Piano Man
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Rating: 3.7/5 (66 votes cast)

Piano Man

A young, aspiring musician, indebted to the mafia puts his life on the line to break free of their control and pursue his dream of becoming a mainstream success in the jazz infused, 1940s, Little Italy. (Updated: December 6, 2012)

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  1. Profile photo of marsed.harizi
    October 14, 2014, 3:31 am
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    Good Luck!!!

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  2. Profile photo of clafleur
    clafleur says
    October 4, 2014, 9:21 pm
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    The potential is there, I’m just not a fan of the time period.

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  3. Profile photo of Kalyan94
    Kalyan94 says
    September 24, 2014, 11:34 am

    I think the 1940s jazz era was in itself overpowering. You could write a screenplay on that alone, perhaps inspired by “On the Road by Jack Kerouac”. Chained to the Mafia is another story – when it does not come up like another (plenty of) Godfather clones. All the best, though for your two 2 mangoes with one slingshot :-)

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  4. Profile photo of Raffiki
    Raffiki says
    September 6, 2014, 6:36 pm
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    I’m so confused. This sounds like something I have heard before but never heard. A re-write.

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  5. Profile photo of leeoconnor
    leeoconnor says
    September 6, 2014, 4:47 pm
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    I agree it has potential. I would make a few minor changes here, maybe:

    Indebted to the mafia, a young, aspiring musician puts his life on the line to break free of their control to pursue his dream in Jazz.

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  6. Profile photo of MoviemakerEli
    September 6, 2014, 2:17 pm
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    Potential is there. The longline appears to be telling two totally unrelated stories.

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  7. Profile photo of gregforeli
    gregforeli says
    October 24, 2013, 8:54 pm
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    I think a big way to round this out nicely is to start strong with the country’s current state at the time. He could escape by joining the army.

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  8. MoniqueI says
    October 10, 2013, 2:51 am
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    With a hot A~lister and a great soundtrack, this can make for a really cool film. The Mafia, music, the 40s and Little Italy are all of what I like just maybe hook us in a bit more with some irony. Sounds interesting.

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  9. scripted says
    August 24, 2013, 9:59 am
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    Going through others votes, i know you are approved but this logline will not interest me to want to read more

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  10. Profile photo of rewrite
    rewrite says
    August 19, 2013, 1:03 pm
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    The film may be interesting but i wont want to waste my time on this type of film that is a Mafia against the Musician.

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  11. belw says
    July 10, 2013, 6:25 pm
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    This could be fun!

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  12. darney says
    June 24, 2013, 3:48 am
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    Like the idea, but could be a bit predictable. The location, or decade, shouldn’t really be included in the logline, as this just makes the logline a bit cluttered.

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  13. May 29, 2013, 6:35 pm
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    pretty tired of testosterone-filled mafia movies – could be interesting from the perspective of an artist/musician

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  14. TimAucoin says
    May 6, 2013, 2:51 pm
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    Not bad. The setting is cool. Maybe shed some light on how he’s indebted to the mafia.

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  15. Profile photo of derekauthor
    May 3, 2013, 4:57 pm
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    I like these kinds of movies… if done right. Although nothing here hooked me, the story has a lot of potential. If this is truly like “Goodfellas”, I’ll be in line buying a ticket. Best of luck!

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  16. Profile photo of Dick-C.
    Dick-C. says
    April 30, 2013, 7:04 pm
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    Doesn’t hook me much – could be condensed – I’d still take my chances on writing the story – assuming you’ll put your own spin on it

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  17. Profile photo of Ann-Taylor
    Ann-Taylor says
    April 29, 2013, 6:13 pm
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    Nothing new about the story But there is always a crowd for this kind of movie So that’s a plus

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  18. reinaldo says
    April 29, 2013, 12:39 pm
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    This could be awesome if you mix just the right amount of suspense and realistic humor

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  19. Profile photo of Rsutton
    Rsutton says
    April 6, 2013, 6:19 pm
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    Seems like this could be a really good film, a lot of good character development and story potential. I like anything dealing with the mob, so I would love to read the screenplay and/or see the movie.
    Good luck.

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  20. Profile photo of ckmoak
    ckmoak says
    April 3, 2013, 9:06 pm
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    The only problem I really have is that I don’t feel a hook. I see dramatic tension, but what differentiates this script from all the other underdog champion stories?

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  21. Profile photo of WritterL86
    WritterL86 says
    March 30, 2013, 1:23 pm
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    Sounds great! I like it.

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  22. Profile photo of Double-Bogey
    March 4, 2013, 11:06 pm
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    It’s too busy. Sounds like a terrific story, but I’d like to see the logline simplified. There’s 7 or 8 components to it.

