other options but the story as it is now is about a couple winning a contest to live off the grid for a year in state of the art tiny-housing. The backwoods family lives further down the road… The father was going to capture and torture them as per the direction of the ‘ghost’ of his dead son… The step child was going to help them escape. The theme is contrasting a fractured composite family vs a brand new family untainted by time. Im a bit stuck trying to make the logline as interesting as the story.

      on March 14, 2020.

      In my mind the story has elements of ‘monster in the house’ and ‘institution’ for the composite family.

      on March 14, 2020.

      “…The uniqueness of the plot stems from a B plot…” – herein lies the problem. The ‘A’ plot needs to have the unique hook that grabs an exec’s attention, not the ‘B’ plot.

      Regardless, the ‘B’ plot should mostly involve the main characters, not the antagonists or side characters. And to that matter, it doesn’t sound particularly “hooky” to me.

      on March 14, 2020.

      I thank you. I might have a fix thanks to your insight. I’ll have to think for a bit on it.

      on March 14, 2020.
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        Hi Dusty.

        A very quick take on it…

        When newlyweds accidentally kill the creepy neighbours son, they must fight to stay alive, as the family begins a campaign of revenge.

        I wasn’t sure how necessary “bickering” and “must work together” is to the logline. Perhaps for the script. I mean – all newlyweds bicker, it’s not a big enough thing to put in there. “must work together” goes without saying. It seems like excess stuff for the reader to carry.

        I dunno – I thought “son” was more primal and personal and specific than “kid”.

        I considered putting? “relentless” in front of campaign. Sounds pretty intense as it is.

        Admittedly – there’s something wrong with this logline. I can’t put my finger on it. You could perhaps get rid of “creepy”?

        The fact this family is getting revenge says more about than an adjective could.

        Perhaps get rid of “begins”? and just do “campaigns to get revenge”.

        ?

        Mentor Answered on March 13, 2020.
        on March 13, 2020.

        I like your angle. I feel something is off about my logline as well. I’m trying to figure it out.

        The bickering is kind of important because that’s what takes their eyes off the road resulting in the accident… A bickering couple working together shows a clear path for growth to distinguish themselves from the other family. At least that’s my reason for including it. I’m not sure about the title or the first line about moving off the grid even though that’s what happens in the story.

        on March 13, 2020.

        Keep it in for now, but I honestly don’t think it’s needed.

        If we absolutely had to chip away at the logline to get to the main conflict – to get to its very essence, we probably wouldn’t need it.? For example, they might be a young married couple – but we don’t absolutely need to know it’s a young couple in the logline.

        Our bickering couple are distinguished from the other family purely by how the other family is behaving.

        Admittedly – I think if they were a couple on the verge of divorce and they had to work together that promises drama. (Did that happen in Twister? I’m sure it was Twister.)

        Anyways. I’ll have a think…

        INTENTION: to fight, stay alive.

        OBSTACLE: neighbours campaign of revenge.

        Hmm. How do they fight? What do they have to do? Maybe we need to be specific?

        As far as stakes – it’s all very primal. To survive or die. We don’t have to do much there.

        on March 14, 2020.

        Newlyweds must fight for their lives after bickering leads to a fatal car crash killing the son of psychopathic neighbors hell bent on revenge.

        on March 14, 2020.
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          After their car crash kills the neighbors son, newlyweds fight for survival against the fathers lust for vengeance by befriending the red-headed step child.

          There are too many non-causal events and unclear relationships. How did “their” car crash kill the “neighbor’s son”? Who is the “red-headed step son” and how will befriending him calm the “father’s lust for vengeance”?

          More importantly though, why should we root for the newlyweds? Do they possess any redeeming qualities to make us prefer that they prevail over their neighbor? As it stands, the audience might prefer to see the grieving father extract his revenge (especially if he could not get the justice he sought from the the state).

          Mentor Answered on March 14, 2020.
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            Living off the grid seems to be an incidental not a causal nor a complicating factor of the plot; hence it is extraneous for the purpose of a logline or movie title.

            Singularity Answered on March 13, 2020.

            I kinda felt that way too. Thanks! Now I know.

            on March 13, 2020.

            Agreed.

            DPG – out of curiosity, have you or any of the main-logline guys studied Aristotle?

            I’m currently reading this…

            https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=aristotle+screenwriter&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

            (I’ve read Poetics as well. Both Sorkin and Mamet live and die by it.)

