An excerpt from my script review for Fatman which will be available 11/30/20:
2.) Plot Stability
So the twist…
As the Cap’n mentioned in his movie review you have Chris who’s down on his luck, behind on his bills, and getting the squeeze put to him by government “suits”.
The story right there has potential, but then you find out Chris is the real life Santa, and now it’s interesting on a whole new level.
The problem is we know the twist going in, so all the “cat and mouse” you’re attempting to establish is wasted because we know who he is.
Sure, if I had zero idea what this was about, I’d be impressed as hell with the script because the writers do an excellent job teasing out this juicy nugget of information.
But without that little fact being revealed in the trailer, is there enough to sell an audience on seeing it?
(For yours truly it was completely unnecessary because America’s Gr8est actor, Mr. Walton Goggins, is in it, so I’ll be watching regardless.)
But for our own “unique twist” scripts, we can certainly allude to it in the logline, but should we come right out and say it?
That’s a hard question to answer, but could just boil down to your particular script.
The best advice I can give is to work out a pair of loglines, one with the twist and another without.
Does the one without have enough excitement in it to garner a request, allowing the twist to be the icing on the cake for a professional reader?
For this project I’d argue it doesn’t.
Sans the Santa angle, this is just another “down on his luck” thriller that Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, or a similar older actor could star in.
Your similar “no twist” idea would be lost in the shuffle.
BUT by adding the Santa angle in you’ve just given away any intrigue the story would be building up to.
So final answer is it depends, and go with your gut.
If leaving out the twist is more likely to yield a “pass” then by all means include it.
Your end goal as a writer is to get it in the hands of people who are interested, and then it’s the marketing department’s job to figure out how to pitch it to the public.
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