Okay, so I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for Script Frenzy for a little while now, and here’s what I’ve got so far:
My Logline: A naive salvage pilot and engineer from Earth get lost in a distant part of the galaxy on their way home, and involved with a charming Alien Mafia Lady who has the star charts that can get them back home.
I actually worked backwards to this, thinking that I wanted to write something science fiction and going through some of the story genres, before settling on a Golden Fleece, and wondering what would make a compelling ‘Road trip through Space’ kind of movie.
Let’s give it the Blake Snyder chapter 1 logline tests:
* An ironic hook? Well, yeah. The irony doesn’t have anything to do with the science-fiction aspects, just that my poor working schlub heroes are getting in bed with the crime lord, as it were.
* Compelling mental picture? It works that way for me. I’ll try to get some more feedback on it from other people over at the Script Frenzy forums.
* Audience and cost? I think it gives a pretty good notion of the cost to start with – it’ll be a bit on the high-side, because science fiction space effects don’t come cheap, but will be closer to the range of a typical crime thriller than a really big sci-fi action-adventure blockbuster. And you’ve got science fiction nuts in the audience, and crime thriller types, and anybody who really appreciates fish-out-of-water comedies.
* A Killer Title? Okay, I admit I’m coming up blank on this one so far… how to sum up all of that, especially the irony, in a title??
Well, let’s leave the title aside and go over the genre stuff in more detail. As I said, I picked a Golden Fleece genre movie because I hadn’t done one in the sci-fi vein before, and it seemed an interesting tack to take, not overdone, not really hard to fit with the standard sci-fi tropes. Of course, there are some classics that fit this category, such as Back to the Future and a film you might have heard of called ‘Star Wars.’ But I don’t really believe that they’re all the same film.
Next, I guess it’s time to do a little character work and revise the logline accordingly. So, I guess my hero’s probably going to be the pilot, with the engineer as the sidekick, and we need to come up with an adjective for the hero. Trying out a few that would amp up the conflict in the logline, one that I hit on was ‘naive’. If the hero is well-meaning, but not all that worldly about people and aliens, then he might not even realize that the bad guy is a crime lord at the start, and could then explain away that she’s just got on the wrong end of the law by accident.
And the crime boss should definitely be an alien woman, and a charming one to boot.
We’ve got a primal, compelling goal in the logline, at least I’ve always thought that “I just want to go home” is primal enough that a caveman could understand that sense of wanting to return to a place and people that are familiar.
The characters are doing well demographically, from the ‘young man on the rise’ type hero, to a somewhat older and charming woman as the crime lord. We’ll need some supporting characters, including an alien ‘daughter with a heart of gold’ for the crime lady, who can serve as a romantic interest for the hero.
The other thing that I can see that I’m missing at this point, aside from a good title, is a notion of where the hero’s character arc is going to take him over the movie. Does he lose some of the naivete that he starts with, and get a little wiser about the ways of the galaxy without getting too cynical?
So – does this sound like a movie that you’d be interested in watching, so far?
It does sound interesting to me. Except, I hope its not along the Spaceballs or Hitchhikers Guide type humor. That’s just me though – I’m not a huge comedy fan, in any genre. I was forced to watch Galaxy Quest, and I admit I enjoyed the movie. My sense of humor is fickle, where most viewer’s are much more forgiving.
I do like the story layout though. Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, and more recently, Avatar come to mind with similar story arcs.
I think you can make the plot concept unique, and create believable characters. Naivette is an appealing attribute in a young hero.
I’m not a screen writer, but I would offer some feedback on the tag line though. Tighten up the characterization a little. Something like:
A naive salvage pilot and an engineer from Earth are lost in a distant part of the galaxy, and must rely on a seductive alien with access to the powerful Space Mafia to retrieve the star charts that will lead them home.
Good luck with the Script Frenzy Chris.
Sounds like you’ve got this pretty well thought out, and yes – I’d watch it.
Scripts aren’t something I’ve ventured into yet, and I admire you for doing so. Good luck.