WRITER’S BLOCK PART 3 – COOL RUNNINGS
When I stumbled across the story for LEGACY, I got in contact with an old friend of mine (who also happens to be a producer) and I’m happy to say she gave me some STELLAR ADVICE!
We have known each other for a long time and she was aware of my love of history and my propensity for endless research. She told me the story sounded a lot like Cool Runnings and that I should watch the film and call her back.
Cool Runnings is based on the true story of the first Jamaican Olympic Bobsled team (my story is based on a famous Olympic equestrian team). Cool Runnings definitely gets my tick of approval, least of all because watching it saved me a from wasting a whole lot of time on this project.
I watched the film and my friend was right there were many similarities in both stories – including the following:
- It’s based on a true story
- The Olympic team contained two childhood friends
- An antagonistic relationship between two of the team members is at the centre of the story
- The team were the underdogs (although my actually team won the gold medal)
- They had to overcome immense adversity, disappointment & lack of funding
- The team was transformed by a “fish-out-of-water” coach from another country
Given Cool Runnings was such a big hit – I excitedly called my friend and this was her advice…
Think of the plot points in the film you have just seen, think of the equivalent plot points in your story and only research these elements of the story
It was great advice because I could still be sitting in some dusty Olympic archive repository in pursuit of the real story. Instead I have written a production ready screenplay that I’m really proud of.
If you’re writing a screenplay based on a true story, please remember more research doesn’t necessarily deliver you a better product. Sometimes sitting down and writing (even if you don’t have all the facts at hand) is the best thing you can do to move the project forward. My advice is be true to yourself, be true to your passion but also be true to progressing your screenplay.
So getting running on your latest project!