Screenwriting : Logline by Don Zorbas

Don Zorbas

Logline

Hi folks, would love to hear your thoughts on my logline. Thanks. "When a Neo-Nazi extremist receives a heart transplant and falls in love with his donor's sister, members of his cruel gang soon discover she is African American and forces him to make a choice, just before they conduct an all out race war. "

Richard Allis

I think it's pretty good. A bit on the long side. I think you can cut the "soon" and just have "discover". If you can find a couple more words like that to cut, it would be good. But the logline flows well and shows what's at stake. Have you written the script?

William Martell

Is the main conflict inside the character's head/heart or external where we can see it on screen? This also seems like a single decision story that may not be able to escalate and fill two hours with conflict.

Don Zorbas

Hi, yes the script is almost done and its external where we can see it. Thanks guys!

Alexander Q²

Interesting....

Shawn Speake

That's solid story consulting, Lisa. Good question.

Don Zorbas

Lisa, this is a great a point. But I think I can pull it off.

Mark Walker

Perhaps he could be reforming - Ed Norton, American History X - so you can add the extra tension around his attempts to escape a life that keeps trying to drag him back, but also make it more plausible that this relationship could kick off? Maybe/Maybe not but, as Lisa says, nothing to lose by giving it a go! When a heart transplant forces him to reconsider his life, an ex-Neo Nazi begins a forbidden relationship that threatens his redemption and all out race war in his hometown. And is the heart transplant thing just a "gimmick" to introduce him to the heroine of the story? If it is, perhaps that could be lost and you can concentrate on the reformation of this character and the forces that are tearing him in two directions. You can keep it in the story, but perhaps it can be removed from the logline to help tighten it up? An ex-Neo Nazi struggles to escape his old life when a new forbidden relationship threatens his redemption and an all out race war. Neither are great, but they show you how you can shorten the log line and perhaps make it "snappier" - I think you need better words than my "struggle" and "threaten" - they are are bit easy - but there is the potential for a good story here if you really focus down on the characters playing it out - good luck! Just my opinion of course!

Ardua de Potomac

I share some of the concerns (confusion?) posted here. Why/when does he fall in love with her? Is he resisting his feelings, and that's why he's still hanging with these goons? Cannot admit to himself he's attracted to her? And it's a mighty jump from "I believe in white supremacy" to "I've fallen in love with a woman of color". If his feelings have progressed to that depth, seems he would have quit the goons long before he arrived at that point. But you say they "soon" discover he's in love with her. Maybe it would make more sense to me if you drop it down to something like "finds himself falling for her", instead of saying it's love. In my mind, there would have to be a process happening: he's being gradually drawn towards her and away from them. I'm puzzled how anything in this scenario could be sudden, unless they're about to kill her and he suddenly realizes he loves her. Or does he fall in love with her in about 24 hours? (Which certainly happens in plenty of movies! Then it's just my personal resistance to calling the overnight thing "love".)

Ken Shaw

For your 'Logline'; After a heart transplant, a Neo-Nazi extremist falls in love with the Negro Donor's sister. Just before an all out race war, His gang finds out, and forces him to make a radical decision. Discussion...... He has a 'Black Heart',(pun not intended), He is 'An Extremist', and He falls in love with a Black Woman....?? Um,......NO !! It does not work.

Kamala Lane

I like it a lot! Draws me in.

Don Zorbas

Thanks folks. Much Appreciated!

Edith Woi

I think there are countless ways to psychologically give plausible reasons for the bkack woman love! I have been in relationships with many germans with nazi family members....not sure the period...but if today a gazillions scenarios.....but my own personal story Lol.

CJ Walley

When I was writing a script about white supremacists I spent a lot of time reading through the forums of StormFront.org to get a bearing on the views and realities of that culture.

Edith Woi

QCJ- good point. But then the NSA will flag your account hahaha.

CJ Walley

LOL Edith! I honestly had concerns like that.

Edith Woi

baahhaaaaaa. If the research isn't in the Vatican's archives...my arse stays out!

Don Zorbas

Lisa, that is brilliant!

Don Zorbas

Peter, I love the suggestions, thank you. And I started the outline.

Edith Woi

@Peter- if you were a gun...you would be a sharp shooter!

Jeanne Young

Just from the logline and comments here alone, I think this makes for an intense two hours! Shew! Oh it can be done.

Simon © Simon

Why not... A Bigot receives a transplant from a race other then his own? (inter turmoil) Shored up by his Bigoted Cronies. (conflict) This way whomever reads it may want to have a Vietnamese getting a Chinese heart....etc. ~ Bigots come in all races.

Mark Walker

Peter, I think the logline can be a useful tool for prepping a story as well - I find it helps me think about the broad strokes of a story and can be helpful when I'm researching, prepping and outlining a story. Although Don appears to have posted his logline without the backbone of his story being finished, this thread has certainly helped him think about some of the issues he needs to address to break his story. In that way it has been a useful tool. Of course, there is no "one way" to write and it won't work for everyone, but I personally find it useful to play around with loglines early in story development - although I certainly WOULDN'T attempt to use it for promotional purposes until my script was ready for it.

Edith Woi

@Peter- you are burning the midnight oil! And like Monica Lewinsky said to Bill Clinton, "that's a hard one"! I have read a few places online people claiming you should start with a logline and all three acts included in it. I tried that method. FAIL! (for me) That logline, or that process did seem more like an exercise of "what is a good story/idea" to write about? I have ALWAYS changed the logline AFTER writing, and revising, and polishing.... so it seems that it is the last thing I do. Sorta like the icing on the cake. But that's my 2 "sense" worth:-)

Mark Walker

Peter - to me it is a logline as that is how I write it - to others, probably not. But that is my point really, to illustrate that everyone writes differently and just because someone says you shouldn't start with a logline, it doesn't mean you can't. And likewise, just because I say (think?) I start with a logline, doesn't mean everyone else should. Personally, I wouldn't ask for comments on a logline for a story that isn't fully formed (at least in my head), but I can see why some people might (and your final point is a good one). Horses for courses and all that. I think there is a lot of confusing advice for us writers starting out - if you read 10 books on screenwriting, you will get 10 ways to write a screenplay [and that is before you hit the forums! :-)], so it gets difficult for new writers to figure out what is right for them. - in short, waht's right for you is what works for you. Sorry, I'm going waaaaay off topic with this, so I'll get off my soapbox and just wish you all a Happy Friday! :-)

Edith Woi

This would be a GREAT experiment! To see where Don ends up!??? Even using the premise that Lisa provided....I could see so many variables in character development, plots twists, you name it! I wonder in the end how similar would the current logline be with the final logline? @Don...wanna be a guinea pig :-)))?

Don Zorbas

Thank you all for your input. Greatly appreciated!

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