The power of personal

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
written by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord,
from a short story by Francis Scott Fitzgerald
directed by David Fincher

Hearing Eric Roth (another great podcast from the creative screenwriting series) makes clear that the success of this movie comes also from the writer sharing his very intimate emotions and experiences. “It’s my most personal work” he says. Preparing for the film he and David Fincher wondered “who’s going to finance a 150 million film about death.”

I’m curious - says Daisy on her death bed. Roth reveals it is a line of his mother just before her final journey. The line strangely corresponds with the Fitzgerald's short story title, the basis for the film.

Roth's talk about screenwriting (Munich, Forrest Gump, The Insider) reveals other examples of treating subjects "from within". He is sincere and serious (not that he doesn’t have a sense of humor.) His depth seems an important element of his writing talent. He has been around, knows the value of things and is equipped with the powerful craft. All that makes him so valuable to great directors: Mann, Spielberg, Fincher. They listen to him carefully, since they all have the inner radar for truth. Apparently his scripts are mostly shot as written, which is the highest complement from the industry.

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