The Judges: Week 15

In 2011, each week 10 judges will review two short synopses from films that are currently in development.

 

The objective is to all (that includes us judges) learn from the exercise.

 

Please comment on our comments!

Creative Commons License photo credit: swanksalot

If you have an opinion on any of these synopses or the feedback from the judges, please share it with us in the comments below.

Please keep the discussion constructive. Even if your first instinct may be subjective, try to give us as objective a reply as possible.

THE MULE


“Ray Jenkins, an unlikely drug mule from Sunshine, Victoria, takes on all the authority figures in his life by refusing to take a dump.”

 

The judges’ votes:


 

Do you want to see this film?

Yes: 10% – No: 70% – Not sure: 20%

Would Australians want to see it?

Yes: 20% – No: 40% – Not sure: 40%

Would it work in rest of the world?

Yes: 10% – No: 50% – Not sure: 40%

The judges’ verdict:


 

Ursula: Sounds like one long fart joke. Teenage boys and 20 something men might get a kick out of it.

Sounds like one long fart joke.

 

Kim: This logline is a few details away from being ridiculously funny. The simple premise of a drug mule refusing to, uh, make the final delivery, is pretty wild. To push the logline even further, I think replacing “all the authority figures in his life” with real details from the script, for example ruthless drug dealers, bumbling cops, rogue priests, or whatever the true details are, would give the reader a strong sense of the insanity of this journey and make them curious to see how the script/film can actually pull it off.

The simple premise of a drug mule refusing to, uh, make the final delivery, is pretty wild.

 

Margaret: Good set-up for a bawdy (body) comedy. But since comedy is often about characters and their flaws, I want to know more about Ray. What makes him an unlikely drug mule? What happens to him around authority figures? I want to get a sense of the hilarity that will ensue.


MUSIC OF MY LIFE


“When Frankie meets Frank, she is an ambitious young journalist, he a ‘blocked’ music critic who has lost his ability to write, they are both looking for love in all the wrong songs, and try as they will not to fall for each other, they seem destined to be together.”

 

The judges’ votes:


 

Do you want to see this film?

Yes: 0% – No:  80% – Not sure:  20%

Would Australians want to see it?

Yes: 0% – No:  20% – Not sure:  80%

Would it work in rest of the world?

Yes:  0% – No:  50% – Not sure:  50%

The judges’ verdict:


 

Steven: Over-worn formula. Boringly typical local effort. Have seen it all before. Firstly, nothing in the synopsis convinces the reader to believe that these two are “destined” for each other. No matter how much the screenplay may try to contrive them together, the reader doesn’t see any compelling possibility for their connection. They have no common basis as far as we can tell! Secondly, the basic plot concept of a mis-matched couple “looking for love in all the wrong” places is so painfully overdone in local films that this synopsis puts one to sleep.

With no stakes, no clear goal or antagonist, this synopsis struggles to communicate a clear summary of the film.

 

Nina: A ‘blocked’ music critic seems an unusual term to use; writer’s block is usually associated with a writer who has lost the ability to create a new work. A music critic is someone who makes a subjective judgment on a piece of music created by someone else. It is not made clear who the main character is; ’looking for love in all the wrong places’ has been done to death and is a lazy term to use as a character flaw. With no stakes, no clear goal or antagonist, this synopsis struggles to communicate a clear summary of the film.

All this logline REALLY says is “romance about two writers”.

 

Dan: 1) Horribly misconstrued sentence. 2) Where does the story start? When Frank gets blocked? Who cares about this? 3) What are we expecting to see when two people try not to fall for each other? If they’re in agreement on that, there doesn’t seem to be any (outer) conflict. All this logline REALLY says is “romance about two writers”. Doesn’t sound in the least appealing.



The Judges (click for details)



So what is your verdict? Would you want to see these films? Why (not)? Did the judges get it right? How would you improve the synopses/loglines and what do you feel might improve the stories behind them?

 

Please give us your opinion in the comments at the bottom of this page.


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Adrian Kok

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