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Logline -- My Twin Sister, The Superhero
I'm not sure if I've successfully filled out the longline template. I feel like something essential is still missing. Thanks so much for your help! I've never written a screenplay before!

Summary:
The ordinary twin is the protagonist. Her emotional arc is that she has to transform from a jealous sister who compares herself to her twin constantly and never measures up (because the twin is a too perfect version of herself) into someone who learns to recognize and rely on her own strengths to save the day. In this story, the super powers are a genetic trait, passed down to one twin and not the other because the x chromosome inactivation occurred after the zygote split. The superhero twin is great at sports and popular because her superpowers are super speed and super strength, and the ordinary twin is not. The ordinary twin focuses on doing well academically, and is unpopular, but she must learn to rely on her intelligence and body of knowledge to outsmart the evil force.


Template:
"When a flawed hero experiences some kind of an event that either introduces him to a secondary helper, or that secondary helper pushes him toward a new adventure in order to overcome an obstacle usually in the form of a villain within a very specific type of situation, a twist occurs that sends the hero in a new direction and completely changes everything."


My Logline:
When the jealous, ordinary, identical twin of a superhero learns her twin has been abducted by an evil force, her best friend encourages her to take on the evil force in order to save her super hero twin, leading her to realize her own strengths.
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Joshua Tousignant
Omg are you a twin?! I'm a twin too (fraternal) This story resonates with me completely.

I love the concept. So many scenes come to mind after reading it. One where she'll have to pretend shes the superhero when she's not?! Awesome! Reminds me of the movie Megamind. If you watch that movie and just pretend that they're brothers (Twins are really just siblings. They just happen to grow up at birth at the same time. So siblings in general will develop any number of different arrangements in their dynamic) so for this relationship, the ordinary twin looks up to the super-power twin, I'd say envious more than jealous, jealousy to me feels more negative, as something she wants to take AWAY from her sister, rather than being ENVIOUS of her where she also wants to share in the same feeling, because she loves her sister after-all, otherwise why does she feel she needs to save her sister? (also any story that has their hero trying to SAVE someone else, other than themselves, will score big points in empathy).

Original:
When the jealous, ordinary, identical twin of a superhero learns her twin has been abducted by an evil force, her best friend encourages her to take on the evil force in order to save her super hero twin, leading her to realize her own strengths.

HERO: Ordinary twin of a superhero (envious, insecure)
GOAL: to save her sister
Conflict: Evil force (possibly a count-down to dooms day, city explosion, terror)

For me this is a tough one because in order to create a great logline we need to cut down to the SPECIFICS.
What is ordinary? It's hard to describe, granted everyone "thinks" they are ordinary. But what is THE defining attribute you can pinpoint, their flaw even.
Is she insecure, small, meek, arrogant, pessimistic, cynical, selfish, overtly selfless, etc... (she's envious of her sister, but that is just THEIR dynamic, as sisters. Right? What is her flaw, her dynamic with the world? How does she see the world? What is her flaw? (Remember flaw is just her world-view that protects her from ever being hurt again from something that has happened to her in the past). So if you want to stick to jealousy or envy, that could stem from a possibility of things. She's insecure. She doesn't think much of herself. She's just a simple farm-girl. She doesn't trust anything, she has no faith in her self. Think Neo, and Luke (as examples).

So here's my rendition and I apologize for over-stepping and changing the story in any way, but this is just groundwork in what we're trying to nab, hope that's cool.

Logline:
A meek college-student at MIT becomes an alleged super-hero in order to save her estranged twin sister, who has been kidnapped by a clown-faced psychopath intent on plunging the city into chaos.

Okay, so we see that she's meek. She's a college student. We're getting specific here, she's not just some girl, but with a girl at a very top school. She's wicked smart but she doesn't think much of herself, so here we have some contradictions which makes her already a complex character. Alleged super, jabs at the fact that this is a world in which super-heroes might exist. This will be a good vs evil story. Estranged twin sister is the emotional center. Someone she has pushed away, or vice-versa. (usually when one sibling is SO good at something, the other will compete for mother's/father's attention in a different area. One is good at track, the other is good at tennis. One is good at video-games, the other chess). And then we have the conflict which you prescribed to be a villain. So i just subbed the joker basically, lol, because who doesn't think the Joker isn't the best villain of all time.

Anyways if you like it, awesome, if you don't, I hope this helps as a template for you.
One personal advice from a writer's standpoint, and this is just from my own process. It took me some time. But I realized actually how detrimental it was to think of my brother as perfect, especially if it's being infused into my character. I needed to seperate the two and actually realize, no, you know what, he wasn't perfect, and neither is my character. They're organic, they're real people, and they have flaws. Maybe I didn't see it at the time, because I LOVE my brother. I mean, I love this man to death, I would die for him, even if we're not so close anymore, I still have that connection to him. (I remember we celebrated our 21st birthday and we had this talk and I basically said to him, hey listen, I always wanted to be you. I thought you were perfect. And he went really? Why? And I went on and on and he starts laughing and I go what? And he says "I always wanted to be you" and I started crying.
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265 week(s) ago
Cindy Bell
Hi Joshua!

