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THE DEJAVU PROJECT

THE DEJAVU PROJECT
By Jay Han-San

GENRE: Action, Sci-fi
LOGLINE:

Videogames consultant joins hands with a Virtual Reality private military technology firm to come back in time and use his storytelling skills to reconstruct the past to save the lives of citizens, and uncover a plot to establish an alternative powerhouse to rule the world.

SYNOPSIS:

‘The Déjà Vu Project’

Videogames consultant joins hands with a Virtual Reality private military technology firm to come back in time and use his storytelling skills to reconstruct the past to save the lives of citizens, and uncover a plot to establish an alternative powerhouse to rule the world.

SYNOPSIS:

Spec Script for TV version of the DEJA VU (2006) movie.

“The DEJAVU Project” is a procedural drama that follows the team of scientists and agents called “Runners” who fight the crime and solve puzzles in the past to save lives in the present.

In this show, we follow a regular guy Andy who joins hands with an Augmented and Virtual Reality private military technology firm that managed to find a way to look into the past. Andy will have to come back in time as a "Runner" to save the lives of citizens and uncover a plot.

PILOT EPISODE:

RAKE TECH hires Andy and sends him to a secret Virtual Reality Lab. He joins a group of scientists and field agents to fight crime by using the DEJA VU technology that allows them to look into the past, exactly 14 days back in time. He has to train and help solve cases of terrorism and accidents. Everything starts with quick onboarding and intro into what he has to go through. Aria, his counterpart, and Andy are being sent to Portugal, Lisbon 14 days in the past. They need to help stop the accident at the train station. They can't stop the derailment, but they can scare off the people from the platform.

Things get messy when they come back in to present. Something changed, lives have been saved, but a friend of Andy's missing as if she never existed. This makes Andy nervous. Aria holds another secret and the time travel on another 24-hour training mission to Paris that begins for both of them with a surprise visit by the shadow organization that has similar technology, or so it seems. Aria disappears. Andy is all alone now in Paris.

END OF PILOT EPISODE

BACKGROUND AND SUB-PLOTS:

1) Andy (recruit) is not a rookie in this game - he's the guy who invented DEJAVU technology together with Fitz - he wiped his memory voluntarily to make sure the technology won't be re-built by bad guys.

2) Aria - as you know, is Gina. Aria doesn't know she's Gina, and Gina didn't know she's Aria. Her memory and past were substituted with simulated past by Andy when he was still a designer and mastermind behind the technology. He chose her to be the “Runner #1”

3) What's driving Andy in the pilot episode - well, it's all there - Gina, waitress, the only person he can actually relate to disappears - like she never existed. And at the end of the episode, Aria disappears - now it's pretty obvious that apart from finding out what's going on - he will be looking for both Aria and Gina.

4) The original story of the DEJA VU movie (2006) – Doug (ATF agent) falls in love with a dead girl from the ME's office, washed up onshore after an explosion on the ferry. Then he goes back in time to save the girl.

Well, here, Andy will have to solve the time-matrix puzzle to save Gina, not Aria, not the World, Gina, that drug addict on a recovery path. The sub-plot is that he has to find out at some point that he's not videogame Andy - he's Professor Andy Kovac the creator of the magnificent yet dangerous machine.

5) The powerhouse - throughout Season 1 - Andy and his team will be chasing an organization that they think they know well (Fitz from the future), but only by Episode 20 they realize that Fitz works for Andy from the future and there is a bigger plot to create the powerhouse to alter the entire past and substitute our lives with the story that will make us think it's our actual past, present and future. The motives behind that are yet to be discovered by the videogame Andy, Aria, the good Fitz and the rest of the team from the present we know.

STORY DEVELOPMENT:

Episode 2:

We follow Andy in his 24-hour training cycle in Paris. He has to find Aria. But there is a mission that he has to solve. Two weeks in the future (or present for us), there will be an assassination of a diplomat in Paris. The team pulls Andy back the moment (10 minutes into the episode) and they tell him that the attack is imminent and he is the only Runner they have. Fitz will equip Andy with a special device that will allow him to look at the same place from different vantage points (same as we had in the original movie with shifting angle at very high speed). But remember Andy is a storyteller for videogames, he has skills to lay the perfect story. At least that’s his understanding of his past. He knows how to construct multi-level games like “Hitman” etc, so he has to make a plan and predict all the scenarios that can happen on his way to the point where he has to save the diplomat and stop the

Assassination. The tricky part of this episode is that he will find Aria half-alive in the vicinity of the diplomat. There will be a limited timeframe for him to act - and he will have to choose who he wants to save. Tough decision…

THE DEJAVU PROJECT

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Jay Han-San

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Nathaniel Baker

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Karen "Kay" Ross

Thanks for asking for feedback via the Your Stage Lounge - that was very helpful! I like the idea, but the big thing I'm left wondering is what does Andy want? Lots of things are happening to him, but without a driving force, the events in the plot will ring hollow. Keep at it!

