How to Write Technical Space Scenes | Josh Singer on Screenwriting for First Man

Josh Singer | On Screenwriting

BAFTA-winning screenwriter of Spotlight Josh Singer discusses the ins and outs of writing First Man, giving you an inside look at why writers take license with historical dramas. Find some of our favourite moments below!

Draft after draft after draft

Every two to four weeks I was turning in a new draft to Damien.

Singer shows off a full list of all the drafts he wrote before he and Chazelle were satisfied...and it's extensive, to say the least!

No throwaway lines

When writing scenes set in Mission Control, Singer wanted to include relevant, informed, accurate conversations fit for the people running the launch. He went into painstaking detail to craft this dialogue, using the testimony of people with real-life experience to achieve it.

This is stuff from fifty years ago. [Actors] can't just make that up.

The art of the historical drama

I wanted to be very clear about where we're taking license.

Singer discusses wanting to start a dialogue about why and how writers decide to take creative license with historical events. Is exact recreation, event by event, the real aim? Or should writers aim to capture the story in another way?