On one of the morning talk shows today, Martin Scorsese mentioned that he wanted to make his latest movie, Shutter Island, in part because of this line: "Is it better to live a monster or die a good man?"
Wow. Now that's what I want to see in a script. One spectacular line that makes an A-lister salivate.
Mind you, I haven't seen the movie nor read the script, but I'm captivated by this one sentence.
It's got interesting characters - man or beast?
It's got universal conflict - I could be shunned, but still live, OR I could die a hero.
It contains an idea-action, i.e., the idea is monster vs. human, & the action is a man vacillating between both worlds.
It captures my imagination. The movie poster will capture the moment of indecision.
It's an easy sell. ex. "This is a modern day Jekyll and Hyde."
Wish I'd written that line...Or better yet - wish I'd written a script that Scorsese jumped on!
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I've seen too many scripts that I can't boil down to one sentence. This tells me a one liner is still the gold standard.