Screenwriting : Logline in progress. by Floyd Marshall Jr.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Logline in progress.

I could use some feedback please. Working on my log line for my latest script. Would love your feedback on if you like it or not, would you want to see this film if you saw this log line? All pros and cons are welcomed and appreciated. Log line: An assassin searches for his best friends killer while trying to stay ahead of cops who want to lock him up, a boss who wants to frame him and a psycho who wants him dead. Thanks again.

Dave McCrea

The good news is there is definitely enough tension, it's clear who your protagonist is and what genre it is, but it seems a bit bland, I'd like some flavor, something specific to help me visualize what's going on, something different abouty it. Cause right now it sounds like Faster meets The Mechanic but I've seen those so why see this film. The psycho who wants him dead is also vague - why does he want him dead? So it sounds like it has ingredients of a good action thriller, but logline is a bit bland and generic

Dave McCrea

what's different about this assassin? Is there anything in particular that makes his task more difficult?

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Thanks David. I'm going to work on that aspect. And yes there is a twist with the assassin and the psycho. Thanks for the feedback.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Thanks Lyse!

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Alright, I switched some stuff added some adjectives. Still a work in progress. Log line: Deceptions, blood in blood out. An enigmatic wet worker under suspicion of murder searches for his friends killer while dodging shady cops, a jealous associate who wants him dead and a boss trying to frame him.

Danny Manus

I would take out the "Deceptions, blood in blood out" part - but the rest of the logline is actually quite intriguing.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Thanks guys. And Alle I put it up here to get blunt feedback. Sugar coating doesn't do me any good so I won't take offense at what you say as long as we remain professional. Thanks for the feebback.

Jeremy Thornhill

Hey Floyd, I think people gave you some great feedback. The logline doesn't present the theme or purpose of the story, just conflict after conflict. Which is okay, but it doesn't tell me what happened or why I want to go on this journey. Give me a reason as to why I want him to find his friends killer, something like: Before his best friends wedding Before having his first baby Give us a reason why this time in his best friends life is important. Give us a reason to root for him on this journey more so than just, his best friend died. Make it gripping. Character is what's most important in film. It's what makes us relate and makes us want to root for them.

Anthony Moore

The log line may be a bit too long. Try this: An assassin searches for his best friend’s killer while trying to stay ahead of cops, a mob boss and a serial killer. In my opinion, too much exposition in the description. Everyone knows that cops lock people up. I was assuming Boss refers to a mafia leader. And a serial killer is a type of psycho. This sounds like a movie I would definitely go see. Good luck.

Anthony Cawood

Ive added a few words to Anthony's excellent suggestion and came out with... A world weary assassin searches for his best friend’s killer while trying to stay ahead of corrupt cops, an evil mob boss and a deranged serial killer. Whatever logline you settle on... I wanna see it!

Danny Manus

Alle, maybe your next post can be that you REALLY REALLY don't like it, in case we didn't get your opinion the first time. Personally, I like it and I probably would have asked for the script if I was looking for something like that.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Thanks everyone for your fabulous feedback! All great suggestions and constructive criticism which only helps you grow.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Well Alle you can't please everyone, all the time. there are plenty of films that didn't resonate with me either and I didn't bother to watch cause it didn't hit me. Everything isn't for everyone, but to correct you I'm not inexperienced nor am I new at this. You can't make an assumption because someone asks for your opinion, but I do appreciate your honesty and i'll definitely keep in mind everything you've said. And if I ever get to a point where 100% of the people like what I do, hell I don't know what I'd do if that happened, thanks again.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Sorry, Floyd, forgive me, but I find the logline and premise to be a whole lot of double mumble jumbo -- too much, like plot soup. I thought it was a dark comedy not a thriller. In fact, I think it could work better as a dark comedy. Helps with believability. You lost me with an assassin having a best friend (LOL!). Assassins are usually enigmatic loners. Anyway, just my two cents... I do wish you the best with your script!

Jeremy Thornhill

Alle, I'd love to read your story. Have you submitted it to any screenplay competitions?

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Well I have settled on my log line. I think this best reflects what this film is about. BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT: A hit man's search for his childhood friend's killer is thwarted at every turn by a sociopathic mob boss and an arch enemy who wants him dead.

