The screenwriter of ‘First Man’ spent 4 years researching Neil Armstrong to craft a true-life story even some hardcore space historians didn’t know

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“First Man” screenwriter Josh Singer is known for making “based on true story” movies — “Spotlight,” “The Post” — that really do recount what happened, without too many Hollywood embellishments.
Singer told Business Insider what the challenges were of giving Neil Armstrong’s story the same treatment.

When Hollywood needs a true story to be told on the big screen, it often turns to one guy to write the script: Josh Singer.

And we don’t mean a movie “based on a true story.” We mean a real true story. And there is a difference.

For as long as there have been movies, the term “true story” has been used very loosely in Hollywood. To help move forward a plot or build more drama in a story, directors and screenwriters often embellish real events, or include moments that never happened. 

Jim Garrison’s memorable closing remarks in the trial scene in Oliver Stone’s “JFK?” Never happened.
 Iranians chasing a plane down the runway at the end of “Argo?” Never happened.

It’s extremely hard to not heighten true life stories a tad, because let’s face it, we want movies to be more exciting than real life. But Singer has found a way to tell gripping true stories for the screen without adding in tons of untrue elements. 

What’s his secret? It all comes down to the story and lots of research.

Starting with “Spotlight” in 2015 — which earned a best picture Oscar, and got Singer an original screenplay Oscar with director/cowriter Tom McCarthy — Singer has given audiences a glimpse of some of the most historic events and fascinating people in American history, with an accuracy to the account that even dazzles the people who were actually there.

“Spotlight” set the stage, as the movie’s look inside the investigative journalist unit at The Boston Globe that uncovered …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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