Both the Biopic and the History Movie are about real life events. While the biography focuses more on the life of a single person, historical material focuses on the events in the lives of multiple characters. Life offers a particularly strong basis for creating exciting true stories – in this article I want to show you how to structure them properly.
What to consider when writing movies based on real life.
Researching Real Life Events
If you’re writing a movie script based on real events, you first have to identify the locations, the people and the succession of events in great detail. The main disadvantage of these stories is that real life is rarely really dramatic, but rather episodic. This means that individual episodes that actually happened are typically unrelated to one another. Also, the best “true stories” are not necessarily the most truthful, at least not as far as the historical facts are concerned. On another note, be careful here as you might fall into the trap of taking on a certain interpretation of events from a book or another type of media that might be copyright protected. Especially with biopics, you should always consult a lawyer before you jump into the writing process too quickly.
Developing True Stories
The key to a great Biopic or History Movie is definitely having a great finale. If you know which scene it’s all going to lead to, your story will almost always fall into place easily. If you collected major events, characters, and insights from the main character’s life before you start writing, you can now structure them for the greatest emotional impact on the audience. One amazing way to strengthen your structure is to combine this rather lose genre with one of the more tangible others like Action, Thriller or Detective. Here are a few film examples:
The Historical Action Movie
- DER BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX
- CAPTAIN PHILIPPS
- THE GRANDMASTER
- HERZ AUS STAHL
The Historical Detective Story
- SOPHIE SCHOLL – DIE LETZTEN TAGE
- THE IMITATION GAME
The thrilling Biopic
- 23 – NICHTS IST SO WIE ES SCHEINT
- THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Top Biopics & History Movies 2022
Maybe you’ve already seen one or the other.
THE SOUND OF FREEDOM
THE WOMAN KING