The Boston Globe Ideas section strikes again, this time with its searing exposé on how movie taglines are born. As the cinetrix suspected, it's not exactly rocket science.
"I usually sit down and if it's there, it's there. It's not the kind of thing, at least for me, where you sit and stare at your computer screen," says Mike Kaiser of the design firm Concept Arts, who has been writing copy for 25 years. (His father was a copywriter, and so is his son.) Kaiser will jump around a thesaurus or Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, looking for phrases he can "spin or twist." His most famous line -- "The first casualty of war is innocence," for "Platoon" -- grew from Senator Hiram Johnson's 1917 assertion "The first casualty of war is the truth."
FUN FACT: The oft-cannibalized tagline "Just when you thought it was safe..." is from Jaws 2, not Jaws.