Thanks so much for your thorough response! I'm actually not a twin, but I read about how identical twins can have different eye colors, hair colors, or even skin tones, in rare instances. So I was thinking what if one had some super hero genes active and one had them inactive, and I liked the dynamic that presented itself. You've given me so much to think about to improve the concept, longline, and even characters. And I love love love your version of the longline. I should be able to use that concrete example better than the generic template in crafting my own. Also, that's a sweet story you shared about your brother and you. I think it's natural to want to be more like a sibling. I've always looked up to my own sister. Thanks again!
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265 week(s) ago
Cindy Bell
Hi again Joshua!

This screenplay might wind up working better as a feature, but I'm leaning toward trying to make it a TV Series first. If it doesn't work out, I'll revert to turning it into a feature. I'm unsure how much difference there needs to be between the pilot logline, the first season logline, and the series logline. Also, I've stayed true to your revision of the logline. I really like the direction it was heading as it was mostly a more concrete version of what I had envisioned. I haven't changed the villain from the joker yet. I'm still trying to decide on one. So here's what I've got:

Pilot Logline:
An insecure college-student at MIT becomes an alleged super-hero in order to save her estranged twin sister, who has been kidnapped by a clown-faced psychopath intent on plunging the city into chaos.

First Season Logline:
An insecure college-student at MIT becomes her twin sister’s sidekick in order to save a series of the city’s unwitting residents, who have been targeted by a series of super villains intent on plunging the city into chaos.

Series Logline:
A college-student at MIT, who's growing into her own, becomes her twin sister’s sidekick in order to save a series of the city’s unwitting residents, who have been targeted by a series of super villains intent on plunging the city into chaos.

Some questions:
*Are they too similar (i.e. plunging the city into chaos, plunging the city into chaos, plunging the city into chaos)?
*Can she be described as insecure in each of them? I guess it would take more than one event (such as the pilot) to eradicate her insecurity. But, then again, that's the emotional arc for the pilot, so maybe she needs to overcome that. Although her estrangement from her sister has likely been solved in the pilot since she saves her.
*Is "a series of the city's unwitting residents" and "a series of super villains" too vague?

Thanks!

P.S. How long have you been writing screenplays? You're really good at this!
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265 week(s) ago
Joshua Tousignant
Hello again, Cindy!

As I understand it, you're following The 30-Day Challenge Day 3 of the Craft Courses: Series Loglines assignment, correct?
This process is all very new to me as well, but one thing I know about STARTING to write a TV series is coming up with the Pitch. It'll help you flesh out the story. Covering things like: Why you wish to tell this story, what's the tone, the genre, the characters, figuring out why it's relevant, and why you think it'll make a great TV series. So before I proceed: I found some websites that will suffice, since I can't include attachments. These may better help you flesh out your story; if you wanna take a crack at telling this as a series.
1. TV Series Guidelines:
https://www.scribd.com/doc/271705419/Tv-Series-Pitch-Document-Guidelines
2. Pitching Guidelines:
http://www.masteringfilm.com/pitching-guidelines-for-original-tv-series/

So first you need to know what kind of story you want to tell. The days of episodic are over, granted there are shows with "monster of the week" but most shows now are serialized. Shows like: Arrow, The Flash, and now Supergirl. Running time: 45 min each, deal with a bad-guy, situation they fail at twice, before overcoming/learning a new trick to defeat the villian at the end, while filling in the story with subplots (or the B story).

So let's just assume this is the type of drama you wish to tell. A Serialized Super-Hero Show, featuring Monster of the Week (Each episode will have a bad-guy/situation) and an over-arching plot (suspense/mystery as to the coming season finale). One of my favorite shows is Supernatural. (Although Season 1 is highly episodic, the following series are serialized).

What is most unique about your story (as a TV SERIES) is that your main character won't be the Super Hero (at least for now, this might change).
It's a nice spin and gives the genre a fresh, new look, in regards to perspective (depending on how far you want to take this in terms of tone and theme).

Okay! So you got your pilot logline, great! You can even make that your SERIES logline. Each episode bringing her investigation as to where her sister is, closer and closer until the season finale (mid-season we'll get a sneak peak, and almost grab her, maybe we'll finally see a video of her captured or what, but you get the idea). But, you have to ask yourself: How many different ways can she pretend to be a superhero, because this will be how many episodes you'll have. Since she isn't super at all... Okay so scratch the series logline. Let's stick with the first logline as the PILOT. She rescues her at the end and you know what, that's the ACT 1 of the ENTIRE series, and her journey into Act 2, or Sequence 2 (according to ISA; its really just a segue into the next episode, for the FUN and GAMES to begin), is her decision to JOIN her sister in her crime-fighting business. And THAT, is actually where you explore the estrangement. She may have rescued her, that's all well and good, but their relationship is FAR from perfect. She's seen a GLIMPSE (just like in a feature in Sequence 3 that he talked about) of what their relation could be, who she could be, but she's not there yet. It's up to the following episodes, the story you tell that brings them closer.