            Thing is – it does a lot of heavy lifting and interpreting for you. But it’s still very much this guy’s own interpretation.

            Reading other articles on Aristotle – everyone’s interpretation is different.

            Drives me nuts. I dunno who to believe ha. Thus far, I’m trying to distil my own concrete interpretation of all his teachings.

            on March 14, 2020.

            I read everything and take what works for me and leave what doesn’t. They all say the same things from different angles. It’s important to have structure. Lots of ways to derive your structure. Lots of people have great things to say.

            on March 14, 2020.

            How’s this formulation? I think I’m getting close.
            Newlyweds must fight for their lives after bickering leads to a fatal car crash killing the son of psychopathic neighbors hell bent on revenge.

            on March 14, 2020.

            I’d still get rid of “bickering”. I’d get rid of psychopathic too. The fact they’re getting revenge or doing anything violent makes them psychopathic anyways. I’d probably lead with the inciting incident too.

            When newlyweds accidentally run over a neighbourhood boy, they fight for their lives, as their neighbours campaign to exact revenge.

            Mine are probably getting worse ha.

            How do they fight for their lives? What do you think happens?

            on March 14, 2020.

            I don’t need the word fatal either. Lol…
            Let’s see what we got…

            After their car crash kills the neighbors son, newlyweds fight for survival against the families lust for vengeance.

            on March 14, 2020.

            I think that’s much much better. It’s incredibly lean.

            Inciting incident – After their car crash kills the neighbors son.

            Strong, clear intention – fight for survival.

            Strong, formidable obstacle –?families lust for vengeance.

            Hmm. Not sure about “lust” though. Just seems like the wrong word.

            How about…

            After their car crash kills the neighbours son, newlyweds fight for survival against reprisals from the boy’s family.

            Again – mine are probably getting worse. But we are chipping down to the main conflict.

            It’s the “strong formidable obstacle” to push down on. How to make it worse?

            Is it just the family? Is the whole neighbourhood involved perhaps?

            Hmm. How about…

            After their car crash kills the neighbours son, newlyweds must face off against the boy’s family, who campaign to exact their vengeance.

            The one before this one is probably quicker ha.

            on March 14, 2020.
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              thedarkhorse:

              Yes, I have read Aristotle’s Poetics.? (Several translations to get a full range of the meaning of his words).? It’s a timeless classic, a must-read for anyone who wants to become a screenwriter or dramatist. The book deeply informs my m.o. for reviewing loglines, particularly his points about the unity of plot and the necessity of plausible causality between the inciting incident and action.

              [My other pre-20th/21st century text on drama is Hegel’s theory of tragedy, the most original contribution to dramatic theory since Ari.? And, alas, underappreciated.]

               

              Singularity Answered on March 14, 2020.

              I recommend ARISTOTLE FOR SCREENWRITERS.

              Even though, admittedly I am finding myself disagreeing with some points. But as you know – it’s? good to form your own opinion on things. It’s also very digestible. An easy read.

              Thanks for the Hegel recommendation. I’ll give that a look.

              What do you think of Mamet?

              He’s controversial but a lot of his points resonate with me.

              “Character is an illusion”, “Plot is all that there is”, etc.

              “On Directing” is a good read.

              As for STC and books like that – I think they’re important to be aware of/mindful of even if you disagree with them.

              STC, especially, is more for selling a? blockbuster script (as opposed to writing that arty magnum opus that will most likely never sell) but I guess it depends on what your goals are. I think we all want to make lots of money ha.

              Again – I’m not putting down STC. I do really like some parts of it.?

              on March 14, 2020.

              I don’t agree with the character versus plot argument as a binary choice in modern dramatic theory, either one or the other.? I think it is a false dichotomy. I subscribe to the notion of character and plot; they are complementary, two sides of the same coin.

              Mamet has? the street cred to back up his opinions. (And I’ve read his “On Directing”)

              And yes,? I think writers ought to cast a wide net in studying theories and paradigms, not get locked into one or two as the definitive end all- be all.? Because there isn’t one all purpose set of rules.? And anyway, rules should be used as tools; the more tools a writer has in his toolbox, the better.

              One reason Hegel’s theory of tragedy is underappreciated is because it has to be gleaned from several dense and difficult to read works.? Check out this summary by Professor Mark W. Roche.

              on March 14, 2020.
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