J Tom Field

The only evidence I have that assasins/hit (wo)men don't have friends and that they are naturally loaners is that I have none as friends myself so that's probably true but if you insist on going through with such an absurd concept, (I will now remove my tongue from my cheek) I would encourage you to drop some of the adjectives here. I think that anyone who is the boss of a hitman is probably pretty maniacal, and no doubt said boss' underling would be not so nice either. Psychotics really aren't nearly as scary as sociopaths. I think sociopath has really come into it's own in film and creates a more capable opponent for the protagonist. Possibly refer to the boss as a sociopath and let people assume that a sociopaths underling is what it is. Melancholy seems ok but can you give a little bit more, something that begins to explain his melancholyness (yeah I made that word up). eg. "Tired of leading a hidden life, a hitman....", "Realizing the error of his ways, a hitman..." or "Needing to repay a favor once given, a hitman...". Of course I don't know your story so these are just examples not suggestions on how your story should go. Something like these could give us a little bit of what his motivation is. This is the story. As much as you've totally dropped the cop from the log line, which I like, you can almost do the same with the bad guys. Is there possibly something that gives us a hint at a cause why the boss, underling and cop don't want him to find the killer? Log lines are hard because each one needs to create a picture. A picture says a thousand words. Therefore a log line needs to say a thousand words as well, but must be done with fifty or less. This and a quarter would get you a phone call if you could find a phone booth that took quarters. Best of luck and I look forward to hearing how things turn out for you and your character.

Anthony Moore

I have friends but I'm kind of a loner. Does that mean I have what it takes to be a hitman?

Anton West

Only if you want to kill the friends ;)

Joshua Maislin

Hi Floyd - Your latest logline is a huge improvement. One nitpicky thing that's survived all iterations of your logline: it should be "friend's killer" not "friends killer"

Tom Rooney

Hi Floyd, 1. What sort of assassin is he/she? Out-of-shape? Cute? From your Logline I envisage a Ninja which is somewhat cliche'. 2. Where is he/she searching for his best friend's killer? Locally? Internationally? In Disneyland? Give the logline some flavor, this is your selling tool. 3. Trying to stay ahead of the cops tells me they are driving the story and not the assassin. Is this true? It also has the vibes of HITMAN so doesn't sound too original. 4. A boss who wants to frame him? Do you mean the assassin's boss? The boss of Toys-R-Us? A gangland boss? 5. It's not clear if the psycho is the assassin's best friend's killer, or just someone who hates assassins. See my point? Hope this helps in some way. Keep in touch.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Whew! Thanks guys! Still messing around with this. It's going through many transformations. I like the sociopath word so I think i'll change that out. Also friend's killer. Punctuation!!!

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Updated log line. Of course it may/will change, but I like this one too. BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT: A hit man's search for his childhood friend's killer is thwarted at every turn by a sociopathic mob boss and an arch enemy who wants him dead.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

The other one I was playing with was, An assassin driven to revenge by his friends death is thwarted at every turn by his sociopathic mob boss, an unscrupulous cop and a rival who wants him dead.

Kathryn Kyker

Like the update, nice changes.

Katherine Summers

Oh dear no, my friend, this all sounds like stuff we've seen before. What's different about your story? Make it idiosyncratic to you. Make it original. "Joe's a priest, only he's a hit man out to avenge his friend's death." Don't try and tell the whole story ( or include all the characters or your log line will lose impact) Only you can find the perfect line, you know YOUR story. Hope this helps :)

J Tom Field

I agree with Katherine in that only you know your story/logline. Disagree with the concept that Hollywood actually wants something different then what we've already seen. Smiley face emoticon. I think things are moving in a good direction. Don't lose YOUR story by listening to us. We don't know sh*t.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Damn!!!!!!

Katherine Summers

Keep at it, if you build it they will come!

Floyd Marshall Jr.

I think this is it. BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT: Suspected of murder a hit man races against time to find his friend's killer while trying to stay ahead of the law and the rival gangster who wants him dead. I think I like this one the best.