    An aspiring musician risks everything to break his ties to the mafia and pursue a jazz career in 1940’s Little Italy.

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  23. Profile photo of Bubba
    Bubba says
    February 26, 2013, 12:12 pm
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    Nothing original here but these kind of stories can be timeless depending on how you tell it.

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  24. Profile photo of kingcarisma
    February 25, 2013, 7:13 pm
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    :)

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  25. Profile photo of kingcarisma
    February 23, 2013, 3:50 pm

    Second try.. This is my vote

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  26. Profile photo of kingcarisma
    February 23, 2013, 2:08 pm

    Sounds pretty good.

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  27. richkeith says
    February 23, 2013, 10:46 am
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    I like this logline. But I agree with Jay_Burnham, I feel like maybe it could use a little twist at the end to really pique our interest. But definitely sounds like something I’d want to read.

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  28. says
    February 22, 2013, 10:44 pm

    Nice storyline…would like to see more

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  29. February 21, 2013, 9:48 pm
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    The concept of the story is average. I can see people being interested in this story but I don’t see how it set itself apart from other mafia movies.

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  30. February 21, 2013, 7:47 pm
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    sounds ok… not really something id watch..

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  31. February 9, 2013, 10:49 am
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    Cool :)

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  32. Profile photo of
    says
    February 2, 2013, 8:19 am
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    Technically the logline could benefit from loosing some of the commas, but other than than it is quite strong. The phrase “mainstream success” strikes me as a bit odd. Does it mean “success as mainstream musician”? Or just “big success”?

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  33. Profile photo of tkline
    tkline says
    February 1, 2013, 12:12 pm
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    Sounds great!

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  34. Profile photo of 747russell
    747russell says
    January 31, 2013, 5:08 am
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    diggin it

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  35. January 31, 2013, 5:05 am
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    nice!

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  36. Profile photo of bobsaget
    bobsaget says
    January 31, 2013, 4:18 am
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    I love Billy Joel, and you don’t have to be Bob Saget to love the Piano Man.

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  37. January 31, 2013, 3:29 am
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    .

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  38. WalkingZZZ says
    January 27, 2013, 8:13 pm
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    Great.

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  39. Profile photo of xostephxo4
    xostephxo4 says
    January 21, 2013, 6:14 pm

    This seems pretty good. Interesting setting for an interesting log line. I’m not completely sold, but maybe that’s because it’s not my kind of story. But it’s still a very well written log line.

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  40. Profile photo of kccarmea
    kccarmea says
    January 16, 2013, 7:53 am
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    Great logline, I already know the time, place, good guy, bad guy, and what’s at stake. That is what a logline should look like. Brilliant sir.

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  41. recluse says
    January 16, 2013, 4:54 am
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    use psychology emotions to pace this as a small budget and do well

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  42. ssabatino says
    January 3, 2013, 2:10 am

    Check out Sinatra in The Joker Is Wild (1957). Sort of what your logline leans toward.

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    • January 3, 2013, 9:16 pm

      I’ll have to watch it but I looked up the plot. Looks like it has the similiarity of the mafia involvement though it definitely seems like a different storyline. I appreciate you letting me know. I’ll definitely have to check the film out as I have not seen it but I’m always up for a Sinatra film.

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  43. Profile photo of ed65love
    ed65love says
    December 11, 2012, 10:20 pm
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    Ciao, amico! This sounds promising.

    I’d like to see more specifics. i.e. how is this different to the average Mafia film?

    Share some of those, and it could really draw readers in!

    There are a few nits re grammar, but other reviewers have covered those.

    Go for it!

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  44. Profile photo of redpanda1680
    December 11, 2012, 8:23 pm
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    Wow! I like this a lot. Mafia movies are always my favorite. There are so many mafia movies out there but this is an entirely original concept. Way to go! Would love to read the script!

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  45. Profile photo of nspringer1
    nspringer1 says
    December 11, 2012, 4:33 am
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    mediocre at best.

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  46. Profile photo of hxninjah
    hxninjah says
    December 10, 2012, 10:42 pm
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    This is a very interesting, original, and hooking logline. I enjoyed it very much! Although this isn’t my type of story, I feel this could go very far. Deep down inside I really want more out of this though and I like that this gets to the point, but I’m left a little bit wondering where this will go. Besides his obvious motivation, is there a B-story to this? If so, I would like to know why that’s important or where it will go such as: a romance, a friendship, a responsibility. That would probably make this a little more exciting, but besides that, this has extreme amount of potential and seems like an excellent read. Great work!

