Script Magazine online published my article about ARGO’s use of creative license today.  Here’s how it begins:

Having adapted a number of true stories for the screen, I found myself wondering, as I watched Argo, which moments might have been created for the movie.

I guess I’m something of an apologist for Hollywood, in that I see a need to do more fictionalizing and authorial shaping of history than aspiring screenwriters usually tend to do (or lay people tend to understand).

I have found this necessary – to give true events the kind of coherent and compelling emotional build for an audience that “real life” rarely provides. In my view, audiences tend to need us writers to do this, if they are going to be as invested, engaged, and yes, entertained, as we would like them to be.

Of course, you can never tell “only truth,” in that it’s impossible to know what people actually said and did, at the microscopic level necessary for a screenplay.

But it’s also usually necessary to do significant shaping of the material as an author, if you want to grab and hold viewers. Especially when you consider they’re not showing up to see a documentary.  They want to get caught up in the emotions as if they are there, experiencing the events themselves…  Read the full article.


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