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Old 10-22-2012, 08:51 AM   #41
asjah8
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

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Originally Posted by AE35-Unit View Post
"They may not feel so sympathetic to this guy who is struggling near the end of his career."

First of all I agree my loglines tend to suck. I've always found them clunky and difficult to write and I'm working on it.

The protagonist is 56 and is an award winning author who lost his wife in an auto accident five years ago. Since then he's only written pulp romance novels in order to survive. His home has been foreclosed and he's filed for bankruptcy. He relocates to the small town because he visited there with his wife on vacation once and works to finish up the sequel to the book that put him on top. With his advance he decides to take flying lessons at a small airport. His flight instructor is a pretty woman 20 years his junior with a five year old son who had to quit her career as an airline pilot to stay at home when her husband committed suicide due to the loss of his business during the recession.

They fall in love with each other and the protag ditches his novel in lieu of the new inspiration she gives him and he writes a completely different book infuriating his agent and the publisher. He's castigated by the literary community and must give back the advance. She persuades him to pursue his new book with a small hole-in-the-wall regional agency. When the book receives critical acclaim and begins an upward movement in sales, he makes her an offer to facilitate getting her back on track as an airline pilot.

Contrived? This really happened to a friend of mine in a similar manner just different particulars. Sympathy with a younger audience? - no. Know what a producer said who read it? - "I like it. Can you make the airplane crash?"
Isn't that actually a good note though?

My dad is much older and for some reason he's decided he wants to learn to fly a plane... It scares the hell out of myself and my mother because... well, he gets distracted while driving and he was in a fender-bender last year.

My point?

As a moviergo'er, I identify with your story. True story and I'm living it. But I still think, IMHO, the producer gave you a good note. If I'm watching your story, as you've told it, it sounds like a story about a man finding himself. I want to see the evolutionary next step in that sequence. What happens when the unthinkable occurs? When the man crashes the plane or possibly kills somebody? I want to see the result of the drama and the lesson to be learned from watching it.

Anyway, I'm just a voice on the message board...
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:58 AM   #42
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

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Originally Posted by AE35-Unit View Post
"They may not feel so sympathetic to this guy who is struggling near the end of his career."

First of all I agree my loglines tend to suck. I've always found them clunky and difficult to write and I'm working on it.

The protagonist is 56 and is an award winning author who lost his wife in an auto accident five years ago...
I think what you are struggling with here is what we all deal with from time to time. Rejections from all angles can make you want to throw your hands up and yell, "What the hell do you people want from me?!?!?!"

I can see sticking to your guns and keeping what you have since no one that's offering these critiques is handing you a check to pay for your re-write, but I can also see where maybe it's time to take another look at your choices, turn things upside down, shake them like a snow globe, and see what happens.

Are you sure making the protagonist 56 is the best choice? Does it need to be a man? Would it be more compelling to more people if it were a woman? Life has more ticking clocks than retirement and midlife crises...even college aged or twentysomethings can decide to chuck it all or change their lives (Sweet Home Alabama, Garden State). Are you certain it HAS to be a guy close to retirement? If you're satisfied with your choices, why? And I think the answer has to be something better than "because that's what really happened."

As far as your loglines sucking, maybe that's true, but if the story's not there to begin with, no amount of logline finagling is going to make them golden. Try telling someone what your story is after you strip it down to its bare elements. Is it interesting then? Is it unique? If not, there's a problem with your story as a whole.

I find it helps to think of your favorite movies, or even some that aren't your favorite, but are extremely popular, then imagine yourself describing them to a 10 year old nephew that you want to take to the movies. How would you describe Dirty Dancing? Shrek? Star Wars? The Godfather? Now, do the same thing with your screenplays. The point is, no matter who the audience is for any particular movie, a logline should still be simple enough for a kid to understand what the movie's about and possibly get excited about. If it can't be done in a non-convoluted way, then again, you probably have more of a problem with your story than you do with your logline.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:06 AM   #43
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

" What happens when the unthinkable occurs? When the man crashes the plane or possibly kills somebody? "


I see your point but this story is just a simple romance about two people finding love again. She becomes his new inspirational drive and his muse compelling him to begin again from the bottom. And he in turn becomes the key to regaining her career as a natural born pilot.

The interplay with the small town characters and the humorous aspects of the story would become too bogged down with an event like you suggested.

He's jeopardized what little future he may have already so I see no need in muddying the waters further with another life changing arch to the story.

I'm already dealing with a death late in Act 3 with her father, so I have to be careful as it is.