Katherine Summers

"Suspected of murder, a hit man races against the clock, to find his friend's killer.. " SO FAR GREAT, but think you need to do something to shorten the last part, and get rid of 'while' (also, and you'll hate me!) but your title is nearly there but not - it needs to be original and GRAB! 'BLOOD' is a great word but not sure of the 'in/out'. Feel free to totally disagree, well done! :)

Michael A. Wright

Sorry, Floyd, but Blood In, Blood Out is already a movie from the nineties, and not a very good one: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106469/ As far as your logline, I think you need to figure out what the hook is and use that to create a more unique-sounding tease of what the script offers. As it stands, I think it sounds kind of generic. I have a couple of issues, some already addressed by some of the more balanced commenters on this otherwise constructive post, but hopefully I can add a little more insight: 1) "Suspected of murder"…Isn't every hitman suspected of murder perpetually? Murder is their business, so being suspected of their job description is just redundant and unnecessary, no? 2) I think the "friend" thing is interesting, as assassins are typically represented as loners. Not sure how you shoehorn the dynamic between them into the logline though. Also, is it his friend's murder he's accused of? You don't really specify. Further to being a "suspect": Aren't assassins always "off the grid" types as well? To be a suspect in a murder means you're a pretty shitty hitman, no? If he's not in custody, how does anyone know who he is? Maybe I'm being presumptuous, but definitely something to consider, I would think. 3) Again, I think you need to find the hook that makes this unique. "Racing against time" is a cliché and a rival gangster is nothing new. And everything about this is outside of the law, so "staying ahead of the law" doesn't warrant mention, IMO. Remember that Jason Statham movie "Crank"? THAT was a great and unique hook, and a pretty decent execution of it. I'm not saying it's a great movie, but it's easy to see why it got made and how the script got into the right hands. Action/thrillers like these need something new, something we haven't seen, while staying within the familiar Hollywood framework. We've all heard "The same, but different", which is what we're dealing with in regards to your logline. We know what's the same, but what's different about your story? Find the hook and make it the focus: What made you want to write this script? What do you like about it that sets it apart from other films in the same genre? Anyway, I don't know why we even bother; Alle's already written the ultimate film, what's the point in even trying?

Dave McCrea

whoa hold up Michael. Blood In Blood Out is not a very good movie?????? Have you seen it? It's just a scene or two short of a masterpiece. I was blown away by several sequences in that movie. But yeah, Floyd, you gotta call it something else

Katherine Summers

Some great constructive help there... Michael's right in many respects, it's only the characters and context that make a story 'unique' work on that and you will have your title, log line... oh I disagree there are always great new stories to be seen and heard. Go for it!

Katherine Summers

As Shakespeare ( i think) said "TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE" :)

Michael A. Wright

It must've been those two scenes that ruined it for me, Dave;) Confession: I thought the guy from the poster was Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies when I rented it back in University and was extremely disappointed when I realized it wasn't him!

Michael A. Wright

I was being sarcastic with the "why bother" comment, Katherine. Did you read Alle's posts? Next-level lack of self-awareness...

Katherine Summers

LOL. Jeez Guys, now you're talking about it, I'm gonna have to find that film!

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Yup. Thought about a lit of these points myself this morning. so I had to scrap that last one. So I changed some stuff and revisited some stuff. DECEPTIONS BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT: An art dealer specializing in death hunts Philadelphia for his friend's murderer which leads to contention between him, his masochistic boss and a disillusioned cop who are both keeping secrets.

Anton West

That's getting too long and detailed again in my opinion. 'Leads to contention' isn't strong enough. How about: Suspected of the murder of his best friend and hunted by both the law and the Mob, a reformed hitman races against time to catch the real culprit.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Thanks Anton. I've been doing some thinking and I've come to the conclusion you shouldn't try and reinvent the wheel and that's what I've been doing. All the previous log lines have an element of the script because it has twists and turns, but at the end of the day it's really about one thing, finding out the truth. His childhood friend is dead he wants the truth and that's all. The people in the way of that truth is the two rival families and a cop straddling the fence between both worlds. So my log line is simple, an exec may say hey that's interesting or they may say, nope it doesn't tell me anything, but I've learned from this post alone that regardless of what you right it ain't gonna hit everybody, so on that note I'm gonna go with this one for good or ill this is it. I would definitely like to thank ALL OF YOU for helping with this, this shit is no joke. My log line for DECEPTIONS, BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT: A hit mans search for his friend's killer uncovers a secret two warring families and a cop on both sides of the law has been keeping for years. That's it for good or bad. We shall see.

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