Black List 2012: Word Cloud Challenge

December 19th, 2012 by

Here is a word cloud based on the loglines for the 78 Black List 2012 scripts:

Okay, all you clever people. Time to come up with a logline based on some of the key terms in the word cloud. For instance, take “ruthless father” and “ex-con son,” link them up with “goes to war” or “government conspiracy,” who knows what you get.

By the way, no zombies, vampires or aliens? What’s up with that?!?!

55 thoughts on “Black List 2012: Word Cloud Challenge

  1. Shaula Evans says:

    This is like Fridge Magnet Poetry for screenwriters! (In fact, if Franklin gets to the point he’s selling Black List swag, he could always do that…)

    Here’s my tag cloud logline:

    When a corrupt astronaut agrees to smuggle slaves from a space ghetto into the free zone, he falls in love with the ruthless sheriff in charge of shutting him down.

    Okay, I’ve set the bar. Now give it a shot, folks.

    PS The image is a little larger and easier to work with here.

    1. Debbie Moon says:

      If Franklin’s reading this, I would buy Black List word cloud fridge magnets in a heartbeat… ;)

      1. Shaula Evans says:

        It could be an awesome annual collector’s item. Limited Edition Black List Logline Tag Cloud Fridge Magnets. The must-have holiday gift for screenwriters everywhere. :)

    2. I would totally watch this movie!

  2. Debbie Moon says:

    young is more popular than old, man and boy more popular than girl and woman, no surprises there…

    A logline? Okay. How about: a struggling Texas sheriff must help his ruthless ex-con father rob the town bank to pay back a drug lord…

    Or: a young black astronaut goes on a journey through time to find a missing woman and protect a government conspiracy. (Don’t even ask me what happens in that one!)

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      How radical! Everyone else wants to bust up government conspiracies… I’m trying to think what kind of government conspiracy a young black astronaut might have been in favor of in the past…

    2. These are both really interesting. They raise a lot of questions!

  3. I know this is grammatically forlorn, but i urge you to go deeper into the hidden fascinating story and find your truer, darker, more criminal self…

    “Together hispanic hipsters missing after a criminal journey,
    exchange two great future dying corrupt texas law friendships
    succesfully for three party cops slave women.

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      Reuben, you deserve a special prize for using the most tag cloud words. And who can get enough movies about Hispanic hipsters?

  4. Thanks, I know, It opened well and then I just got carried away…

  5. Forced on the lam together, a corrupt Texas sheriff must protect an astronaut, American hero turned ex-con, only to make the shocking discovery that the ruthless drug lord in pursuit is the lawman’s own teenage daughter.

    1. Nice, so would the astronaut be able to impart his ex-con wisdom upon the Sheriff so as he can understand the motivations of his ruthless teenage daughter, better ?

      I like it.

      1. Off the top of my head, the reason his teenage daughter became a career criminal is a consequence of the sheriff’s own corruption (does she blame him for her mother’s death as a result of his own illegal behavior?)

        An immediate thought is to have the reason an American hero becomes an ex-con be related to the astronaut’s daughter (and maybe his wife). Whether there’s true wisdom as a consequence of that decision remains to be seen.

        1. Wait, so is it the Astronaut Ex-Cons’ daughter ( wife ) now ? I read it as the lawmans. Fuckn word clouds. But I think Im already inlove with the Sheriffs daughters motivation for a life of crime, after watching her mother get killed, Im basically in tears each time we rip each others clothes off.. so yea, cast anybody in that one.

          If we can just nuzzle all this subtext into the bossom of corporate america and what it takes to live the american dream without shooting the place up over a misplaced sense of threatened freedoms then I think we’re on a hit.

          1. The sheriff’s daughter is the criminal, yes.

            The Astronaut had/has his own wife & daughter. Parallel stories, kinda, from different angles.

            Why would an Astronaut, an effin’ American Hero go bad? He’d have to have a good reason, right? His daughter would be a good enough reason if he were desperate enough.

            The asymmetric contrast between the sheriff and the astronaut is between a man who only thinks of himself, risks nothing but loses everything. and a man who will do anything for his wife & kid, but ends up losing it anyway. How can they both redeem themselves?

            p.s I just noticed, but this whole thread was supposed to be a reply to Debbie’s post.

          2. snap, I thought I had replyed to this post but this blog isnt running an “edit your post” thingy…

  6. Ok, sorry I had to go out and grab coffee, Im just riffin, I dont want to seem presumptive, riffing over your shit and all, but, is it possible…

    The Sheriff and The Astronauts wifes were the same ? Is this too chinatowm ?

