Screenwriting….”Dude with a problem”

Thank you to all who read and also those of you who responded to my note on Fathers’ Day, it just made the day for me that much more special.  How wonderful to hear from some of you that I haven’t heard from for decades.  Hope we can keep in touch.


From time to time I have shared with you my attempt to write a screenplay.  I have actually completed two of them.  They are both from the  “Coming of Age” genre.  The time I get to spend coaching high school students is often inspiring, they are often inspiring, and the inspiration was the motivation to pen them.  I will someday return to polish them up.  But for now, I’m inspired by my favorite genre of movie…”Dude with a problem”.    Some of my favorite “dude with a problem” movies:  Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Die Hard,  Dirty Harry, The Bourne Trilogy, and oh so many more, but you get the idea.

I have most of my ideas down on paper and am just starting to storyboard it.  The hope is that the board will help me with story structure.  I have a title, and I have a few LogLines in mind.  Here’s where you come in.

Imagine we’re sitting around on a Saturday afternoon and we decide to go to a movie.  We grab the local paper and start perusing the ads.   What’s your response to the title and the logline for this movie:

1.  They killed his father.   They killed his friends.  They’ll try and kill him to keep a secret that will threaten the life of everyone living in the Americas….”CONTAINMENT”

2.  Reputable for de-bunking conspiracy theories, professor Aaron Barkley is faced with 24 hours to expose the cover up that killed his father, will kill his friends, threatens his life and all who live in North America……”CONTAINMENT”


3.  A young college professor is home to bury his estranged father to find he has 24 hours to uncover the conspiracy that killed his father.  That will kill some of his friends, and that threatens the life of all who live on the North American Continent….”CONTAINMENT”.

Do any of the above make you want to know more?

Do they tell you anything about what the movie is about?

Do any of them motivate you to pay $ 7.50 to see it?

OR…Does is depend on who’s in it for you to go see it?

Which is your favorite….and feel free to make any changes.

I so appreciate your input.  Can’t wait to hear from you!!!

Until then…..for heaven’s sake, have fun……Fred.

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9 Responses to Screenwriting….”Dude with a problem”

  1. Dan Kadwell says:

    Hey fred. For me #2 is more concise, creates a feeling of wanting to know more, and I like the 24 hour thing. It creates urgency and a desire to find out if he can really accomplish his goal in 24 hours. Casting could definitely play a part in wanting going to see it. I think everyone has favorite people they like to see in a film. Are we having fun yet?

  2. Kriszti VanSlyke says:

    Hi Fred,
    Out of the three I like #2 myself. I look forward to hearing more about this!
    I would probably go see it no matter what the loglines would be if I knew that you wrote it. Yes, it is important to me who is in it. Most actors/actresses I’m open about, a few I’m crazy about and some I can’t stand.
    Keep sharing… 🙂

  3. Christina says:

    Heh, I kind of like the first one as a teaser/trailer, one that I can really see the images flashing and selling the story in a ADD kind of way, leaving me intrigued.

    The second one is more complete on who our hero is in terms of the intial identity and conveys just enough of the challenge that he will face and works better as something that I would read in the paper.

    I’ll go see your ‘dude with a problem’ movie if you buy my ‘girl far from home, goes on a magical quest, meets cute boy along the way’ book!

    I don’t know that casting stars make a difference for me as long as the leads are appealing (and cute to be completely honest and shallow) and can act. There are only a handful of actors that I will see anything they are in (Hi Kate Winslet and David Tennant) and another handful that I will actively avoid seeing the movie if they are cast so it can be a double edge. Should Matt Damon take this part (he sounds perfect) I would be there!


    • Female Fred says:

      So after you finish the book and make millions, can you make sure David Tennant gets the “cute boy” part in the movie? Yum. 😉

      • fredbass says:

        Hah!!!! We can talk about casting after we sell it. But nice ideas…

      • Christina says:

        Too bad the cute boy part is around twenty but maybe David could play the crazy wizard. Or I could write a new story to leave unedited. After all what is one more unfinished rough draft? Maybe he could be Fred’s professor Alan? Too bad Peter Wingfield is probably older then Fred is looking he for, he would be excellent. And also y

  4. Laurie says:

    Hey Bass,
    #1 is the most compelling for me…I’d offer a change in the third line from, “They’ll try and kill him…” to “They’ll conspire to kill him to keep a secret that threatens…”

    They all three tell me it’s a dude with a problem, a mystery to be solved and hopefully some serious action. I’m with Kriszti in going to view your work. If it were written by someone else, then of course it depends on actors. How about getting Hugh Jackman on board?

    Keep writing!

  5. Female Fred says:

    OK. I had to think about this one a while before I commented. (And yes, I’m finally leaving a comment instead of merely lurking! 🙂 )

    Turns out I really like parts of all three of them:

    — I like the first part of #1 (draws you in immediately).

    — The “professor Aaron Barkley” part of #2 (personalizes it and makes it seem like his is a name to remember because it will eventually be a household name like Jason Bourne or James Bond; plus the “professor” part tells us a bit about the story and who he is, that he’s just an everyday kind of person (though it might imply that his job specifically relates to the storyline, which you may or may not intend)).

    — The “24 hours” part of #2 and #3 (adds urgency).

    — The “uncover the conspiracy” part of #3 (nice phrasing).

    To be honest, I don’t love the Americas/North America/North American Continent part — somehow it seems awkward, as it’s not a geographical region that is commonly referred to in LogLines (it’s always “the United States” or “Europe” or “the world”).

    So. Taking these thoughts together, here’s my suggestion:

    They killed his father. They killed his friends. Now Professor Aaron Barkley has 24 hours to uncover the conspiracy that threatens the lives of millions…. “CONTAINMENT.”

    I’d totally see it. Even without Matt Damon. 🙂

  6. fredbass says:

    You all are having great suggestions, thank you so much….Freddy, I think yours should become the #4 option, and it is now my #1, luv it. Thank you!!!!

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