Jay Han-San

Thanks for the feedback Karen "Kay" Ross. Really appreciate your input. I know that sci-fi time travel can be confusing and it's hard to keep up with the timeline, especially when in the script I prefer not to go into the details who's wearing what. But thanks to your comment I have changed some parts to make it more clear:

1) Andy (recruit) is not a rookie in this game - he's the guy who invented DEJAVU technology together with Fitz - he wiped his memory voluntarily to make sure the technology won't be re-built by bad guys.

2) Aria - as you know, is Gina. Aria doesn't know she's Gina, and Gina didn't know she's Aria.

3) What's driving Andy in the pilot episode - well, it's all there - Gina, the only person he can actually relate to disappears - like she never existed. And at the end of the episode, Aria disappears - now it's pretty obvious that apart from finding out what's going on - he will be looking for both Aria and Gina.

4) Remember the DEJA VU movie - D.W. fall in love with a dead girl from the ME's office. Then he goes back in time to save the girl. Well, here Andy will have to solve the time-matrix puzzle to save Gina, not Aria, not the World, Gina, that drug addict on a recovery path. The sub-plot is that he has to find out at some point that he's not videogame Andy - he's the Professor Andy Kovac the creator of the magnificent yet dangerous machine.

And I added a small twist to make sure we know that time travel is not a harmless video game:

EXT. PARIS STREET / HIDDEN AREA DOWNTOWN - NIGHT

We see the dark alley in between buildings. Nothing but rats and garbage cans. Our of thin air the body of Aria starts appearing, it is being constructed pile by pile till she's complete. She turns around and checks the surroundings. The flashlights in her face. She tries covering her face. As soon as she sees something, her face changes. She's confused, shocked and surprised.

ARIA :

You...? What the hell are you--

Somebody grabs her and injects something in her neck. She faints.

EXT. PARIS STREET / HIDDEN AREA DOWNTOWN / CAR - LATER

We see a truck. Unconscious body of Aria in the back of the car. Somebody closes the door. Car leaves the scene. We turn to see no one. Street is clean. And then in a second, we see the same light in the distance in the back of the alley. Andy's figure reappears searching for Aria.

ANDREW :

Aria?...Aria...

(looking around one more time)

Shit...

He looks at his watch. It says 23h 58m 16.15.14.13... And counting seconds.

We see him walk through the alley and out to the main street. He starts running away. We stay and turn to see the other man standing in the dark alley. We do see his face. It's Fitz. The other one. The one who came back from the future to do something very bad. But that's the story of Fitz from the future.

END OF EPISODE

HB Duran

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HB Duran

Hi, Jay, this sounds like a very interesting idea but the logline doesn't give me any details to get excited about - and I work in the games industry! What makes this consultant intriguing like a special skill, etc.? You can save some of the surprises for the script, but "uncovering a plot" doesn't tell us anything - to... destroy the world? ...brainwash millions? Get us behind this character and ready to uncover secrets with him!

Jay Han-San

Thanks for the advice and feedback HB Duran - in fact, great input - I did some changes in the logline (a bit long, but I guess longline limitations do not really apply to TV series pilots), so how about this:

"Videogames consultant joins hands with a Virtual Reality private military technology firm to come back in time and use his storytelling skills to reconstruct the past to save the lives of citizens, and uncover a plot to establish an alternative powerhouse to rule the world."

HB Duran

There you go, much better. :-) Keep going!

Jay Han-San

This show - to lift it up - needs a great showrunner with impeccable organizational and imaginative skills. Somebody who can really know the intricacies of gaming and puzzle making with time sequences and non-linear story. The perfect match would be someone who transitioned from the gaming industry into filmmaking and producing. Somebody who worked with THQ, Eidos etc.

Katherine Anne Fairfoul

I haven't seen the original but I suspect you've twisted away from it by employing the gaming element. I'd still recommend a name change so you get as far from the original as possible in order to cover your legal tush. Your logline is long and confusing. A logline introduces the protagonist, states their goal and the critical opposition to that. In a couple of lines. You have to get clear on those three things because getting your treatment, let alone your pilot, read depends entirely on that. It also clarifies what you're writing about in your own head so you stay on track and don't over-complicate things for yourself or potential producers.

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