    Because if not, I think its that in his selfish protective way he has singlehandedly been the main motivation for her in her crisis point ( early subtext, sorry Im probably ramblin a bit ) at an early age to agree to never do anything that wasn’t going to make her happy.

    The main conflict between her and her two dads being that one is ashamed of her and the other desperately needs to believe in her ?

    Are we still on Debbies post ? time flys…

    1. And in doing so, desperately needs her to believe in him.

      Which represents justice ?
      Which represents freedom ?

  7. Shaula Evans says:

    You’ve made me want to take another try:

    When a desperate single father goes to war, his three young daughters struggle to protect their family from the mystery woman he brings home as his new wife.

    Sort of King Lear meets Fatal Attraction.

    1. Boom, now were back on top Shaula…

      I am though, male. & full respect where its due, I dont know if I should be attempting to ad too much to what would critically be a female empowerment story. ( its the not being female thing )

      But I like that you balling now Shaula.

      1. Shaula Evans says:

        Jump on in! The water is full of sharks and estrogen, but your contribution is welcome.

        The structure of the logline leaves the identity of the protagonist a bit ambiguous: it could equally well be the father, or the ringleader of the sisters. Wow, that makes for two different stories, doesn’t it? The daughters’ POV is a paranoid horror, the Dad’s POV is a family drama-thriller (depending on how threatening the new wife is), and if you tell it from the step-mother’s POV, suddendly you have an Oscar-bait drama about xenophobia, blended families, and the clash of cultures.

        1. Yes, and oscar bait is all I do ( when Im not working to please shareholders )

          So, as his war has not yet been illustrated I would say a powerful force enacting their individual indentity’s could easily be called into play based on the Protag/POV choices you make and inside that it would be nice..

          [ Though not primary, I'll agree ] to give the father a thorough perspective on the precept of family specifically under the clash of culture context.

          However, I dont want to stomp the mud hole/walk it dry thing, allover the enjoyable subtle malleable choices you will make directing this towards the expression you will ultimately be most comfortable or proud with so cant ad too much more without also shopping sheepishly for the book deal.

          1. I lie, her ( ringleader protag daughters ) will to extrapolate her fathers passion for ( the unexplained as of yet ) war on something removed from their immediate family dichotomy that she decides to try and have a fake relationship with the mystery newly now stay at home ( not my ) mom ?

        2. Shaula Evans says:

          PS If you tell it from the POV of the youngest daughter, you get a poignant coming of age story, a la Hope and Glory (and more Oscar bait). She narrates it as an adult looking back and Merchant Ivory produces it. And you probably steal some story beats from Arthur Miller’s play A View From the Bridge.

    2. I like this one a lot. There is a lot of intrigue and family drama here.

  8. plinytheelder_t

    I just also want to say ( it must be boring in new zealand tonight ) that I now realise I was way off base in presuming we could make the mothers the same woman as I hadnt completely followed what you meant by asymetric polarity between the Astronaut Ex-Cons daughter and the Sheriffs ruthless drug lord daughter and the true conflict resting in why both her and the American hero ex-con decided to turn bad, which has probably either inspired or significantly contributed to both their daughters wrong turns in life..

    wait ? is the Astronaut actually the American Hero turned Ex-Cons, teenage daughter ?

    Extremely successful girl one can instantly assume at that point. Teen Astronaut.

    But now the set-up, in my mind, is skewing off the original context plate we served it up on.

    Little help ?

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      If you have a plucky Teen Astronaut, you may have a Pixar movie. Does she have a sassy, bug-eyed animal sidekick?

      1. What you have is a Teen Disney movie, in the vein of Kim Possible, or the Herbie movie with Lindsey Lohan before she hit the sauce.

        Does Justin Beiber count as a bug-eyed animal sidekick?

        1. Shaula Evans says:

          I think you’ve hit it: the bug-eyed sidekick is a rodent named… Justin Beaver.

          1. LOL You almost made me spit out my tea!

    2. Didn’t you watch Armageddon? All Astronauts are heroes, especially Russian ones!

      Here’s the contrast: a lawman (sheriff) who’s actually a criminal, and a criminal (astronaut) who’s actually a hero.

      The astronaut’s daughter (or his wife) did not turn bad. He just lost them (their either die or leave him). Think of the astronaut as Nic Cage’s character in Con Air. Same kind of dynamic, if the details change.

      the sheriff, otoh, is a motherfucker.

  9. When the young family of a ruthless ex-con goes missing, a former Texas sheriff discovers a shocking secret – a murder mystery from the past that threatens the future of the struggling town he once swore to protect.

