Monday, August 30, 2010

Movie Pitch

For the past couple of weeks over at Anomalous Material, there has been a Hollywood Fantasy Draft. Basically you choose actors and a director you want for your fictional movie. Now I gotta pitch the movie. The rules/requirements for the pitch are:

~You should immediately develop the basic idea, the logline for your movie: The logline is one or two sentence that summarize the concept of your movie. For example: “Are you interested in a story about a man who lives in the Statue of Liberty?” (A real and successful logline)
~You should have a firm grasp of your main characters and their roles in the story.
~You should be able to explain why so and so is going to play so and so.
~You should begin to develop some basic outline or treatment for your story.

Here I go. This is the pitch for my fictictious film Truth and Lies (which, I may add, is directed by Martin Scorsese).

The Logline
What if everything you thought you knew about someone was a lie?

The Characters

  • Meryl Streep is Patricia Malloy, a woman who comes home one night to discover her husband has been murdered.
  • Sean Penn is Malcolm Hyde, the private investigator Malloy hires to infiltrate the mob family she believes was responsible for her husband's murder. After some smooth talking, he becomes an associate for the family.
  • Marisa Tomei is Connie Hyde, Malcolm's wife. She has supported his previous work, ranging from drug trafficking to political scandals. But this job is more dangerous than what he has done before.
  • Ralph Fiennes is Sammy Giardano, the boss of the family Hyde infiltrates. His personality is charming, but behind closed doors he's a different man.
  • Stanley Tucci is Mick Lombardi, Giardano's consigliere. He has a hidden hatred for Giardano since he was to take over the business when the former boss stepped down, but he hides it with an admiration for him.
  • Emile Hirsch is Louie, Giardano's son. He is deeply suspicious of the new associate for his father. He tries to convinces Giordano that something's up, but he and his suspicions are shrugged off.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal is Joey Sullivan, Giardano's top hitman. He has a sadistic streak once he starts a hit; it disappears when his victim is truly dead.
  • Peter Sarsgaard is Bruno Contielle, Giardano's underboss. He is likeable throughout the family due to his good looks and friendly personality.

The Outline

Theme: The main theme is deception. I'll explain more once I get to the outline of the movie.

Prologue: Patricia comes home after a long day of work to find her husband beaten and shot to death. Absolutely stunned, she wants answers and she wants them now. She finds out her husband has been borrowing money from Giardano.

Act One: Appalled by the shoddy police investigation, Patricia hires Malcolm. He agrees to help her, since he is curious on the workings of Giardano's business. Upon first arrival, Malcolm is welcomed by Giordano and Bruno. Malcolm wins over Giardano and becomes an associate. Malcolm also gets acquainted with Mick.

Act Two: Here we are introduced to Louie. He appears to be a nice kid, but he is very suspicious of Malcolm. Since no one else will listen to him, he confides in Joey about it. Joey is like an older brother to Louie, so he thinks that Louie might be right.

Act Three: Malcolm is getting close to booking Giardano. Louie's suspicions on him has only intenstified. He orders Joey to kill Malcolm, which he gladly agrees to do. Joey manages to beat Malcolm up, but it's Joey who gets killed. Shocked by Joey's death, Louie decides to take matters into his own hands. He shoots Malcolm in the back several times before Bruno shows up and subdues him.

Epilogue: Malcolm survives, but is left paralyzed. When he's recovering in the hospital, Bruno visits him and explains everything. Like Malcolm, he is a cop who has infiltrated Giardano's business to try to take him down. Giardano had bribed the police to not thoroughly investigate Patricia's husband's murder (he was killed for not paying back Giardano the thousands of dollars he had borrowed). Giardano, Louie and Mick get arrested for numerous charges. Mick agrees to testify against Giardano, which shocks him. At his sentencing, Giardano says that he never would've suspected that Malcolm and Bruno were involved with the police.

So what do you think? Would you pay to see this?


  1. Great pitch and a great story for scorsese to do! Extra credit for the chinatown feel to it.

    I'd have liked for Meryl Streep to have been more of the center part. She is the female lead but this could very easily become like most other Scorsese films an all male showdown.

  2. Love it Anna! Short, concise pitch but you really summed it up really well. I do think the lengthy exposition at the end could be avoided or at least minimized if there is more clues left in the first 3 acts.

  3. Good work, Anna. I agree that Streep seems to vanish a little, which is a shame, but that's a minor niggle. Scorsese would make sure we didn't even notice!

    I'd pay to see it.


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