Two directionless twenty-something bartenders are accidentally exposed to information about a fixed horse race and try to take advantage of this potential windfall without tipping their hand to the nasty thugs that planned the caper

    Penpusher Posted on March 16, 2020 in Comedy.
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    4 Review(s)

      I don’t know where my head is today, but your logline reminded me of Connie and Carla!

      Mike hits the nail on the head here with “what else sustains the 90min+ runtime” and “this is simply the tip of the iceberg”. ? In Connie and Carla, they witness a mob hit and must go into hiding to save their lives… but the world they end up in (LA drag circuit – don’t ask!) ironically answers their pre-witness woes of needing stable and fulfilling work. ?The mob still catches up with them, but by now they’re in a better position (through new alliances) to evade them.

      Connie and Carla is complete daft fluff! ?I don’t know what genre your idea is (which is a potential issue). ?I suppose that’s where I’m heading:

      • What genre is this?
      • Why are they directionless?
      • Why do they need the money?
      • How big a windfall is it?
      • How do the thugs discover them?
      • What do the thugs plan on doing to them?
      • How will they get out of it?

      It sounds like a good set up for a black comedy to me – something that would have a broader appeal than either straight slapstick or thriller?



      Mentor Answered on March 16, 2020.

      Thanks Trix and Mike!? Excellent comments.? I had never heard of Connie and Carla before but just watched the trailer and okay, maybe I see some similarities here…

      There were some other comments posted last night (don’t know where they went?), related to why don’t they just go and simply place the bet?? The revised logline below attempts to explain that they only get partial information that a race will be fixed next Saturday….maybe they overhear part of the thug’s conversation at the bar, or maybe notice a text popped up on his phone while he’s in restroom.? Now, they have to make the decision to go on this adventure, get close to the thugs, and try to find out what horse and what race.? They’re bartenders, what do they have to lose?? That adventure, the trouble they get into and the near misses of almost getting caught could be the bulk of act 2.? Like this better?? A different approach in next comment box below.


      Two twenty-something bartenders hear bits of information about a fixed horse race, but still need to uncover the winning horse without being caught by the thugs that planned the caper

      on March 16, 2020.

      In response to Mike’s questions above..

      • What genre is this? Adventure Comedy….maybe something like Horrible Bosses?
      • Why are they directionless?? They’re somewhat bored and trying to figure out what they really want to do with their lives.? This may make it easier to say yes to the adventure….what else do they have going on right now?
      • Why do they need the money?? Still thinking on this…maybe college, or a family member in a difficult situation.
      • How big a windfall is it?? Maybe there’s 2.? The first one, they make a several hundred and that gets them excited (i.e. that was easy).? The next one, they can really score big (tens of thousands).? See below.
      • How do the thugs discover them? Not sure yet
      • What do the thugs plan on doing to them?? Here’s a different approach…..the bartenders uncover the additional information about what horse and what race.? They make the bet, win and everything seems easy.? They turn around after cashing the ticket and the thugs are standing right there.? Uh-oh! They’re caught.? Now the thugs know who they are, where they work and where they live, and force them to be a part of fixing the next race.? In the end, final plot twist, they turn the tables and bet on a long shot.? This would need a entirely different logline, but maybe could sustain 90+ minutes.? What do you think?
      • How will they get out of it? Not sure yet
      on March 17, 2020.
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        Why two? Why not a single protagonist?

        At 35 words, it’s not too long however I do think it could easily be shortened to make it more punchy.

        So they hear about a fixed horse race, go and place a bet, win big… I get that they don’t want to make it obvious and they risk being caught but what else sustains the 90min+ runtime? I wonder if there is more story after they’ve won the bet. Surely if they win too big (since they’re young and probably greedy, that’s what I imagine has potentially happened) then there’ll be consequences to this? I feel like this is simply the tip of the iceberg and they should get dragged deep into a world they had no intention of finding themselves in.

        I like the premise though. I’m based in the UK, so this feels Guy Ritchie-esque like Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. No idea if that’s what you’re going for.

        Go further… what happens next?

        Singularity Answered on March 16, 2020.

        Thanks Mike – You make some excellent points? and made me think about what happens after they win.? I tried to address both your and Trix’s comments below.? ?Let me know what you think about revised approach.? Thanks!

        on March 17, 2020.
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          I suggest it might work better if they have an urgent need for the money, one that an audience can identify with.

          Like they’re saddled with enormous college loans after graduating with degrees in philosophy or literature (Phd degrees, no less), degrees that have no market value.

          [For those of you not living in the US, the student loan racket is one of the greatest con jobs and legalized usury schemes every foisted on the American people.? Student loans cannot be forgiven;? if debtors declare bankruptcy, they can’t get out from being liable for their student loans.? It’s outrageous– and it’s legal.]

          What I am suggesting is to create audience sympathy for the guys by giving them the same financial problem that afflicts tens of millions of people.? Make their predicament relatable.? As it stands now, there is nothing in the logline to evoke audience sympathy, to get an audience to root for them.

          Also, I, too, have to ask why there are two main characters.? Why not just one?? Have you worked out the chemistry of their relationship?? Are they an odd couple who must work together to get of a common predicament?? Or are they best friends whose relationship will be sorely tested as the story progresses?


          Singularity Answered on March 17, 2020.

          dpg – Love it – brilliant!? A big college loan hovering is a great driver…..evokes audience sympathy, highly relatable and the amount of debt is within the realm of what could potentially be won on a horse race with a big bet…or a couple of races if they decide, or are forced, to head down that path.

          I am open to one character.? The thinking behind 2 main characters is they are best friends whose relationship will be tested.? One may have serious reservations about getting involved,? want to bail out, or one may even get caught by the thugs and help captive until the other goes through and helps them fix one more race.

          Thoughts on this logline?? Thanks!

          Twenty-something bartender strapped with massive college debt, gets in way too deep with thugs involved in fixing horse races

          on March 17, 2020.
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            I advocate composing two loglines for works projects, a development version to rough out the fundamentals of the plot for the work in progress, and eventually a marketing version for pitching the finished script.? (Ideally, the two could be one and the same, but in practice that is not always the case. )

            “Gets in too deep” is vague,? needs clarification and specificity. Right now, I am interested in a development logline version of your concept that lays down the fundamental elements:? inciting incident, protagonist, objective goal, antagonist, stakes.? (And it is perfectly kosher for a development version to begin with “when” because it’s for a work in progress, only for private use. I agree that the marketing version for when the finished script goes public should try to avoid leading off with that word.)

            Singularity Answered on March 17, 2020.
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