But I appreciate the comment.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:12 AM   #44
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

"If it can't be done in a non-convoluted way, then again, you probably have more of a problem with your story than you do with your logline."

I need to clarify that it isn't my loglines that are the problem. I get reads and get good reactions even from sub-par loglines.

The problem is the stories themselves being "unmarketable". And again it isn't because they are poorly written - not that I'm a perfect writer or anything.

I think the one comment I read that sticks is direct marketing to an indy producer for my specific idea and not neccassarily genre slot.

Last edited by AE35-Unit : 10-22-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:40 AM   #45
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

Suggesting the protagonist crash the plane is an idiotic note if it has nothing to do with the story.

It's the mindset of someone who just wants to sell popcorn and fill seats and disregards the writers theme, his reason for writing the story and the protagonists journey.

You don't just add a plane crash.

That's like saying people love chocolate why not throw some chocolate into that soup.

It's moronic and disrespectful of the writer. But in a business that doesn't respect the writer, not surprising.

Everything in a story has to make sense. If his competency is at issue then a plane crash might work but it seems evident that's not the case.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #46
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

The people who told you these concepts were unmarketable -- did they make the comment after reading the script? Or after simply reading the logline?
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #47
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

Two producers and one rep read the scripts and said basically the same thing. Nice story - never sell it. Too niche.

I have a read going on now with an agency. Probably will be a while before I hear from them - if ever. Although i did talk to the guy and he said he'd read it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:19 AM   #48
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

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Originally Posted by AE35-Unit View Post
"If it can't be done in a non-convoluted way, then again, you probably have more of a problem with your story than you do with your logline."

I need to clarify that it isn't my loglines that are the problem. I get reads and get good reactions even from sub-par loglines.

The problem is the stories themselves being "unmarketable". And again it isn't because they are poorly written - not that I'm a perfect writer or anything.

I think the one comment I read that sticks is direct marketing to an indy producer for my specific idea and not neccassarily genre slot.
Okay, got it. And I believe you.

This love story in particular though seems like it has a chance with some tweaking. If you go with an old geezer, can the woman be younger? Could it even get into Blame it on Rio or Stealing Beauty territory? Obviously, you would be dealing with very different isues then, but you would also be adding quite a bit of spice to the story. Even old geezers (and I'm pretty much one, too, at this point) rarely want to watch other old geezers fall in love on screen.

Then if you have a father dying (and let's face it, we're all going to be thinking this young girl has father issues anyway), you're adding another layer of interesting stuff to play off of. And if you are able to craft it in such a way where we recognize the couple's love but we also realize that it's not to be acted on because of social taboos or what have you, you have a chance at creating something very special.

Obviously I haven't read your stuff, so I could be completely wrong, but just based on your posts, I wonder if you are actually pushing the envelope with your choices as far as they can go and have explored all the possible avenues. That's not to suggest that you need to SHOCK us with something ridiculous, but it better not be middle of the road either.

What if it was a younger guy in his 30s that gets fired or whatever, chucks it all to become a pilot and somehow finds himself in love with a woman pilot in her 50s? Then he has to deal with her father dying and maybe he's only on the cusp of dealing with that in a mature way. Can you see how something like that could be compelling to more people than a couple of people in their 50s going at it? And can you see how a logline for something like that nearly writes itself?

Sounds like you've got the chops, you just need to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #49
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

"If you go with an old geezer, can the woman be younger"

The girl is 34. She was adopted at 12 by a loving black man and his wife who have known her since she was born. Her biological father and he flew tankers in Vietnam and her real father left it in his will should anything happen, that she go to him. Her parents were killed in a car crash when she was twelve. She doesn't have father issues as she loves him very much.Her problem is people she loves leaving her which she fears with the protag.

You'd have to read it to understand. Sorry for my shitty grammar. I'm at my day job.

Last edited by AE35-Unit : 10-22-2012 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:41 AM   #50
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Default Re: Frustratingly unmarketable.

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I'm a whore for two things: Making a name for myself and the money. Even if it's only a little of both.
Here, you're tall and proud.

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Originally Posted by AE35-Unit View Post
Know what a producer said who read it? - "I like it. Can you make the airplane crash?"
Here, you're almost blaming the producer for wanting you to whore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AE35-Unit View Post
...this story is just a simple romance about two people finding love again.
You could just add a little light-aircraft crash under one of your big change scenes. Before the crash, she's not so hot for him. After he pulls her out of the burning wreckage, she is.
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