Thursday, November 17, 2011

TODAY'S NUGGET: #53 WGA Script of All Time - All the President's Men (1976)

[Quick Summary: In 1972, two rookie journalists piece together that a minor burglary at the Watergate building is a front for a much bigger political scheme.]

Dang, William Goldman can really write.

This script sucks you in & makes you care, the hallmarks of an exceptional storyteller.

One thing I picked up is his use of point of view.

The script focuses on the reporters Woodward and Bernstein. When they find out information, so does the audience, and thus the reveals are very natural.  The audience is truly along for the ride, and becomes invested in the outcome.

But what if Goldman chose to follow the campaign workers or the crooks as the main characters instead?

I think the story would not have been as good.

In the script, Woodward and Bernstein were on the offensive, and literally chased down clues.

A story about the campaign workers would've been more about damage control and defensive p.r....not as interesting.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: The right point of view can really make the story flow.

The wrong one often lends itself to a clunky story.

All the President's Men (1976)
by William Goldman

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