Recntly I was at the Scriptwriters Network http://www.scriptwritersnetwork.org/swn/index.php?page=Home event Adapting to the Silver Screen; a panel discussion with Paul Guay http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0345488/bio (Liar, Liar), Bryce Zabel http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0007233/bio (Dark Skies), Nicholas Meyer http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0583292/bio (Time After Time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan).
There were stories and more stories of life in the business especially as pertains to adaptations. What I heard that was important when constructing either an adaptation or a biography was:
- Take the essence and make a good story.
- The story does not necessarily have to be linear.
- Collect all the bits and pieces.
- Then assemble them into your story.
You may stretch the “truth.” You can invent events and characters. As always, the story is the goal.
Thinking about the session on my long drive home, I realized that the process is very similar to writing any other type of script except that some of the parts are based on past events, historical events, or another writer’s story world.
The bottom line: take the bits, mix them up, make the story yours.