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      Wow, Kristen, yours is not only coherent, it’s interesting!

      1. LOL Thanks! This was a fun exercise. :)

  10. Mortified that the logline of words I stole from the blcklst cloud had been interpreted as in-coherent I tryed desperately to redeem it…

    Together two hispanic hipsters who had been announced missing from a local wedding return, they had been caught up in assisting a gunned running malitia and through this has a chance meeting with a beautiful lady at the border town. Now they enact a subversive exchange of their pre-existing friendship with two great texas law family’s in exchange for the release of the women being held in slavery by three corrupt border cops who like to party.

    1. Cool! Sounds very Tarantino-esque!

      1. Shaula Evans says:

        I swear to you, it’s how Tarantino writes all his loglines, with fridge magnet poetry. I heard it on good authority from his Maytag repair man.

        1. LOL! Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised. But I would be interested in finding out what his words are!

          Samurai swords, wedding, pregnant, assassin, slavery, revenge, hitmen, mobsters, machine guns, rape, S&M, Nazis, machete, Bear Jew…

  11. I should of never started this game….

  12. Two with the same twist. Can’t decide which one I like. One is a dystopian sci-fi; the other is a paradox:

    Sent back in time to prevent the Cold War from erupting into World War III, an American astronaut from an alternate future discovers that not only is Hitler still alive – he’s his grandfather.

    Or…

    An American astronaut travels back in time to WWII on a secret government mission to kill Hitler – only to discover that he is his grandfather.

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      You can solve the gender ambiguity by making the astronaut female. (You know, she’s from the future, when women get lots of cool jobs and even get to be film protagonists.)

      …only to discover the Fuhrer is her grandfather.

      1. I am shocked to have to admit that I can only sympathise with all women on this one.
        Infact I try and write to address this inbalance.

        However the current fuhrer grandfather link is disconcerting…

        1. Well, if s/he goes back in time to kill Hitler and discovers he is his/her grandfather (or whatever), s/he wouldn’t be able to assassinate him (because presumably s/he would never exist).

          I was originally going to make him/her a black astronaut, actually. I thought that would be interesting. And ironic. But then I realized it would be harder to blend in, so to speak, in WWII Berlin…

          I just kind of liked the idea of meeting someone that is so universally hated… how would you react if you found out you were related (especially if your spouse was Jewish or something)? Would you be disgusted? Hate them even more? And yet, when it comes down to it, wouldn’t it still be more difficult to murder them?

          I wrote this at like 2am, so I won’t claim it’s the greatest idea ever. lol But that’s kind of where I was going with the second one. The first was more of a “finds out there is a government conspiracy” thing.

      2. Ooh, although I am definitely pro-women in film, the thought hadn’t occurred to me to make this character female. That makes it much more interesting.

  13. Girls, this ones for you…

    “A ruthless star wife that has become corrupt against the backdrop
    of her desperate boss boyfriend who is robbing her successful friends.
    Suddenly plans a group secret deal to expose shocking bank home loans.”

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      Working title: Mrs. Madoff’s Revenge

      1. Bernie would be stoaked, he made it into the blcklst word cloud idea scripts this year…

        I do think though, that strong/empowered lead fem protagonists ( in Gucci ) are super vital to a society that rely’s on the dream machine for more then just whizz bang effects driven event films.

        I think im gonna stretch this one out in 2013 and see if a plotline develops…

      2. LOL Love the title idea! You crack me up, Shaula.

    2. This is pretty timely, and I bet it could make an interesting film. I’d love to see it amended with “after she discovers…”

      Or is she doing it because she discovers he’s robbing her friends? If so, you could turn it into a feel-good movie by having her learn something while on her path to revenge.

      And you could probably make a statement about something as well: poverty, the effects of scandal on a family, corrupt business practices, some people will do anything to win… any number of things. But if you make it a personal lesson that she has to learn, we’ll sympathize with her more.

      Just a thought. :)

  14. Personal lesson : Just because he’s robbing your friends as well as finally corrupting you into doing it, doesn’t mean he’s emotionally successful ?

    I love it. I wish I could live in l.a and talk to people like you girls all the time.

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      We run with a pretty fast set, Reuben: only ruthless sheriffs, corrupt astronauts, and desperate ex-cons on the run allowed!

  15. Shaula Evans says:

    When a black high school student from a NY ghetto public school visits a Texas farm town on a student exchange plan, she discovers a shocking century-old secret from her family’s slave history–and a successful Texas family who’ll stop at nothing to hide their family connection.

  16. [...] on a whim, challenged people to come up with script loglines using those words as inspiration (both here and [...]

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