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  47. December 10, 2012, 8:54 pm
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    This logline has my attention; I love the era and the music.

    Logline itself: I would chop “aspiring” since you tell what his dreams are shortly thereafter. I would go with “in debt to” as opposed to “indebted to” (“indebted to” can carry positive connotations, as in “they did good things for him”–not what I expect you mean).

    The comma clauses could go. Maybe “in the jazz-infused Little Italy of the 1940s.”

    I want to read the script.

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  48. Profile photo of garrettdemar
    December 10, 2012, 2:17 am
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    I think this is a great story! Has great potential.

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  49. HeadKase says
    December 10, 2012, 2:09 am
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    Rad!!!!

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  50. Profile photo of ralphi
    ralphi says
    December 8, 2012, 9:54 pm
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    VERY GOOD !

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  51. Si-M says
    December 8, 2012, 6:46 pm
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    Hi Chase. Well, you seems to have a lot of replies on this already! I like the log-line, and I think it does its job well.

    There are issues with the comma clauses. I’d remove the comma after ‘young’, and put it in after ‘mafia’.

    Second, I might bring the problem forward some, so it would begin:

    Indebted to the mafia, … — but then I think that ‘indebted’ can have a duel meaning, so I might go with:

    In debt to the Mafia, a young musician must risk his life … etc.

    Your sentence is long, so I’d consider dropping unnecessary words, so:

    … and pursue his dream of becoming a mainstream success …
    could be
    … and pursue his dream of mainstream success …

    Just my take on it – sounds like a solid story though.

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  52. December 8, 2012, 3:51 am
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    Perfect logline in my opinion.

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  53. Profile photo of wordman
    wordman says
    December 7, 2012, 6:19 pm
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    Sounds like a good concept. However, to me, your LL seems a little – complicated. After reading a couple of times, this is what I got out of it.

    As an aspiring 1940’s era jazz musician works off a mob debt, a chance encounter fuels his dreams of success, and his desire to break free.

    I didn’t see anything in your LL that gave him the incentive to “put his life on the line” So I added “a chance encounter.” I feel what matters here is his story of how he wants to achieve his dream and the conflict he goes through. Just trying to help.

    With all that said, could be very entertaining.

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  54. Profile photo of chalkyc
    chalkyc says
    December 7, 2012, 1:22 pm

    My God… How many accounts do you have?

    cmb4913
    Chaseland45

    …anymore?

    Please use this site honestly and do not create multiple accounts to review your logline up and other loglines down.

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    • December 7, 2012, 3:12 pm

      I have one account dude. Chaseland45.

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    • December 7, 2012, 7:29 pm

      Chalkyc, just because people vote for scripts or log-lines other than yours doesn’t mean they have multiple accounts. You weren’t complaining when your log-line was voted for. But now others are voting for different log-lines and you have a problem with that? Chaseland45 is befriending people and asking them to review his log-line, so they are. And a lot of people like it so they vote for it. That;s how you make connections and get feedback with other writers. If you want your log-line to get reviews do the same thing, but don’t rip on other people for following the rules. You cannot prove he has more than one account and it makes you look incredibly childish and unprofessional to call out another writer simply because you’re not winning anymore. Grow up, whoever you are. If you can’t handle something small like this then just quit now because you’re not made for Hollywood and the back-stabbings and vicious people you encounter there every single day on the job. You just made yourself look incredibly childish, immature and unprofessional.

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      • Profile photo of chalkyc
        chalkyc says
        December 7, 2012, 8:53 pm

        Nah, he’s got two. cmb4913 and Chaseland45 and calling him out on it is neither childish or immature, it’s just a hunch/fact. And winning is by no means what this is about, it’s about fairness. I do apologize if I am wrong, but in this instant, I doubt it. Perhaps more than 3 accounts Brian, you see it on here from time to time. Anythings possible on this crazy rock.

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        • December 8, 2012, 3:14 am

          Yes, it is possible, but until you have evidence or proof, you cannot assume someone is playing unfairly. And there’s a big difference between a hunch and a fact. Hunch means you think so, fact means its been proven. You don’t know so you can’t assume you’re right. If you wanted to discuss this and think you are being unfairly criticized or reviewed you should have politely messages chaseland45 and asked him about it, rather than start public back-n-forth bickering. That’s what’s immature and childish. Go on Facebook or Twitter for that. This is a friendly website for writers to meet and evaluate other writers. Sometimes a writer thinks differently than you and you won’t agree with that, get used to it. Not everyone will love what you’ve created, and you can’t get angry about that. Learn from criticisms or ignore them, but don’t start unprofessional tiffs with those who disagree with you. I’m not trying to pick on you, but I’ve been around the business and you’ve got to be tough as nails if you ever want to break into the film industry, especially if you want to be a writer. Writers get pissed on and disrespected more than anyone else. A mentor of mine told me – and he’s right – that on the “Movie totem pole”, writers aren’t just at the bottom, they’re the part of the totem pole you bury in the dirt to hold the rest of the people above them.

