Join Nick and Frank with returning guest, screenwriter Matthew Sand (DEEP WATER HORIZON), to discuss Michael Mann’s THE INSIDER as well as the process between writing fiction and non fiction. We also discuss at length the genre of topical films, and how beholden the writer should be to the truth, and how much creative freedom the writer and film should take.
Matthew Sand is the co-writer of “Deepwater Horizon.” On April 20, 2010, one of the world’s largest man-made disasters occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Directed by Peter Berg (“Lone Survivor”), this story honors the brave men and women whose heroism would save many on board, and changed everyone’s lives forever. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson. Lionsgate is set to release the Summit/Participant production on September 30, 2016. For Sand, the story is not about the tragedy, but a simple act of heroism.
Sand was drawn to the story of “Deepwater Horizon” after reading a New York Times piece about a floor-hand on the rig, Mike Williams, and many others. Williams, a father-figure to the crew, risked his life to save others. When Sand began working on the project in 2010, there was no list of the eleven people who died (and no president at their funerals). To honor those men, one of the first things he did was find their names and set them down.
After moving to Los Angeles from his native Brooklyn where he worked in fine art, Sand quickly began writing and has written over 40 screenplays and teleplays for all of the major studios including “The Summoner,” “Beowulf” and “10,000 BC.” This lead him to meeting sibling American film directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski, who hired him for his first credited screenplay job, “Ninja Assassin.”
“Ninja Assassin,” directed by James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta”) was released in 2009. The story follows a young ninja who turns his back on the orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan. Sand resides in Los Angeles with his wife where he enjoys rock climbing and museums.
Currently, he is working on a mini-series for the BBC about the 3rd Crusade, “Little Brother” based on the novel by Cory Doctorow for Paramount, and an untitled feature film script for Netflix.