Friday, November 18, 2011

Reader Mailbag: "Based on" ,"Inspired by", and a Star Wars reference

In one of my posts of crazy stories (How It's Made: High Rise Residential Buildings) I made the following comment:
The above events are real events, they are a documentary of sorts and not a knock off "Based on a true story" or "Inspired by a true story".
I received an email last week asking me to explain what I meant and what the differences were between real events, based on a true story, and inspired by a true story. I apologize for the time it has taken me to address this request, however as you can see I have been a busy man making my presence felt in Brazil.

So now, back to the question.

I my attempt to state many of the sights, sounds, and experiences in my blogs I am trying to re-create the actual situation and responses. This is a sort of play by play commentary you would get if James Earl Jones was narrating my life. Because after all, being the Star Wars fan that I am, if I was ever in a movie, I would want Darth Vader's voice as my narration. Every event and detail that I describe in my blogs are real and even though some of my metaphors may be a stretch for comedic relief, it is still very close to what would be considered a documentary of my taxi rides and experiences. A Documentary, is an attempt to create historical record of what happened.  Let's use my taxi rides as a basis for comparison and I should also point out that most documentaries are not best selling movies.

Based on a True Story would be something to the effect of using my experiences as the starting point of my blogs, and then continuing to add exuberant details, exaggerations, or perhaps include a Brazilian love story. Take for instance, take my story of "The Americano Taxi Heist". If I had also included non-true details such as it was in late at night and I was told to get out in a bad part of town wearing a gold diamond watch (rather than it being 7pm, the driver returning me safely to the Brooklin area, and in front of a Taxi stand with other taxi's to take me home). Despite a couple of major details not being true, there are still a lot of the details that are true. It takes a true story and adds details to make it a best selling movie.

Inspired by a True Story would be something to the effect of taking the fact that I am an American Businessman living in Sao Paulo who takes a taxi to work every day and then made everything else up. For instance, I was replaced by Samuel L Jackson (another one of my favorites), and in the story he quits his job at the accounting firm to become a taxi driver in Sao Paulo. While here, he ends up becoming a world champion soccer player and is someday elected President. While the majority of those things did not happen, it was still inspired by the events of an American businessman and taxi's in Sao Paulo. It takes a couple details and recreates a new story adding details to make it a best selling movie.

If you would like a visual comparison, its like comparing images of Yoda from Star Wars to images of Ralph McQuarrie, one of the creators of Star Wars. McQuarrie created Darth Vader's character which also seemed fitting to include since I mentioned James Earl Jones and Star Wars, so lets keep the party going.

Yoda is a fictional character, however do you think Yoda was "inspired by" or was "based on" a real person?

Leave your answers in the comment section below. LOL

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