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          • Profile photo of chalkyc
            chalkyc says
            December 8, 2012, 5:24 am

            The back and forth bickering is with you, as I see you so closely monitor his logline. I was tempted to accuse you as third account of his, considering you monitor his logline more than he does, and your current status hails him as ‘the future of Hollywood’. All three of these accounts, you, CMB4913, and Chaseland have obviously given ‘Piano Man’ 4/5 star ratings, they have also given my own 1/2 star ratings in quick succession. CMB4913 account was created gave Piano Man all 5’s, gave my own all 1’s and has never been back. Look, I’m happy for a good logline to take over the top spots, it’s inevitable, but when it’s forced by either multiple accounts or friends accounts rigging the delicate rating system there seems to be no point for the website to function. Sort it out. This logline was good, and its much better after the update, so it should grow naturally, instead of being cheated.

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  55. Profile photo of robert
    robert says
    December 7, 2012, 1:17 pm
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    It sounds hot. I like mafia period piece stories like that. It’s set in the motherland, too? Sounds hot.

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  56. gjdevlin says
    December 7, 2012, 10:23 am
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    Very cool idea you have here. The question is why he must break free? Yes, the mafia is a threat but what will the mafia do if he doesn’t break free? Think musical mob doctor. :-) The hook needs to be a bit stronger.

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  57. Profile photo of cmb4913
    cmb4913 says
    December 7, 2012, 1:09 am
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    Great logline!

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  58. December 6, 2012, 6:00 pm

    I love it. You’ve corrected your mistakes and flaws and tightened everything. You made this into a very strong, very hooky story that I like and now that only bad thing is waiting for the script :)

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  59. mikeyz says
    December 6, 2012, 2:27 pm
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    Although I’ve seen the ‘escaping-the-mob’ angle such as this in the past, I don’t ever recall a story in which the character in question was pursuing a musical career. So I believe your idea is quite fresh and creative. I see you’ve also changed the setting to a 1940’s, jazz-infused era as well to create an atmosphere of nostalgia which I think works well here.
    Overall, I think this would make for a really good story – good luck on the script!

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  60. wardparry says
    December 6, 2012, 2:05 pm
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    It reminds me of The Beat That My Heart Skipped – which is as big a compliment as I can offer. Very nicely done. The logline as it stands needs a little clarity. How does he put his life on the line, why is he indepted to the mafia. These are key triggers that have an impact on the story, and I think you should point them out. WP

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  61. Profile photo of southwriter
    December 6, 2012, 12:07 pm
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    Is he at risk for trying to be free from mafia guys?, is there a conflict with it? I guess so, mobs are mobs, they like to have the control…. That what I miss in the logline, any reference to the troubles he is going to get with his decision to break free……

    A young aspiring musician, in pursue of his dream of becoming a successful jazz musician in 1940’s jazz infused, must face serious problems when he tries to break free from the control of some mobs bos. who has has protected ( or supported) him from the start.

    Give info about the conflict with the mafia, it gives the story a second layer, he wants to become a pro musician and also is having the strenght to confront the mafia if needed.

    I’m not english native speaker, so get only the spirit of it.

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  62. December 6, 2012, 5:34 am
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    This was very good, it told the story in a sentence just like a logline is supposed to do. and plus, you have “indebted to the mafia” that alone is an enough of a hook for me. I would love to give it a read!

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    chalkyc says
    December 6, 2012, 4:15 am
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    Hook

    Double space after ‘young’. Comma after ‘mafia’.

    A clear and precise logline that informs us of the story, but it’s missing the spark. Something to draw us in. Are their any quirks or abnormalities that will freshen this story and make it stand out from the others?

    I think I like the title, simple but affective I guess. I like your references, in particular Goodfellas. That excites me, 8 Mile, not so much.

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    • December 6, 2012, 1:04 pm

      Double space after young? What?

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        chalkyc says
        December 7, 2012, 1:25 pm

        As the logline has been updated (Updated: December 6, 2012). The double space is no longer there… You even commented on the fact it’s been updated…

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    TheElite09 says
    December 5, 2012, 7:56 pm
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    Hook

    I like it.

