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When the vietnam veteran who saved his life is unjustly incarcerated for murder, a young man becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom.

In 1970’s Chicago, a troubled young man struggles through law school and fights to free the unjustly incarcerated Vietnam veteran who saved his life.

A white law-student and a black vietnam vet form a barrier-breaking friendship in 1970s’ America - until the vet is jailed for a murder he didn’t commit and his young buddy dedicates his life and career to proving his innocence.
 
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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I don't think you need the first sentence re odyssey as it's implied in the 2nd sentence. Also if by "cruelly" you mean unjustly, I think that would be a better choice of words.

Maybe something like: When two Vietnam vets return home, one is unjustly jailed for life while the other becomes a lawyer and fights to free him.
 
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I don't think you need the first sentence re odyssey as it's implied in the 2nd sentence. Also if by "cruelly" you mean unjustly, I think that would be a better choice of words.

Maybe something like: When two Vietnam vets return home, one is unjustly jailed for life while the other becomes a lawyer and fights to free him.
Thanks alot i really needed some feedback! :)
 
The distinct odyssey of two boys in late 20th century America. After returning from the Vietnam war one of the boys is soon cruelly imprisoned and sentenced to life, the other boy struggles to become a lawyer, endeavouring to release him.
This all fits in one sentence-- but there are no stakes mentioned.
First lose the word "distinct" or any other word of that nature. NEVER assume your story is unique. It's career suicide if it isn't and you say it is. (I learned this by accidently saving some random guys career before I was in Entertainment. It's a great story.)

And 1963 is not the late 20th Century, so rephrase that. "After returning from the Viet Nam War" dates the characters and the story-- a story that goes on for 30 years. Use that instead of numbers. Plus, putting dates in there emphasis it's a Period Piece, and that will cut down on request.

"Endeavoring to release him"-- YAWN! He spent 30 years trying to save his friend from--something(?)! Be more dramatic. Tell me the WHY? of it. Is he repaying a life debt? Is it all just an intellectual exercise for the man? Is it an elaborate revenge plot? He must have one heck of a reason-- what it is?
"After his buddy saves his life in the war..." something like that. "A man spends 30 years of his life..."

Basically, your syntax is soft, like a TV Guide description. Put some tension in there. Be provocative-- tease the reader.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I read this and wondered what the conflict was so I came up with one you might like.

The vet that returned home is now an established lawyer (or other) that can help but struggles with if he should help. With his PTSD, and flashbacks of the horrors, he is unsure of his friend's "innocence" as well as his own.

So yes, he became a lawyer to help, but when he reached his goal and could actually help, he began to question it.

Please do not read into this as my belief or a political statement. These are personal struggles that are common.
 
This all fits in one sentence-- but there are no stakes mentioned.
First lose the word "distinct" or any other word of that nature. NEVER assume your story is unique. It's career suicide if it isn't and you say it is. (I learned this by accidently saving some random guys career before I was in Entertainment. It's a great story.)

And 1963 is not the late 20th Century, so rephrase that. "After returning from the Viet Nam War" dates the characters and the story-- a story that goes on for 30 years. Use that instead of numbers. Plus, putting dates in there emphasis it's a Period Piece, and that will cut down on request.

"Endeavoring to release him"-- YAWN! He spent 30 years trying to save his friend from--something(?)! Be more dramatic. Tell me the WHY? of it. Is he repaying a life debt? Is it all just an intellectual exercise for the man? Is it an elaborate revenge plot? He must have one heck of a reason-- what it is?
"After his buddy saves his life in the war..." something like that. "A man spends 30 years of his life..."

Basically, your syntax is soft, like a TV Guide description. Put some tension in there. Be provocative-- tease the reader.
Thanks man, I appreciate it. When I said distinct I meant that the two guys' stories were distinct. Do you think this sounds better?

When a young Vietnam vet is unjustly sentenced to life in prison, the man whose life he saved becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom.
 
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I read this and wondered what the conflict was so I came up with one you might like.

The vet that returned home is now an established lawyer (or other) that can help but struggles with if he should help. With his PTSD, and flashbacks of the horrors, he is unsure of his friend's "innocence" as well as his own.

So yes, he became a lawyer to help, but when he reached his goal and could actually help, he began to question it.

Please do not read into this as my belief or a political statement. These are personal struggles that are common.
Thanks for the feedback, what do you think about this?


When a young Vietnam vet is unjustly sentenced to life in prison, the man whose life he saved becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom.
 
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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
A veteran would hardly be described as a young boy and they certainly should have the same status (boy vs man).

Does he become a lawyer or not? Studying to become one doesn't accomplish much.

I'd prefer something along these lines:

"When a young Vietnam vet is unjustly sentenced to life in prison, the man whose life he saved becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom."
 
A veteran would hardly be described as a young boy and they certainly should have the same status (boy vs man).

Does he become a lawyer or not? Studying to become one doesn't accomplish much.

I'd prefer something along these lines:

"When a young Vietnam vet is unjustly sentenced to life in prison, the man whose life he saved becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom."
jeeez i love that, thank you so much, ppl on here are so helpful!
 
A veteran would hardly be described as a young boy and they certainly should have the same status (boy vs man).

Does he become a lawyer or not? Studying to become one doesn't accomplish much.

I'd prefer something along these lines:

"When a young Vietnam vet is unjustly sentenced to life in prison, the man whose life he saved becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom."
I like it a lot but I'd change "a lawyer" to "his lawyer." If you want to show us this other Vietnam vet BECOME a lawyer? That's probably going to end up watering down the plot a bit. Consider having the other Vietnam vet already be a lawyer... Maybe even a struggling lawyer not even working criminal cases. Probably working very routine cases... Trusts, real estate, etc. Show us how he NOW has to become a criminal attorney and figure out HOW to get the old buddy that saved his life in Vietnam OUT of prison.
 
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I like it a lot but I'd change "a lawyer" to "his lawyer." If you want to show us this other Vietnam vet BECOME a lawyer? That's probably going to end up watering down the plot a bit. Consider having the other Vietnam vet already be a lawyer... Maybe even a struggling lawyer not even working criminal cases. Probably working very routine cases... Trusts, real estate, etc. Show us how he NOW has to become a criminal attorney and figure out HOW to get the old buddy that saved his life in Vietnam OUT of prison.
This sounds so good man, thanks!
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
In 1970’s Chicago, a young man becomes a lawyer to free the unjustly incarcerated Vietnam veteran who saved his life.

When the vietnam veteran who saved his life is unjustly incarcerated for murder, a young man becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom.

In 1970’s Chicago, a young man struggles through law school and fights to free the unjustly incarcerated Vietnam veteran who saved his life.
Please do not create two threads for the same thing.

For all others, his latest loglines are above.
 
Thanks man, I appreciate it. When I said distinct I meant that the two guys' stories were distinct. Do you think this sounds better?

When a young Vietnam vet is unjustly sentenced to life in prison, the man whose life he saved becomes a lawyer to fight for his freedom.
Much better. but i would add "spends decades" or something of that nature to indicate the the time span.
 
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