SCREENWRITER AARON Sorkin faced a huge challenge when writing The Social Network: how could he bring the story to life when the man with the most insight was unavailable for comment? “Facebook is very protective of Mark [Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO], and they have good reason to be,” Sorkin explains. “I’m sure Facebook would have preferred that we told the story entirely from Mark’s point of view, but that wasn’t the movie we wanted to make.”
Instead, Sorkin conducted extensive interviews with many of the other people depicted in the movie; set up a webpage requesting information on the events of Facebook’s early days; and painstakingly sifted his way through reams and reams of legal papers and court documents.
It rapidly became apparent that no amount of research would provide a single, verifiable and wholly accurate account of the politics that were played out from dorm room to boardroom – and so the big idea was born. “Because there were conflicting narratives… I thought the more exciting thing to do would be to literally dramatise all of them – and to dramatise the fact that there are conflicting narratives,” he explains.
And the film reflects the very nature of Facebook itself. “One of the most compelling things to me about Facebook,” says Sorkin, “is the limitless possibilities it offers for reinvention and fabrication and putting forward a very subjective idea of the ‘truth’ about yourself – so it felt exciting and provocative to me that I could mirror that in building a story of how the thing itself was incepted.”
The Social Network is now showing on Vision Box Office.
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