Sunday, November 11, 2007

Keep on fighting the power, everybody

There's a new petition to sign stating that you won't download anything off the network websites. Please sign it, and then don't download anything off the network websites. If you download anything off those websites you're helping the studios and hurting the writers.

If you have a Myspace, there is a virtual picket line going around. Replace your default photo with a picture in support of the strike.

Anyone who wants to join a picket line can find the schedule here.

I will be out of work tomorrow because of Veteran's Day so to honor the men and women who fought for our rights I'm going to go practice my First Amendment right to assemble and bitch. I'm making black bean spirals today to take out and share with the group. I figure if I've only got one day on the picket line I'll make the most of it. If you're up at Warner on Monday I'll be in my red UTLA shirt handing out appetizers. Union solidarity!

Isn't this nice? One silver lining to this whole strike issue is that it seems to be bringing all kinds of people together. I'm not in the Guild but I kind of feel like I am these days. On a normal day you have to either screw somebody or kill somebody to next to an A-list writer, but during the strike all you have to do is show up at the studio gate with cookies. It sort of melts away that barrier between the successful and the aspiring. How American of us.

On an unrelated note, I finally got around to writing a logline for Bamboo Killers:
Four people - one emotional couple with sexual disfunction and one sexual couple with emotional disfunction - face their insecurities as they spiral toward each other until they end up on opposite sides of a dangerous plot that appears to be an innocent night of board games.

[EDIT] I realize by the comments that I need to explain a bit what the script is. It's a series of chapters - one on each of the four people in this story - that all have different plots. Each chapter builds up to the final chapter, which is the only full story where the four people are in the same room at the same time. One is a boxing story, one is a story about shoe shopping and lesbians, one is a story about attending an office seminar, and one is about being mugged at Venice Beach. In the fifth story all the characters are together in a room presumably playing a board game, but you learn toward the end that there's a lot more going on than the game. All of the previous stories have been leading up to this final chapter.

I'm trying to convey all this in the logline and I'm having difficulty. Suggestions?


  1. A few things...

    1. The "virtual picket line" is also happening on Facebook, for those of your readers on there.

    2. I like the emotional/sexual flip in the logline. But yes, it is wordy. One thing I'd suggest for clarity's sake is pushing the setting (the night of boardgames) to the front of the logline, and possibly removing entirely the part about spiraling towards each other. How about:

    "During a seemingly innocent night of board games, an emotional couple with sexual disfunction and a sexual couple with emotional disfunction face their insecurities as they clash over a truly dangerous situation."

    I'm not a big fan of that "situation" word, but I think this might be a step closer to what might be effective.

    3. Hope you can make it out for karaoke tonight, despite the bad internet date that included same activity!

  2. That would make a good logline for Game Night. But if this is for Bamboo Killers, the board game stuff is only the last 15 minutes of the film, so I didn't want to make it the main focus of the logline.

  3. I was going to say what Joel said, but if the board game stuff is only the last 15 min, is it fair to say it isn't the main focus of the film, and thus may not be necessary in the logline at all?

    It does sound interesting though.

  4. This film is a series of chapters about each one of these four people and they all come together in the climactic scene. Everything else in the story leads up to the board game, but the event itself is only the last 15 minutes. A lot of bits of this story are mysteries until the end, as they are slowly revealed through each character's personal story.

    Hence the difficulty.

  5. Anonymous6:13 PM

    The 'four people' bit is really... pointless (lol) since you mention there are two couples.

    Also, the stereotypical view of a quote on quote "emotional couple" and "sexual couple" already imply their contrasting disfunctions.
    I'd go something closer to:

    During an innocent night of board games, an emotional couple and a sexual couple face their insecurities as they spiral toward each other, ending up on opposite sides of a dangerous situation.

  6. Anonymous6:15 PM

    I'm assuming the 'night of board games' is in order to introduce us to the circumstances.

  7. This is tough. Taking a stab at it--

    Four stories dealing with the lives and adventures of four Angelenos are played out, culminating in a seemingly innocent night of board games and an emotional revelation.

    The "emotional revelation" part might not fit. Oh well, I tried...

  8. Hey I like that. It sounds a lot damn simpler. Thanks, Laura.

  9. Yeah, I wasn't paying attention that it was supposed to be the logline for Bamboo Killers, and not just Game Night.

    If that's the case, I might stick with something closer to Laura's. Perhaps in order to avoid the repetition of "four" and still suggest the chapter format. Such as:

    The lives of four strangers intersect in a Los Angeles where a seemingly innocent night of board games can turn into a sexually charged life or death situation.

    Just a stab!

  10. Four people locked in their own struggles come together for a couples' night of fun that turns out to be anything but.

    I'm getting better at these damn things finally.

    Struck down by the logline. How ironic.

  11. I am just imagining I was a producer and listened to the loglines here. They just don't catch me. Reason for that? Well, where is the catch? Where is the high concept? Where is the drama? I have no idea what it is about. I just know four people struggle... but about what? People always struggle in stories, that's nothing new.

    Take some two or even three story elements out of the script and put them into your logline, heck even one is better than none.

  12. just to add to my previous comment. To give you some idea. The loglines sound to me like this equivalent:

    "Three guys, one sexually disfunctional, one physically disfunctional and one normal go to a lunch meeting at a deli and something bad is going to happen there."

    You know your story and characters well... in and out, spent months with them. But I didn't. I don't know shit.

    Maybe you should focus more on the drama instead board game climax. Try that angle. Maybe that works.


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