[Craft Series] I CAN'T NOT TELL A LIE: The Ethics of Writing True Stories

Taylor Allen & Andrew Logan

In an era of cinema where the silver screen is often dominated by costumed heroes, live-action remakes of animated classics, and sagas that originated a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

It seems like the only way to get a movie made is if it’s based on a pre-existing idea or some kind of “intellectual property.” These restrictions can feel like a daunting hurdle to a writer at the beginning of their career. But true stories are here to help!

Most executives think true stories are the cheapest form of “I.P.” there is. And in many cases, they don’t even cost you the young screenwriter a nickel to get started…or even sell! But as with many things in life, long-term success can often be determined by how ethically you’ve approached your work. 

You can’t possibly recreate everything that happened in a true story. Choices about what to keep and what to cut will often be driven by story but equally often involve ethics. So when does cutting a moment or changing a detail become unethical? When does a change make for great drama and when does it become cheap and dishonest? After all, real people really lived through this!

By the end of this webinar, you’ll have a great roadmap to begin telling almost any true story in a great and ethical way!

This 90-Minute Webinar Will Cover: 

  • Finding true stories worth telling 
  • Developing your take on the story
  • Research 
  • When to ask the right person for the right read 
  • Q&A!

      About Your Host

      Taylor Allen & Andrew Logan are writing and producing partners who were recognized on the 2015 Black List and listed by Variety as one of 2017’s “10 Screenwriters to Watch” for their screenplay CHAPPAQUIDDICK. Subsequently, Taylor and Andrew were executive producers on the final film, which in April 2018 went on to a nationwide release with enough critical success to get a mention from Michelle Wolf in her comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

      When he’s not writing, Taylor continues to edit for The Simpsons. He has also worked with James L. Brooks as part of the editorial team on Gracie Film’s The Edge of Seventeen for STX Entertainment and ICEbox for HBO.

      Andrew, who is based in Austin, TX, also produced Hannah Fidell’s 6 Years alongside The Duplass Brothers, which premiered at South by Southwest and sold to Netflix. Additionally, he co-produced two 2014 Sundance Film Festival premieres – Kat Candler’s Hellion and Todd Rohal’s short, “Rat Pack Rat,” which won the Special Jury Prize for Unique Vision.

      What To Expect

      Immediately after registering, you will receive an Order Confirmation that serves as the receipt for your registration. In the Order Summary section of this email, there will be a link reading "CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS" that will take you to the page containing the Webinar recording. Under that link will be the Password you'll need to unlock the page and enjoy!


      If you have any questions or any trouble accessing the recording, email our Director of Education Alexandra Davies at alex@roadmapwriters.com!

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