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Oscar Time for The Social Network's Aaron Sorkin screenwriter

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    It's Oscar time for Aaron Sorkin, nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network. It's the story of an unpopular Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg (played by Oscar nominated Jesse Eisenberg), who creates the "friend" friendly social network Facebook.

   For me it's funny to think that one of the most popular guys in Hollywood, Sorkin, could really capture the loneliness of the movie's main character.

   I've caught up with super-nice Sorkin at several events over the years, and its always like he's the honey-pot that all the bees buzz around at a party. That's probably because he's a great observer of human nature, and has great stories to tell. Many wind up on film or TV to much acclaim.

   This isn't Sorkin's first Oscar rodeo. The film adaptation of his play A Few Good Men had Academy Award nominations. And the producer-writer has won a trophy case load of Emmys for The West Wing.

   Both of those productions often utilized conflicting narratives, much like The Social Network does, to tell the different versions of how Facebook came about.

   It is a complicated way of doing a screenplay, but Sorkin says he thought it would be exciting to dramatize all of the conflicting stories from the point of view of the different characters, rather than doing a conventional biopic.

   Sorkin says he had many extensive conversations with the people involved at the start of Facebook "and everyone's perception of the events was different." The disagreements are what drive this story.
   What is Sorkin's writing technique? He reveals that anytime he's writing an antagonist, he wants to write the character "as if he's making his case to God as to why he should be allowed into heaven."
   Sorkin's characters are always very verbal, and The Social Network is a great example of that. He says he's envious of writers who are able to tell stories through the pictures they are describing, but he finds that difficult. "I write people talking in rooms. The challenge with this movie was the characters are much younger than I usually write about." So he needed to get into a language with a youthful rhythm.
   Oscar nominated director David Fincher is "a great visual director," Sorkin praises, "and embraced all the language and added a haunting visual style." For The Social Network that turned out to be an Oscar-worthy marriage of the material and visual direction.

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Guest Tuesday, 07 July 2015