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  65. says
    December 5, 2012, 2:32 pm
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    Story Potential
    Hook

    I think the logline is ok. It’s superior to many others I’ve read, but I don’t think it is something you shouldn’t continue to tweak. I haven’t read any comments from others, so my thoughts are my own.

    I believe the whole second part of the logline is a throw-away cluster of words. The major conflict of your story is breaking free of the mob’s control, and therefore whether he makes it to a stage in his life where he can sign on to a major record label is bland and less interesting. You could actually replace the segment just by putting the word “aspiring” before musician.

    Another issue I have is that I don’t get the mood of the story because I don’t know the time period this takes place in. When you talk about the mob/mafia, they have exerted influence since the 1920s and before. I would therefore replace the “record label” with something that describes the time period and location.

    A young, aspiring musician, indebted to the mafia puts his life on the line to break free of their control in the jazz infused slums of 1920s New Orleans. (just an example because I don’t know the location, music style or time period).

    Good luck.

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    jusork says
    December 5, 2012, 10:45 am
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    Story Potential
    Hook

    This is a good logline because it says a lot of useful story information in an economical way. It shows his goal, the conflict and enough about the character within the goal. If there’s a way to hint at how he puts his life on the line and breaks free of their control, it would be even better, but as is, it does a good job.

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  67. rickemg says
    December 5, 2012, 8:20 am
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    Story Potential
    Hook

    All in all its a good logline. Tells the story in sentence. Good concept and the potential is solid for a short or full length.

    Good logline Chase.

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  68. cjgrayso says
    December 4, 2012, 8:00 pm
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    Hook

    Love the concept. In the right hands, with the right stars, this could be a bloody good film. Great idea. I’d love to read the script if it is available.

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    peterfitz says
    December 3, 2012, 11:50 pm
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    Hook

    When I read the logline in isolation I maybe wasn’t 100% sold – love the jazz aspect but not sure the signing with a major label is enough motivation (for me anyway). Why the big label – is it to fulfill his passion with the music, to lift his family from poverty or is it for more selfish reasons? To fully emphathise with the character perhaps a little more info on why its so important to him? That’s why when I read it in the context of the film references I said to myself ‘yep, got it!’ – and I could really see the film’s premise very clearly. But, you know, every one has an opinion – if you feel it fully encapsulates your message, brilliant!

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  70. December 3, 2012, 11:48 pm
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    Hey I like the story premise. More detail on why he is indebted and what is it that will get him out of the mobs clutches. Good logline.

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    lex86 says
    December 3, 2012, 7:49 pm
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    Hook

    great story potential, the only thing I was wondering about was what time it is set in. I could see him playing jazz or even a synth (though I would much prefer jazz!). I would love to read this, I hope its got lots of bluesy overtones to it, and for some reason I see it in prohibition era. Great logline, looking forward to reading the script.

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    • December 3, 2012, 8:15 pm

      I agree about the 1920’s-30’s prohibition era. I’d like that too. And gangsters from that era are much more sophisticated and clever than today’s mafias which are just more like gangs. If this were a script, I (and this is just ME PERSONALLY, JUST ONE MAN! HAHA) would like to see it in the prohibition, Roaring 20’s space of time. That’d be pretty neat.

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      • December 3, 2012, 10:31 pm

        Yes, I was torn between prohibition era and 1970s era but I have a fondness for the 1920s and 1930s era.

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  72. December 3, 2012, 7:41 pm
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    Story Potential
    Hook

    The potential for a story like this is vast. If in the right hands, this could be a very effective thriller and a strong script. The only nit-picky things I would change about the logline itself is I would put a comma after “mafia,” and I would say “pursue his ‘dream’ of signing with a major record label” instead of “dreams”. Maybe think of what YOU would want to read about if this wasn’t yours. What would make YOU connect to the log-line and grab your attention.

    This is a good log-line and gets right to the point without trying to sound too artsy or sophisticated with weird-sounding adjectives. Get to the point – that’s exactly what you did, and you did it in an effective, hooky, and clear way. Overall very good.

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    • December 3, 2012, 7:47 pm

      Also, if this is anything like Goodfellas I’m sold. That’s one of my favorite movies of all time. Such a perfection in filmmaking.

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    • December 3, 2012, 7:50 pm

      Thank you so much for the input! I will definitely have to add those small edits. I agree with them 100%. Thanks again!

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  73. December 3, 2012, 7:36 pm
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    Thank you. I agree.

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  74. December 3, 2012, 7:23 pm
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    Hook

    Functions in all of the right ways, but something more could be added to really draw us in. Make a nod to the complications that arise from in his mission, or elude to the mood of the film,

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