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plot Focusing on a single project for this year...opinion on premise wanted.

I'm typically scatter-brained, and that's a fault. But this time around, I'm focusing on a project I've previously started, and researched, but now I'm actively "trying" to write it. This is a dark thriller, with sensitive subject matter. Think of 8mm or Seven. I'll be brief, but will provide detailed info if desired.

Retired detective lost his 15 year old daughter via kidnapping a few years prior to the beginning of the story. The investigation into her disappearance turned up nothing, so he takes drastic measures to find out what happened. With his experience as a detective, he figures his best chance to get information is to dive into the dark web and pose as someone looking for women of a specific age range. In doing this, he's led to a small town in Kansas, where he meets some rather unsavory characters. This town serves as a "hub" for transporting people. Within this town there is a small air-strip/hangar, where routinely, a plane lands and delivers a person to an awaiting car. Money is left to the responsible party over the air-strip - the local Sheriff. He knows what's happening, but takes payment in exchange for silence.

As a way to deliver the story, I'm thinking of making the reader assume one thing, but deliver something unexpected. What I mean by that is I will show an 18-19 year old female going through the trafficking process. There will be Plot A with the detective doing his thing, intertwined with Plot B involving this girl, living through her situation. The reader will suspect that this is the detective's daughter, in the present, and they will be reunited...but that won't be the case. This girl will be delivered to him by the people who use the air-strip. The detective will try to use her to get information, which eventually leads him to the local people that town Sheriff reports to (the people running this particular trafficking hub).

In the end, he is able to save the girl and takes her in, realizing that he will probably never find his daughter as this is just one hub, and there's many just like it within the country.
 
Yes but the discovery can send him into a downward spiral. That can be the actual story. It's more interesting to me than what sounds like it could be a CSI Miami episode. (No offense meant)
Haha I'm not offended, I'm not married to this particular idea but it's just something I've been messing around with. Believe me, I have a lot of half-assed ideas.
 
Your ending is going to need some work. It's too Lifetime movie. And yes Lifetime has dark thrillers lol. The whole, his daughter is probably gone, but he takes in a girl he saved (the replacement, not-replacement) is sappy and unfullfilling at the same time. I can see the zoom out from her (daughter's) picture to them enjoying a game of Scrabble as the credits roll. Just no. You need a better ending. :)

I agree with this, and I think a good way to fix it would be to end the movie on a cliffhanger. No way in hell would Dad just give up on looking for his daughter. He still takes in this new girl, and when she discovers what he's been up to, she insists he take her in under his wing so that they can continue the search together. Roll credits.
 
I agree with this, and I think a good way to fix it would be to end the movie on a cliffhanger. No way in hell would Dad just give up on looking for his daughter. He still takes in this new girl, and when she discovers what he's been up to, she insists he take her in under his wing so that they can continue the search together. Roll credits.
Exactly. That was kind of the plan in the end.
 

indietalk

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It also wouldn't take years for him to start looking hard.
Retired detective lost his 15 year old daughter via kidnapping a few years prior to the beginning of the story. The investigation into her disappearance turned up nothing, so he takes drastic measures to find out what happened.
 

indietalk

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He's a retied cop. You might start the movie at his retirement party. Everyone is jubilant, his speech is interrupted by a whisper in his hear. This is the kidnapping news. But he's now retired. The town says it's in the hands of the FBI and since he's retired he can't do anything about it. But he has a friend on the force. This friend and him team up low key. Yada yada just brainstorming again. :D
 
He's a retied cop. You might start the movie at his retirement party. Everyone is jubilant, his speech is interrupted by a whisper in his hear. This is the kidnapping news. But he's now retired. The town says it's in the hands of the FBI and since he's retired he can't do anything about it. But he has a friend on the force. This friend and him team up low key. Yada yada just brainstorming again. :D
I was considering him having a partner of sorts.
 

indietalk

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The partner is still on the police force so uses the resources.
 

indietalk

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Does he have to be retired? You could add some conflict. He's a cop nobody likes because they consider him a rat. But because he's one of the good guys that helped clean up a corrupt department. The rest of the dept. that's left after the cleanup are the dirty cops that just didn't get caught. Except the guy that wants to help him. He risks his reputation for helping him. He could be receiving an award for his work cleaning up the dept. and at this award dinner he receives the info about his daughter. Now as a rat cop he must go this alone with no help, and false leads given by his fellow cops that laugh. This even adds suspicion. That someone in the dept. is responsible for the kidnapping.
 

indietalk

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A little Serpico, LA Confidential, to add to your Taken. ;)
 
The twist is, the "clean" cop that's helping him is involved and wanted to keep tabs and stay close to the father. :shocked:
Ahhh yea I like what you're saying. I have a problem with going too big sometimes. I have never completed a feature (but many shorts), so this is kind of daunting. I have a western which is about 70 pages in, but again I lost it due to adding things and not being satisfied. I'm sure you know what I mean.

With this, I WANT something small, but it keeps getting larger.

Real quick, in small towns like this one (it's real by the way) are typically ran by a meat packing plant, which is locally run by a family. I was going to have a family be the ones in charge of the trafficking. They have the sheriff in their pocket as well. This way there's an actual conspiracy, but it's local. The ending of "I need to keep looking for her" is justified seeing as the traffickers themselves are flying in from elsewhere.
 

indietalk

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I meandered from you idea but I just like brainstorming. And hell, sometimes you can take just one thing from the 200 and it's the magic puzzle piece!
 
I meandered from you idea but I just like brainstorming. And hell, sometimes you can take just one thing from the 200 and it's the magic puzzle piece!
Well dude, I'm taking your idea of current cop, partner back at home helping him along the way. He won't be the reason for the kidnapping, however. Instead, proximity to the trafficking ring is the cause of the kidnapping, and once found out, the detective will call in for his partner.

All of this will take place when the detective in on mandatory leave. In the real world, a detective isn't allowed to investigate if there's conflicting interests, so this would explain the partner feeding information.

Thanks again for the base idea, now I can run with my world building and actually start something.
 
Good base material, I like!
One of my main problems is I tend to get to the story too quickly. So I'm going to work on an intro taking place at an award ceremony for the department. The detective, partner and wives will be there. People get drunk, the detective and wife go home and maybe leave the front door open accidentally. They wake up the following morning to their daughter gone. The investigation starts, dude is put on leave, etc.

EDIT: Later in the story, when the realization a fellow cop was responsible for the kidnapping, I'll show that the ceremony in the beginning was directly related to him turning in dirty cops. So that way, the kidnapping is justified within the story.

Worth nothing that I went through the hiring process for Sheriff Deputy in my county a while back, and have police in my family.
 
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