Friday, February 17, 2012

Logline Central - The New West

Logline Central is an irregular segment that takes a deeper look at loglines of scripts or projects that have just been purchased, as listed on DoneDealPro.

Today's chosen logline highlights not necessarily the world's most engaging idea, nor is it an original spec (it's adapted from a comic book), but it has one thing going for it that's particularly worth looking at - a hook. Take a look.

Title: The New West
Logline: Nine months after a bomb creates an electromagnetic pulse causing all technology to stop working in Los Angeles, an ex-detective with a horse and a sword tries to find the kidnapped Mayor in a near deserted hostile environment. 
Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti (creator), Phil Noto (illustrations) 
Prod. Co: Benderspink, Black Bull Media
More: Option. Comicbook published by Black Bull Media. Benderspink’s Chris Bender, JC Spink & Jake Weiner and Black Bull Media's Gareb Shamus will produce.

Ok, so maybe you're thinking it sounds kind of cool. Or, perhaps you're thinking, "what a sell-out, that's such an easy idea. I can do that." Then do.

I like what this edition represents, because it's exactly the kind of thing my manager was encouraging me to strive for. (And, full disclosure - the notion of people in modern society reverting back to Medieval infrastructure, tools, and weapons intrigues me a lot; I actually had a very similar idea a while back, even involving an electromagnetic pulse, which I didn't spend much time further developing.)

Something that's recognizable/bankable, but with a hook - that was the goal when I was developing new material. Obviously, I wanted it to be something that engaged me and seemed worth my time, so I didn't just want to do "knights in space" or something likewise ridiculous. And, with The New West, we have a prime example. An ex-detective is quite recognizable and tried and true (and even my protag is one of those in the post-Apocalyptic spec I wrote a few years back), but a world where guns are no longer viable and society has been seemingly set back 400 years is a unique twist.

The objective is to mesh the tried and true with the twist in such a way that you the writer will want to devote months or years to it, and that you the audience member will want to spend $13.50 and 2 hours going to see it in theaters. Would I see The New West? Maybe. I skipped out on Cowboys and Aliens, which for some reason comes to mind when thinking about this, though in a way it is the revers of this one, but if I was hearing good things I would probably check it out. It's not the idea that's most blown my mind this year or this month, but it's a prime example of what the industry is looking for now.