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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ripped From the Headlines Competition

All right, Wavers, so here we go. This was a slightly confusing competition since it was a new exercise for everyone. My original intent had been that writers would in some way combine elements from all three news stories into one premise line. Many, many Wavers did not quite grasp that but I don't think I was perfectly clear. However, in addition, I found that while there are tons of enthusiastic Wavers who send in one-page scenes in our other, more traditional competitions here on the Rouge Wave, many of you need a major brush up on how to write a compelling, pithy, clever premise line. For now, let's just vote on the finalists but expect some premise line lessons here on the Rouge Wave in the near future.

Next R from the H premise line competition will be much more clearly explained, preceded by some brush-up talk and much more strictly judged. Given the wobbly nature of this very first Ripped From the Headlines premise line contest, I went with what I wanted to go with. Because I'm the boss, applesauce.

Here are three loglines that most intrigued or cracked me up:

Money Side Up

by Meg Pezzella

Gina must choose between Nick, her new boyfriend/co-owner of her cutting-edge L.A. breakfast eatery, and her brother Scott, owner of a celebrity boutique hospital accused of negligent homicide. Gina jeopardizes her business when she discovers Scott trains his mentally ill patients to steal for him, using the money to fund his hospital and her restaurant. What price breakfast?

Wave-inatrix: I chose this premise line because the title was clever, Meg used all three news stories in her premise line, she kept it short and her last sentence is funny and clever.

Sunnyside Down
by Jason Hennessy

After 7 robberies in a fiscal year, a breakfast restauranteur gets fed up and decides to egg on justice himself when he discovers his most regular patrons are the ones that keep taking home his bacon.

Wave-inatrix: I chose this premise line because the title made me laugh aloud, the premise line is nice and short and while Jason did not include the mental hospital story, his premise is clever as heck (newsflash: I prize cleverness highly) and his playful use of breakfast words was - clever.

FEED THE ANIMALS (with apologies to Girl Talk)
by Seth Fortin

Scott Benedict's strange, succulent breakfasts, served only to LA's most exclusive elite, promote youth and vitality -- better than botox and surgery put together! If his customers knew that he had to murder mental patients to harvest his, um, "ingredients".... well, they probably wouldn't care. But when a paranoid Scott kills the Venice Beach witch doctor who knows about the necronomicookbook he's using to whip up canapes of eternal youth, it's bad for business: ghastly figures begin harassing, intimidating, and robbing Scott's employees and customers outside his Melrose bistro. When the last of his staff quits on the night of the full moon, Scott rushes to complete preparations for the Dr. Drew Pinsky celebrity fundraiser breakfast alone, but it looks like he's got some guests who don't have reservations -- and they're not here for the wild-mushroom coquette....

Wave-inatrix: While Seth's premise line is too long, I chose this premise line because Seth used all three news stories, he has a little DEATH BECOMES HER thing going on and he wrote the premise line in a playful and compelling way.

Voting Guidelines:
Vote for the premise line and title that most entertained you and vote like an executive - which writer would you hire to polish up the premise line, develop it some and make it into a short film of the film festival kind? No ballot stuffing please.

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