So, you’ve found a great true life tale that you’re sure will make a terrific film. The next thing to do is sit down and bang out your screenplay, right? Well, not exactly. First, there’s the little matter of research. For some writers, this step is a joy; for others, a chore. Either way, it’s a necessary step. In this first lesson on researching the fact-based film, we look at how research benefits your script…

The historical film is a tricky beast to tame. However you approach the story, there’ll always be someone popping up to point out the historical inaccuracies. Choose to portray iconic figures at key moments in their lives and you open yourself up to additional criticism. A good example is last year’s Selma, which dramatises several months in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr and his voting rights campaign…