Pilot Logline? Check. Well done (if I do say so myself :p)
First Season Logline? Great! You're on the right track, Cindy. And you're absolutely right, This needs to be different. Thing bigger, while still using specific language. It's the entire Season, right? So now she's a sidekick, and what's at the end of this. I can't help further because I don't know. If you haven't seen any shows in this genre, I'd suggest you do so, if not, then think about your favorite shows with this structure. The Good Wife? The 100? The Walking Dead? If you're unsure what the over-arching situation is, then start thinking about the episodes, and write the loglines for each Episode. (6-12) like in the assignment. If you don't have any ideas, then maybe there's nothing left to tell, and this isn't a Tv Series. It's all up to you :)
Series Logline? I would stay away from this. I know it doesn't have to be perfect right now, as we're still in discovering mode, but you don't want to lock yourself in, many TV writers when they pitch their ideas, they only have inklings at to which direction the series will go, so I wouldn't boil down on this just yet, wait until AFTER you've figured out exactly what the First Season is, and if you have more to tell, then that's the direction you can make your show into a series.



P.S.
Wow! Thanks! I'm very flattered. I actually haven't written many. I've just studied like A TON. Watched movies, read scripts, joined websites like this, etc, which have all just helped me with my own projects. I've written a couple shorts, and I'm currently revisiting an old feature that I haven't been able to let go of, for about 9 years now. Haha, I know. (Kill me). But, I'm loving it. Always have and always will. We all gotta start somewhere, right? Glad to have you with us! And keep writing!
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265 week(s) ago
Cindy Bell
Hi Joshua!

Wow! That's way more of an explanation than I could have hoped for, and very helpful. You're right, I'm following the 30 Day challenge, but I'm already 6 days behind (because I started a few days late and then had to research a bit about genetics to see if my concept was even plausible). And I see now that writing a TV series can be quite complex. Being a slow writer, I'll likely fall even further behind the challenge, but I'd rather wind up with something I'm proud of, and can revise as needed, than meet the challenge deadline, especially since this is all new to me. Day 1 didn't really give me a whole lot of information to go on as far as how to go about planning a TV series, but these loglines were my homework for it. Maybe there is more information about TV series later in the course, but I haven't looked ahead. So, again, very helpful! It looks like I've got some catching up to do with viewing other TV series, but I am a fan of The Walking Dead, so I see what you mean about the various elements still needed (i.e. season overarching plot, subplots, etc).

P.S. I'm really surprised to learn you haven't written many yet, but there is something to be said for studying the craft first. I'm actually simultaneously learning to write a novel, and while I'm not even near there yet, I know a whole lot more about novel writing because I've done much more studying of it. But I say if there's something about that 9 year old project that won't let you go, go with it. Good luck on your project!
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265 week(s) ago
Cindy Bell
Hi Everyone!

I'm accomplishing my homework at a snails pace, but here's an update on my loglines, so far. I actually tried to run with Joshua's idea above that the whole season 1 be my protagonist trying to find her abducted super-hero sister. I've spent some time on the IMDb, trying to study how other shows do the loglines, but it doesn't include loglines for entire seasons, just brief descriptions of each episode, which are not written in logline format. The individual episodes tend to use character names instead of descriptions (i.e. insecure college student at MIT). I've decided on Faith and Hope as the twins names, but I'm unsure whether to swap these for the descriptions in the season loglines.

Pilot: An insecure high school student leaves for college at MIT, in an attempt to part ways with her super-hero twin sister, and becomes embroiled in a mysterious string of murders that couldn’t have been committed by any ordinary person. (Maybe this will be her eye opening revelation that super powers aren't just possessed by her twin, after coming from a small town).

Season 1: An insecure college-student at MIT masquerades as a super-hero in order to save her estranged super-hero twin sister, who has been kidnapped by a Mad Max impersonating psychopath intent on ridding the city of it’s only source of hope.


Season 2: An insecure college student at MIT becomes her super-hero twin sister’s sidekick in order to save the city she loves from a sinister psychotherapist intent on either using the city, and its inhabitants, in a grand experiment on violence or destroying it entirely.


Season 3: An insecure college-student at MIT fights against her super-hero twin’s old flame in order to save her from the villainous path she’s embarked on.


Series: A college student battles her insecurities along with super villains all while trying to keep her secret—that her twin sister is a super-hero—from her new friends in order to blend in and succeed at MIT.

I guess I emulated Buffy's series logline a bit, but I hope it's not too similar. "A young woman is forced to fulfill her destiny of fighting vampires and demons with the help of her friends all the while struggling to live a normal teenage life of heart break and drama."
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265 week(s) ago

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