Issue 15: What’s New? (29 February) RSL Re-launch!

Usually, in this section we present a selection of the latest news, trailers and other goings-on in the world of fact-based film. However, for this issue, we’re using the opportunity to set out the exciting changes we’re making to RSL

When we launched RSL back in May 2015, the idea was to present a variety of material relating to fact-based film.

While it was always the intention to add extra information specific to screenwriters and writing the fact-based screenplay, in truth, we wanted RSL to be accessible to all film fans.

The trouble with this approach is that in trying to offer ‘something for everyone’, we actually offer very little to all!

We have limited time and resources to cover all the bases and, consequently, feel as if we’re spreading what we do have way too thin.

So, from this issue we’ve decided to shift focus to our real love – screenwriting!

Specifically, writing the fact-based film.

Why now? Well, it actually came about after watching two recent big screen releases – The Big Short and Spotlight. Watching these films made us realise that we’d lost focus. They also made us excited to dig under the surface of these films to find out how the screenwriters turned compelling and challenging source material into films that have been successful on many levels – creatively, critically, journalistically – as well as enjoying mass appeal.

So, rather than offering up a smattering of news and info each issue; instead, we are going all out to get back to basics and publish a real resource that screenwriters – new and established – can use to help write the fact-based screenplay.

What will this look like? Well, we plan to continue publishing an issue every month. But instead of a scattergun approach, we will instead focus on one film per issue. This could be a contemporary, Hollywood or indie release, or a classic we feel is worth revisiting.

For each film we select, the idea is to dissect it from the screenwriter’s point of view to offer:

• analysis of the adaptation/transformation process (with reference to the source material, as appropriate)
• resources related to the film (i.e. third-party comment or analysis we feel is particularly relevant and/or useful)
• specific focus on one particular aspect of the film (in order to complete and round out our lesson series)
• a review of the film and/or additional analysis

It seems fitting that our first two films under the microscope are The Big Short (February) and Spotlight (March). As we reviewed The Big Short back in Issue 14, in this issue you can find:

• analysis of how the screenwriters adapted the source material
• a detailed look at characterisation (Issue 15’s planned lesson)
• a dedicated ‘about’ page that sets out some basic information about the film

Hopefully, with our new direction, we can put together material that we’re proud to publish, offers real value, and fills a gap in the screenwriting market.

Happy writing!